Dispatch from Camp Charlie: Hello Mother, Hello Father, Reps and Hacks, They've Come To Bother

One of the points that was made over and over again by those protesting MBTA fare hikes (and Mass transit funding issues in general) yesterday was that this fight isn't new. It's been roaring for decades, and just seems to have grown extremely loud and and in-your-face over the past few months.

As of today, though, activists have extended their message into the future, stressing that the war's not over. Grabbing the baton from young transit crusaders who camped out on the Statehouse stoop on Tuesday, Occupy Boston's Occupy MBTA contingent has officially set up shop on Beacon Hill.

Such actions, particularly when they're sprung by Occupy, tend to raise a lot of questions - not all of which there may be answers to. But after surveying some participating Occupiers, it seems that at least a few things can be noted. More to follow, but for now...

*The temporary Statehouse encampment is named “Camp Charlie” in homage to failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker. Just kidding – it's named after Charlie from the “MTA song,” and there's a great big puppet of him on location to greet passersby.

*The occupation is indeed a response to the Mass Department of Transportation Board of Directors vote yesterday to hike fares, though from what I understand, “Camp Charlie” was the game plan under any circumstances.

*For those looking to visit, be careful where you chain your bike. On Beacon Hill, not only are the vast majority of parking spaces marked “resident only,” but police last night were giving people shit for locking onto the gates of Boston Common.

*About 20 Occupiers camped out last night. Roughly half of them left early this morning to get ready for work, and the rest stayed in place to speak with rush hour commuters and tourists. Others plan on filtering in throughout the afternoon and later this evening.

*According to state troopers, protesters are not allowed to sleep on the bricks between the Beacon Street sidewalk and the Statehouse, but instead must only snooze on the brick staircase. I'm told this could become a problem if and when more people plan to camp out.

*No state representatives or senators have yet to greet the Occupiers, or to hear what they have to say. This echoes a sentiment heard over and over yesterday at the MBTA board hearing, which is that people in power aren't listening.

*As things stand now, the DOT board has voted to kick its money problems further down the road, while strapping riders with the burden. On that prompt, Occupiers say that they'll be camped out until Saturday, April 14, in order to persuade state legislators – and perhaps even the governor – to consider a long-term rescue plan for the MBTA.

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