Citizens of Dewey Park – Occupiers, Organizers, and the 99%

by lydiasee

Late Tuesday night, I headed to Dewey Park to find out how I could be of service to the Occupy Movement. After participating in the march on Monday and witnessing via a live feed (and twitter) the arrests at Rose Kennedy Greenway late monday night (see previous posts), I realized that I have never felt more politically motivated or mobilized. Unfortunately, I was feeling that there wasn’t a lot I could do other than spread the word, take pictures, and participate in an ongoing dialog with the Occupiers, my peers and family, students at my college, and countless individuals through social media outlets.

What I realized at about 1am Wednesday morning was that what I have already been doing is exactly what is needed. Those individuals who can occupy, or must occupy, do. Those who have medical training volunteer to attend to those injured, ill, or in need of some water or a cough drop. Those who are able, hold positions in the OccupyBoston Camp as cooks, legal advisors, media coordinators, logistics supervisors, and anything and everything in between. I take pictures. I am a documentarian and an anthropologist. I am a publicist and an interdisciplinary media liaison. I am a communicator through the written word and through images, and I am honored to be able, and humbly encouraged, to use this as my focus of aid in this capacity.

Armed with little else other than my camera and a positive attitude, I arrived at the Camp a bit after 10pm Tuesday, and immediately bumped into several acquaintances who were seeking the same information I was: “How do we help?” and we parted ways, each seeking an answer to our query. As if by some force, the next few hours were spent in the company of several remarkable, intelligent, and motivated individuals, people who occupy positions in the camp as everything from Volunteer EMT, to Media outreach, to providing food to those who are hungry.

What follows is the beginning of a photojournalistic project devoted to, and inspired by, those who are reminding all of us that WE are the 99%, and making it possible for those who Occupy to do so as safely, comfortably, and civilly as possible.

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S, Joseph, and Corinna: These three are part of the Occupy Movement, but are not currently occupying. Corinna and Joseph are discussing the possibility of creating site-specific sculpture utilizing the trash that the Occupation is generating, such as plastic bottles, and are interested in the sense of community within the Occupation site.

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Nick & Dave are here to experience the community and learn more about the righteous efforts of the movement. Nick is leaving the country in a few days, and wanted tp spend his last week before he left contributing to the cause.

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Dan is a volunteer for the Legal Group at OccupyBoston. Dan believes in "the general utopia of living in a small community like this, where the humanity of the small details is what brings people together, and the idea of living in the world that you want to exist in by pure force of will and love."

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Dan is an institution in the Peace Activism world. From dumpstering food for and feeding the hungry to rallying people to speak publicly about politics, Dan supports the homeless and protesting community by making sure nobody goes hungry or thirsty and mobilizing outreach and open discourse.

Sarah is a Volunteer at the Kitchen. At first, she was unsure of how to contribute to the movement, but now she feels comfortably at home. "There's a lot of talk about what the movement is, " she says, "but it already IS. People are suffering in different ways, are homeless, are already occupying public spaces. Now, here, people are being fed, taken care of, we are redefining 'public' space. It's exciting, meditative, and sustaining. "

Theresa is one of the original organizers of the Boston Occupation. She is "everywhere and nowhere" within the community, and is amazed at the progress that has occurred since the September 24th initial planning. "The occupation has developed so organically. People were waiting for the opportunity to contribute: what's your talent? what do you want to do to help? how can you contribute? All these things develop naturally within this community." Theresa is a mother of two, and homeschools her children during the day, after which she scoots over to Dewey to help out however she can.

Ryan and Acacia are Occupying working in the Media Tent. Ryan, who was formerly in the Army, is now a student pursuing a degree in Finance. "I don't want to work for a financial firm, and I'm kind of afraid to graduate in the world we live in. People I know with Masters degrees can't even find work."

Dave has been occupying for six days. He is working as a volunteer for the First Aid group as he has been an EMT. "My voice is in low-income housing," he said. "I don't understand how Corporations get tax breaks and are financially supported by our economy, and I can't find an affordable place to live."

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