I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying when they give you lemons make lemonade. This is definitely a good metaphor for recent actions of local bike activist group Time’s up and their support of Occupy Wall Street.
A while back the NYPD and FDNY confiscated the OWS generators and power source, Time’s Up came to the rescue with bicycle powered gennys. This led to the creation of a sustainability committee and later to providing bike sharing to the various committees in Liberty Plaza.
Here is more about what this life lifelong environmental bicycle education group has been up to:
OccupyWallStreet Sustainability Program Proposal
Time’s Up! volunteers have been working with occupywallstreet NYC since Day 1. Recently, we helped them start a sustainability committee. Below, are some of the sustainable projects we could use funding for:
1. Human-powered energy bicycles to help power phones, laptops, lights, etc.
2. Daily compost pick-ups from occupywallstreet to local community gardens
3. Supplying each committee with their own bicycle with combination locks to share
4. On-sight bicycle repair workshops
ALL WORK TO BE DONE BY VOLUNTEERS AND WHEN POSSIBLE, USING LOCAL MERCHANTS & RECYCLED MATERIALS
Status of all programs
1. Just recently, the city confiscated all the gas-powered generators which were providing electricity to all of OWS NYC. Time’s Up! has been working on pedal-powered energy sources and have now been getting a lot of press. Every committee wants one and we have been working around the clock to make them. Right now, volunteer mechanics are recycling bikes at Time’s Up! BK space and Brooklyn Machine Works are welding bike stands. Other parts, like generators, batteries, and wires are all being assembled at different locations. Along with donated parts we are receiving donations are from all over to finance this project.
Project Budget-$14,000 -OWS has already raised 5k and Time’s Up! has raised 9k. If we get more money, we will be transporting Energy Bikes to other cities.
2. Composting Trailers -OWS is feeding thousands of people a day and Time’s Up! has set up daily composting with special trailers which can break and go missing. We are trying to develop systems so we can leave trailers around with locks for public access. We would like to buy at least 3 more trailers and locks.
Project Budget-$2,800 -Money raised, $400. We are working on a video highlighting the composting project as we speak, so we can try to raise money online.
3. Committee Bicycles -Several committees expressed that they would love to have their own bike. We are building them, but it is going slowly. We would like to paint the names of each committee on them and adapt them for each committee’s use. For instance, the medical team would have bicycles that have racks on the back stocked with First Aid kits. Food Committee would finally be able to deliver on-sight food and liquids to marches and traveling events. We also hope to implement a water distribution system using bikes to deliver tap water from local community resources and getting OWS away from using plastic bottled water.
Project Budget-$4,200 -Money raised, $650. We are receiving donated parts to start this project.
4. On-sight Repair Classes -This is going well, but it’s starting to get cold, so we’re looking for a space in the area to continue these workshops. We hope to expand the project so that people can build their own bicycles and be self-sustaining. A lot of these people are from out of town and have very little money for transportation. We already have about 30 donated bicycles. We need parts, tools and a space to realize this project.
Project Budget (w/o space & operating outside)-$1,800 for 25 bikes. $3,000 for 50 bikes.
$4,000 a month to rent a space (possibly basement space) in the area and stock with tools equipment
Please let me know if you have specific questions on any of the projects. All donations to Time’s Up! are 100% tax deductible and come with progress reports.
All projects will be well documented and publicized to the press in hopes of spreading low-cost sustainable methods to other cities.
Please donate to Time’s Up! so we can make this a reality!
Find out more: here.
Here is some recent press:
Occupy Wall Street turns pedal power ~Rawstory.com
Time’s Up doesn’t need generators, they have people power~Animal New York
With Generators Gone, Wall Street Protesters Try Bicycle Power~Gothamist