Daily Archives: November 16, 2011

This Is What A Police State Looks Like

Tonight at the People’s Library Mayor Bloomberg’s chief occupation outreach group paid us a visit.  Again.

Our librarians were, again, brave and peaceful.

Shame on you!  Shame on you! The Occupiers chanted as Bloomberg’s minions threw away what we had retrieved today.

Our hearts are heavy.

But we are determined.

#N17

10 Comments

Filed under #N17, Announcements, Mandy, Sean, Video

Jail Notes

As some of you know, two of our librarians were arrested yesterday morning, when the NYPD invaded the park.

As of this writing — 4pm Wednesday — neither have been released yet.

Scales and Charlie, two of the live-in librarians, chose to remain with the library and the rest of the camp when the cops showed up. Though I haven’t spoken with them yet, I’m fairly confident in saying that they knew what they were doing.

We in the Library working group had previously discussed what to do in emergency situations (and, oh, the irony, we had planned to do some more training on it this weekend). We hammered out a plan after the attempted “clean-up” last month. We’d had discussions about arrestability — that is, who can afford to be arrested and under what circumstances. Some folks have low- or non- arrestability — they may not be citizens of the USA; they may have medical conditions that require constant monitoring or treatment; they may have work or family obligations that can’t be neglected; they may have identities that put them at risk (people of color, queers, or women, for example, are more vulnerable while in the system); or the work they are doing is vital to the rest of the movement. Some folks are highly arrestable; maybe they have few outside obligations, and they might be used to being arrested during political actions. Some folks are somewhere in between, and may be more or less willing to be arrested depending on the particular circumstances.

Anyway, two of our librarians decided to stay. We saw them on the livestream before it cut out.  They’d retreated to Kitchen (located in the center of the park) with the other remaining occupiers. It was estimated that 150 people were there. The cops gassed, beat, and arrested them all. That’s right, people, in order to protect the public from scary radicals like us, the cops attacked your librarians, your cooks, your medics, your sidewalk sweepers, and your neighbors. They hauled off the People’s Library, and they hauled off the librarians, too. We demand them back from the city, just as we demand our books back. As of this writing, we don’t even know where Charlie is. We found Scales yesterday afternoon, and he’s still in jail, waiting to be arraigned. We assume Charlie is, too.

***UPDATE, 4:15 PM — Scales just got out!

***UPDATE — I was at the park this evening, and Charlie showed up around 6:30, having come straight down after getting out. All the librarians are now accounted for.

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Filed under Announcements, Jaime

From Patti Smith

As readers of this blog, and members of the People’s Library will know, Patti Smith is an important visitor to OWS, and has helped the People’s Library in many ways.

This morning, in the wake of the raid on the Occupation, and the reacquisition of the People’s Volumes from the NY sanitation dept. Patti Smith sent the People’s Library some words.

i am with you all from across the sea
every concert, interview etc
i call out to occupy and support those
that do.

what you are doing is only a beginning.
if it gets too tough in the winter
get healthy regroup and come back.
don’t be sorry about anything.

give everyone a salute from me

people have the power

patti

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Filed under Announcements

Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology Now Online

We are proud to offer you the complete Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology!

In the past, the poets responsible for editing the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology wanted readers to experience the magic of the occupation while reading the poems the movement has generated.

With the police raid though, now seemed a good time to get a positive story about Occupy Wall Street into the discourse.  Occupy Wall Street isn’t about fighting the police or senselessly tearing systems down, we’re out to create a new beautiful world.  And one of the ways we are doing that is through is through poetry.  So please, share our anthology, read about our movement and our lives, and know this: Occupy Wall Street will build that better world though unity, determination, and beautiful words.

If you’ve submitted a poem and don’t see it, no worries: Our resident poet assembling the anthology hasn’t slept since the raid and needs sleep.  He will get to it soon.  And if you want to share a poem, please send it to Stephen.j.boyer@gmail.com with the subject line Occupy Poetry Anthology.

 

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Filed under Announcements, Literature, Mandy, Poetry, Stephen, Steve S.

UPDATE: State of Seized Library

(This post is being updated as news comes in, check back regularly.)

We’re getting our first report back from the folks who went to the Sanitation Garage. Mayor Bloomberg’s office tweeted: “Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds” But it turns out, not surprisingly, that this was a lie. Our folks on the ground say:

“There are only about 25 boxes of books; many of the books are destroyed. Laptops here but destroyed. Can’t find tent or shelves.”

Update 11:00am

“Many books destroyed. Most equipment -and structures missing. . . most of library is missing (ALL of the reference section btw), damaged or destroyed. “

Update 11:14am

One of our librarians Zach came up with a partial list of what was taken (see below) and it’s looking like only a few boxes of books and our (destroyed) laptops and one chair were at Sanitation. Our people on the ground report that “A lot is destroyed . . . more may (or may not) be coming out of their giant trashpile at back of building.” But it’s obvious to me that by recklessly throwing the contents of the park into dumpsters, the NYPD and DSNY working under Bloomberg’s orders destroyed what we built. And that their claim that the library was “safely stored” was a lie.

So Mayor Bloomberg: where is the People’s Library?

  • Between 2,000 and 4,000 books (we’ll know if it looks right when we see it ), this includes five boxes of “Reference” materials many of which were autographed by the authors;
  • Our custom made “OWS library stamps;”
  • 5 (4?) laptop computers;
  • Our wifi device;
  • miscellaneous paper supplies;
  • A round portable table;
  • a rectangular portable table;
  • 6 metal shelves (five of which had been set up in two pieces);
  • three sets of wooden drawers;
  • a periodicals spinning rack;
  • Approximately 60 plastic tubs/bins of varying sizes (most small, but several big);
  • archival materials (I was starting to collect some stuff in the library);
  • posters (including many original posters created by OWS participants);
  • two lamps;
  • four solar lights;
  • 7 (or so) chairs;
  • a wooden dinner table (that was our’s right?);
  • periodicals/newspapers/zines (not counted in our book total);
  • our awesome tent;
  • signage;
  • personal belongings of librarians;

131 Comments

Filed under Michael, Solidarity

Help Needed Retrieving Books!

Friends of the People’s Library–we need help!

The City is freeing our seized books, magazines and other materials at 650 57th Street (entrance at 56th nr or 12th St.), but we need people with cars and people who can help load those cars.

Here is what we need to move:

• Between 2,000 and 4,000 books (we’ll know if it looks right when we see it), this includes five boxes of “Reference” materials many of which were autographed by the authors;
• Our custom made “OWS library stamps;”
• 5 (4?) laptop computers;
• Our wifi device;
• miscellaneous paper supplies;
• A round portable table;
• a rectangular portable table;
• 6 metal shelves (five of which had been set up in two pieces);
• three sets of wooden drawers;
• a periodicals spinning rack;
• Approximately 60 plastic tubs/bins of varying sizes (most small, but several big);
• archival materials;
• posters (including many original posters created by OWS participants);
• two lamps;
• four solar lights;
• 7 (or so) chairs;
• a wooden dinner table;
• periodicals/newspapers/zines (not counted in our book total);
• our awesome tent; [donated by Patti Smith]
• signage;
• personal belongings of librarian

We are also still missing two Librarians! Two young men, Scales and Charlie, are still in the system and we’d like them back please Mr. Bloomberg. These brave librarians have been tireless volunteers and went down with the Library on Monday night. Release them so that they can get back to work serving the information and literary needs of the 99%.

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Filed under Announcements, Emergency Actions, Mandy

Special Comment – Mayor Bloomberg

“Who else but a human platitude like Bloomberg could have just gotten back from Jerusalem and the dedication of a ten million dollar medical facility, for which he generously paid, and then enable the image of policeman seizing fifty-five hundred books from the Occupy Wall Street Library and throwing them in a dumpster as if the cops were book burners?”

4 Comments

Filed under Media, Michael