Denver, Colorado, was hit with a nasty snowstorm on Tuesday night–quite a shock after record 80-degree weather earlier in the week–and Occupy protesters are worried that they could actually die from hypothermia. The wet and windy snowstorm caused power outages, bent trees–and frightened protesters. Some areas of Colorado got up to 10 inches of snow, and temperatures fell to 38 degrees in the early morning. Forecasters predicted that they would soon drop to the 20’s. For protesters in Denver, the Occupy movement may literally be a life or death situation.
The protesters are refusing to move or give up. In fact, the cold Denver weather may even be strengthening their resolve. Many of the protesters have already been occupying the Civic Center Park for a month. Why should they leave now? On Tuesday night, Occupy organizers told police who tried to tear down tents that they feared people forced to sleep in the open could die from the cold. Several people have already had to be removed from the park for hypothermia. Organizers put a message up on Facebook asking for tarps, waterproof blankets, and bedding, saying anything extra could help.
A major protest in scheduled for Saturday in the park in spite of the snow. One protester, who is three months pregnant, said that although she is concerned, she will stay no matter what. She said: “I’m freaking out a little bit, of course. But everybody here takes care of everybody, so…I’ll be safe.” For a movement that has become so large and so strong, a patch of rough weather means nothing to the Occupy believers. But, of course, it is only October; what will be in store for Occupy Denver protesters–and others across the nation–for the winter months ahead?