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Occupy Buffalo resident John Rossman stands inside the encampment's new geodesic dome. It was donated anonymously. Photo: Daniel Robison, Innovation Trail.
Occupy Buffalo resident John Rossman stands inside the encampment's new geodesic dome. It was donated anonymously. Photo: Daniel Robison, Innovation Trail.

Dome warms Occupy Buffalo protesters

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A new geodesic dome is attracting renewed attention to the Occupy Buffalo encampment. The donated structure will act as a warming station over the winter, or until the occupiers are evicted. As the Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison reports, occupiers see it as a symbol of their commitment to stay put in Niagara Square.

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"As you can see it's already a little bit warmer than outside."

John Rossman helped place the thick nylon exterior over its sturdy metal structure. The wooden foundation is firmly staked into Niagara Square to withstand winter winds.

"The source of the heat is the people inside of it. So the temperature will go above freezing."

The dome will be used as a warming station, for meetings and can sleep 10 or 15 comfortably. But with limited space, Rossman says occupiers will have to make compromises.

"A lot of people of have different sleep schedules. Some are night owls. Some are early to bed, early to risers. So we'll make it work somehow."

Occupy Buffalo has actually had the dome for weeks. But protestors debated whether to construct it because of questions surrounds who donated the structure anonymously.

The dome is by far the most intricate structure at the camp and it's unclear whether occupiers will need permits for it to be legal. But because of its ability to keep folks warm, occupier John Rossman says the structure counters the city's threats of eviction over health concerns in the winter.

He also says the mayor's insistence that Niagara Square be used to pile up snow should take a back seat the protestor's Constitutional rights.

"We're exercising our First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble and file grievances with our government, exercising our Constitutional rights."

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