Sandy Nurse seemed to have lost what tolerance she once had for long meetings. Even though the basement of the DeKalb Library in Brooklyn was air-conditioned on an especially sticky July day, and even though the meeting’s agenda was only partly finished, she told the handful of other eco-activists there that she was sorry, but she had to go build some compost bins, and she left.
Nurse never really looked all that happy in meetings. As one of the earliest members of Occupy Wall Street’s Direct Action Working Group—as well as one of the last—she attended a lot of them, including a lot of quite horrible ones. She could often be seen sitting at the far end of the oblong circle, away from the fray but guiding it nonetheless with her formidable evil eye. Where she would come alive was in the streets, leading marches through the winding canyons of the Financial District or tricking the cops with an unexpected reversal of course to get the march to where it wasn’t supposed to go: Wall Street.