If the protest largely moves indoors at the Capitol, it and the government offices nearby can be cold, too. Both Republicans and Democrats have recently worked for additional state tax cuts for the rich and the corporations.

The campers' personal resources challenge them, as well. Some work full- and part-time. They're mostly from the working class — true sans-culottes (without fancy clothes).

But our country's first mass economic protest since the Great Depression — an actual class struggle — has provided hope to many people driven to despair by the Wall-Street-induced Great Recession. Occupy Augusta is exploring and discovering political means to carry on and refine the struggle.

Lance Tapley can be reached at  lance.tapley@gmail.com. For photos of Occupy Augusta taken by Roger Leisner, including of the recent civil disobedience, go to  the-maine-paparazzi.smugmug.com.

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