Cold weather is taking a toll on Occupy Maine.
At 6 p.m. Thursday in Lincoln Park, five people attended the daily general assembly, far fewer than the two dozen who were attending earlier this month and the 30 to 40 in November and October.
“What’s on the agenda tonight?” asked the assembly’s facilitator, Phui Yi Kong.
“Tonight’s agenda is not to freeze to death,” replied Alan Porter, his arms wrapped around his body as he tried to warm himself.
The temperature was 24 degrees, but it felt colder in the strong wind. The forecast called for a low of 13 overnight.
Nearly three months into the encampment, it’s hard to say how many people are part of Occupy Maine’s protest of social and economic inequality. The group doesn’t keep a list. There are no dues. And, with no hierarchy, everyone has an equal say, whether they camp in Lincoln Park every night or show up at one general assembly.
But with the arrival of winter, one thing is clear: The number of people who are still willing to live and sleep outdoors is dwindling, even as Occupy Maine fights in court for its right to remain in Lincoln Park.
This calls for some Tom Petty: