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Occupy Wall Street prostesters. (mediaform jasonkim photograph)

It was just a matter of time when highly regarded New York academic institution, known for their progressive and creative actions on higher learning, was to offer credit courses on the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The protests which sparked such heightening of consciousnesses throughout the US and in the world, will be taught in classes at two acclaimed institutions, New York University and now at Columbia University.

NYU was the first to announce such an offering. Not to be passed by their down town rival, Columbia University followed suit with their own courses. Both offerings will start in Spring semester 2012.

One thing’s for sure. This tells us how New Yorkers take pride in things that bloomed to significance in NYC.  And why not.

Read rest here:  Gothemist.Com

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Veterans supporting OWS on Veterans Day.

1919-to-2011

Our modern Veterans Day evolved from the first days of inauguration by Woodrow Wilson and his administration way back in 1919. Which is, for practical sake, another time.  The point of the day, of course was to celebrate and remember the sacrifices of the fallen soldiers who died fighting in the first World War.

Fast forward to 1953, a man in Kansas had the timely idea of celebrating and honoring the fallen soldiers and the currently living. His campaign started in his home town, which reverberated through to the national stage. From there in 1954, Dwight Eisenhower helped pass it to the current form we see it today.

2.5 Million

There are many estimates, but the general number of dead & wounded soldiers is around 2.5 Million. This is including many of the foreign ‘conflicts’ and to all of the well known wars we have heard about in modern times (i.e. Revolutionary, Civil, Vietnam, Korea, WW 1 & 2, etc).

Top 3 Wars

The top ranked war/conflict which caused most of the fallen and wounded are:

1. American Civil War with around 650,000

2. World War II with around 410,000

3. World War I with around 120,000

Top 3 Wars compared to TTL Population

The top ranked war/conflict which caused most compared to the TTL population at the time are:

1. American Civil War with close to 2% of TTL pop

2. American Revolutionary War with close to 0.89% of TTL pop

3. World War II with close to 0.31 of TTL pop

TTL dead and wounded in the War on Terror (2001-present)

In Afghanistan, there have been TTL of 1,803 who have died and TTL of 9,971 who have been wounded. For a grand TTL of 12,035.

In Iraq, there have been TTL of 4,477 who have died and TTL of 31,965 who have been wounded. For a Grand TTL of 36,395.

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Whether one agrees with the protests of Occupy Wall Street or not, there had been real support from veterans who’d attended. It posed some poignant moments and significant assertions, provided by living and proud soldiers.

And at the least that means something, doesn’t it?

Sure does.

Joan Baez lending some time to the cause.

Joan Baez.

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

 

Ah, on Halloween day, I took a visit to Zuccotti Park again.

But, because of it being a Monday and a work day, I thought the action would be more than on a Sunday.

And true to form, it was hectic. Much action, as predicted.

On this day’s visit, I could get a small glimpse to what has been happening for more than a month.

So, I supported the sights, with some random chats with the PR camp, the Food HQ, and folks from Occupy Wall Street (OWS) participants strolled up and down the park. Here, I’d heard the predictable notions of why they were there, and many of whom were wearing their pride and passions on their sleeves- as they should.

I’d witnessed a very efficient gathering and subsequent distribution of foods (all donated) to the OWS participants and to whomever homeless attended. I was impressed with the crew.

I’d witnessed the ‘human microphone’ technique. It was fabulous. Worked very well for an imperfect system. It did its job.

I also saw the stacked full OWS Library with 5 or so ‘librarians’. These were for the occupants’ reading pleasure. FYI, they had some great books on stash for reading.

As usual, there were some great passionate gesturing, singing, comments, questions & answers, debates, characters, and signs (of all sorts). I stayed at the park and around it, for about 3+ hours and saw much. To my delight and education.

I’d witnessed a variety of age group participants (young and to old), with varying talents, and passions they wanted to display. All were very smart in their own way and clever in their own right.

Lets see what happens on my 3rd day (or night’s) return.

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all heard it.

The movement started officially on September 17, 2011.

Now, it’s October 30, 2011 – the movement’s 46th day of operation.

Well, it was about time. I’d delayed in visiting the park for many life reasons, I’m sure.

But just like many in the country, I’d been keeping up with the happenings in and around Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) as much as possible (mostly through Online methods). After all, the channels in recent weeks had been covering the protests in more earnest, compared to the beginning of the movement.

And today was my first day of physically visiting Zuccotti Park (which I’d visited many many times prior to the occupation). I left the apartment early and was there for the shoot by 745AM.

Of course, was a Sunday and being an ‘off’ day for all of the protagonists in this dance, it was very quiet (well, except for the throngs of tourists).

The first thing that greeted me was the chill (although seemed colder as I landed in lower Manhattan). The air was cold. The prior day’s October snow storm was still evident in the early air.

That’s ok. I was prepared for the weather- decked in down coat and in layers with gloves and winter hat.  But what I wasn’t ready for, was how the Occupiers were dressed and waking up from the frigid night’s cold.

I was impressed. They certainly were a tough group of devotees.  There wan’t a shortage of commitment in this group, for sure.

And more impressive was that it was a mix of age groups, all huddled together and with individual responsibilities within the encampment. There was a full “HQ” style food distribution station with very basic foods (i.e. bananas, apples, simple breads, nuts, etc.), duties for sanitation & clean-up. As well as people who were very knowledgeable and very kind to persons like myself.

Well, I intend to visit the location several times this week. Hope to continue talking with some of the group members, other activists, and other photographers, as well- to see where they stand and to just shoot the breeze.

And I’m sure because it’s now the weekdays, there should be better action to capture.

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

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