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Occupy Wall Street Will Use Bikes to Generate Electricity

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"Ask the tourists if they want to help pedal.”

Call it "pedaling for progressivism."

Occupy Wall Street has turned to bicycle-powered generators to provide electricity for its laptops, cell phones -- even a projector screen.

The Occupy Wall Street campsite has been effectively without power since the FDNY seized the Occupiers' gas-powered generators last week. And on top of that, it was a bitter cold weekend in New York City, with the earliest snowfall in 59 years.

So to keep their digital insurgency humming despite dropping temperatures, the Occupation's Sustainability Working Group will be going green with bike power.

Huffington Post reports that the Occupiers plan to use the power-generating bikes in several locations  around Zuccotti Park. OWS is requesting bicycle parts and electrical system donations from the public to help with this new project.

The Sustainability Working Group, which includes members from MIT Media Lab, Pedal Power, and Time's Up!, will be spearheading the bike power project and trying to find the know-how and material needed to make it work.

It won't be easy.  HuffPo quoted a Brooklyn electrician who volunteered to help the Occupiers as stating that,"It can take up to two hours of uninterrupted pedaling to reach 12.5 volts."

Others estimate that six hours of continuous pedaling would produce about 100 hours of battery use.

Perhaps the Occupiers believe another side-effect of the bicycle generation project will be just keeping warm.

And as Occupy has already turned into something of a downtown tourist attraction, with double-decker buses passing every few minutes, there are already plans afoot to bring more legs into action.

“People get really excited when they see these bikes,” an Occupier told the Times. “I’m going to ask the tourists if they want to help pedal.”

Watch the video below on the Occupiers' "green energy" program to get a sense of what they are planning, and their call for funding despite reports that they have already raised nearly $500K (clip courtesy of Youtube):

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