Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Protesters with Occupy Wall Street have begun erecting all-weather tents at their encampment in Zuccotti Park to get ready for winter.
Military grade tents have already been pitched and 27 more costing about $20,000 are on order, according to organizers. The new double-walled shelters come in 2 different sizes: 11x11 feet or 16x16 feet.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said even though he doesn't think the protesters should be putting down roots, they're not breaking the law by doing so.
"They're not in violation of any building code, as far we can tell — it is worrisome the density of the people in the park and we're keeping an eye on that," he said.
Brookfield Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, does now allow tents or other camping equipment in the park. Bloomberg said, "So far they’re not complying with Brookfield’s regulations, but Brookfield has not asked us to help them enforce those regulations."
A spokesperson for the company said they have no comment on the new tents.
Protester Jose Whelan, has been volunteering in the first aid area of the park, where one heavy-duty tents is being used. He said occupiers will also soon receive basic winter survival training.
"We’re bringing professionals from Solo Outdoor Survival School and Wilderness First Aid School in New Hampshire to come down and run some trainings in the next couple of weeks," Whelan said.
He said the sessions will be ongoing throughout the winter. "So everybody can understand how to clothe yourself, the basic signs of hypothermia, so if somebody in your tent is starting to get these signs, you can make sure to get them to medical right away."