Originally published in the Associated Press
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Protesters camping out in Zuccotti Park are dealing with a host of issues this weekend, from colder than normal temperatures and a rare October snowfall to a lack ofpower after the FDNY took away their generators on Friday.
It was a little colder and darker than usual for Occupy Wall Street protesters overnight. Fire marshals removed six gas-powered generators and about a dozen gas cans from the park, saying it was a safety issue.
But many in the park were skeptical about the fire department’s motives.
“The argument could be made they just wanted to get at our power source,” said demonstrator Brian Najdanik.
Without generators, protesters were left with just flashlights and lanterns. Lights, cooking equipment and the media center at Zuccotti Park were all turned off.
Fire officials say storing gasoline in such packed quarters is simply too dangerous.
But the protesters are coming up with a new solution— a stationary bike and generator connected to a battery.
“We’ve got five bike-powered generator systems that are coming from Boston and we’ve got five more plus other ones that are going to supplement as well so we’re completely, completely off the grid,” said demonstrator Lauren Minis.
Insiders at Occupy Wall Street say they expect to have their media center and the food service area fully powered and illuminated by Monday.
The movement is also expected to reveal just how much money they have raised and spent in the first five weeks of the Occupy Wall Street campaign.
OWS has reportedly raised nearly $454,000 and has spent more than $50,000 so far for things like food, clothing, medical supplies, laundry, media and other expenses.