There’s more than 50 of them. They are mostly on the north side of the building where the wind isn’t as bad, packed into bright sleeping bags and blankets. Nobody’s moving at 7:30 a.m. Clasps on flags ping against poles at Park and Broadway. Thirty minutes later, cell phone alarms start chirping from underneath sleeping bags, and across the street valets at the Skirvin Hotel help guests with their bags.
Several young women from Antioch, Calif., pack their equipment into a red pickup with shoe polish on the windows. They drove for 34 hours to spend a couple of nights outside the Chase Tower in downtown Oklahoma City, but they’ve got to get back home by Monday night. People have come from as far away as Virgina, Tennessee, Washington, D.C. and Washington state. They are a part of the Coburn Say Yes campaign. Most were inspired by a documentary called Invisible Children about a war that’s older than they are. Sen. Tom Coburn has put a hold on Senate Bill 1067. Members of this peaceful campaign say they’re not leaving Chase Tower until he lifts the hold.
Tomorrow morning they’ll be up early, holding signs and greeting employees at the tower, but today is Sunday. They meet in a circle on the sidewalk; one group leaves to walk to church. Abby Freeman, a student from Washington, D.C., high-fives other students and asks if they are happy. “We’re doing it, we’re doing it. It’s going to happen,” she says of the group’s efforts to raise awareness. “These are lives that we’re changing.”