Things are quiet down at Westlake this afternoon—people talking, ladling chili out of a big pot, singing "This Land Is My Land."
This is Juan, who is originally from León, Nicaragua. He says he's been down here for several days "para ayudar todos" and is pleased with "eso expresión del pueblo—del pueblo! La revolución es no de la violencia. Es de more jobs for the people, the little people, the 99%. We are together in this—todos. Juntos. Together."
This is Gabriel, from the Occupy Seattle legal team. When I asked if he was an attorney, he said: "I graduated from a top-tier law school but there aren't job opportunities and I can't even afford to take the bar exam. I'm almost as poor as any of the homeless people down here." He said over the past few nights, the police haven't arrested anybody but have been using "psychological warfare" by waking people up every half-hour or so, rattling their tents, shining flashlights into their eyes, and asking: Are you okay? I just want to make sure you're okay.
He says that's been especially maddening to the medical team, who want to be able to actually make sure people are okay without freaking people out. The other night, an active-duty Marine was at the protest, struggling to stay awake, because he says his job situation would be severely screwed if he fell asleep. "It was like 4 in the morning, it was cold, and this guy was really struggling," Gabriel said. "So I told him, 'you go ahead and sleep and I'll stand here and wake you up if the police start coming.'"
This is Laura, who was from Seattle, but moved to Sammamish because "the schools in Seattle suck, unfortunately."
This is Ko and Joshua, father and son. Joshua saw me walking around, talking to people, and then wanted to interview me for a school project. So now we're interview buddies.
This is Steve. He was born in the Bronx, grew up in Connecticut, and has lived in Seattle for the past year and a half: