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BOSTON — Nearly two weeks after the first Occupy Boston demonstrations, it's becoming clear the protesters aren't just passing through, but are settling down in Dewey Square for the long haul.
On Wednesday, while people hung around and played guitar, there were signs the movement is preparing to take care of its members in the weeks to come. Kris Ditunno, a volunteer in the camp's medic tent, came by with bags of water, cough drops and packets of vitamin C.
"Do you guys need food or water? It's going to get cold again tonight, so just be careful," she said.
"Getting cold" is what many observers have speculated will eventually be the end of the Occupy Boston protests.
That, or the fact that the group still hasn't come forward with specific demands. Through their nightly general assemblies, where decisions are made through three-fourths vote, the group has agreed that they collectively support two general ideas: the removal of corporate money from politics and ending what they call "corporate personhood," neither of which seems like a goal that will be met in the short term, say by the time the snow starts falling.
"Well, we're here for the long run," said 24-year-old Philip Anderson, who lives in Westwood.
Up until about a month ago, he was working on a Senate campaign — he declined to say which one — but for the past four or five days he's been serving as a spokesman for Occupy Boston.
"On Monday we had a march with upwards of 10,000 people and that just demonstrates how many people support us. [*News reports put the number much lower.] A lot of them couldn't get off of work, but when we were walking by we got thumbs up out of windows, we got, you know, waves from construction workers, we've even had a few police officers say they support us," Anderson said.
Standing next to Anderson as he spoke was further evidence of the diversity of support the group has attracted. Four women — Carolyn McCreary, Alice Schafer, Marjory Harvey and Nancy Lenicheck — had carpooled in to the protests together from their hometowns of Acton, Littleton and Ayer, but it wasn't the distance they'd traveled that set them apart. The women range in age from "undisclosed" to 89 years old. The women explain to WBUR's Bob Oakes their reason for joining the protesters.
Correction: An earlier version of this story did not refute Anderson's number of people demonstrating, which may have made it seem like a substantiated tally.
This program aired on October 13, 2011.