Chapter One - Summer
Summer has no place to go. This 44 year old veteran of the South African Boycott in the 80s, the angry protestor speaking loudly against the Rwanda Genocide in the 90s, and the mainstay at every G8 Summit protest for the last 10 years, had recently joined what she felt would be her last cause. She of the granola, outdoorsy, green generation, is the picture of health but somehow she knows - this will be her last. It is with the desperation of the dying man that she joined the Occupy Movement that had spread from its beginnings on Wall Street in late 2010 to cities across the country. For the last 6 weeks she's lived in a tent on a grassy field, a park, public lands, in front of the courthouse in Louisville Kentucky.
That is, until in a bizarre turn of logic, the city had determined that the right of assembly guaranteed in the US Constitution did not apply to the Occupy Movement. Because public lands are paid for by the public, any use of that land for private interest is inappropriate. Thus, creating the dichotomy that because public lands are for the public, no one in the public can use them - especially if the public has something to say.
Somehow she ended up here, between the pub and the Hard Rock Cafe, seated on the pavement within a cove of restaurants that had not yet opened for the next day's business. She does not remember how she got here but she suspects the officer dropped her off here at her request. She vaguely remembers an impassioned plea for help and the officer's reluctant agreement to do what she asked. She still feels hot as though she has a fever. She is alone, has been her whole life. Her causes were her family. Now there was no one. She is unwashed, her face is smudged with dirt, and the heat will just not go away.
already hot and muggy. Louisville is waking up and with crust in it's eye begins its next business day.
"Sounds like a bomb went off," one witness says, "and then a bright light just hanging there."
"Was there any smoke?"
"No. No smoke, just the loud bang and then the light and then that..." the witness points to the ground at his feet.
What was Summer was reduced to a small pile of ash surrounded by a pair of hands and a pair of feet, badly charred.
The crowd around the scene had grown. If it had not been Monday morning one would think 4th Street Live was filling up for a night's worth of frivolity. The officers on the scene heard the same story from every one claiming to be a witness. Loud bang, hanging white light, no smoke, and then ashes and hands and feet.