Category Archives: Announcements

OWS Poetry Anthology Week 8 Update!


Week 8 has been added to the OWS Poetry Anthology! About another 115 pages added… Keep writing poems! Keep sending poems! The anthology will soon be begin enough to crush Wall St. with it’s ever powerful poetic force and then the people of Liberty Plaza can take back their park!

Send poems to stephenjboyer@gmail (DOT) com.

All poems welcome!

All languages welcome!

Find out everything you need to know and the anthology here!

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Weekly Working Group Meeting 12/4

Hello good friends of The People’s Library! This week our library working group meeting will be held at the atrium at 60 Wall St on Sunday, December 4 at 6:00PM. Please come and join us to discuss our action plans for the week, and our long-term goals for the future . We look forward to seeing all of your bright and supportive faces then. Peace!

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Thanksgiving At Occupy Tampa by Bill Livsey

The night before Thanksgiving at Occupy Tampa a generous amount of food was donated by a local church group. This included bags of sandwiches, several trays of pasta and drinks. When the Tampa Police Department came to play their nightly cat and mouse game where they threaten to confiscate anything that is touching the ground–they took all the food–boxes of literature that was used on the info table–and crates filled with books that were part of the Occupy Tampa Library. The crates were forcefully snatched and thrown in the back of a truck for sanitatuion disposal. When one Occupy Tampa member attemted to retrieve a crate of books–he was thrown to the ground—arrested –and taken to jail.

Just prior to all of this–another Occupy Tampa member was jailed for trespassing in Curtis Hixon park. He was clearly targeted as an occupier because 50 people were in the amphitheatre in the park participating in a musical open mic—and he was the ONLY one arrested.

The nighttime harrassment by the police is non stop and an effort to cause sleep deprivation. They mock us—laugh at us–and shine bright lights in our faces. Their behaviour is much like a schoolyard bully!

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Macy’s at Midnight

Last night, Charlie and I, were the only librarians left at night near Liberty Plaza. Word had been going around of “Occupy Macy’s,” in which the occupiers would go and chant, until we are allowed in the store with the rest of the crowd, at which point we would enter, shop, and just leave our filled shopping carts in the middle of the store. There were few of us, and we knew that we would not be let in. But that did not stop us from giving out books to the crowd as they waited. We soon caught up with Reverend Billy from the church of stop shopping. At first he just passed us by, but we ran into him when the Security Guard that caught him preaching was kicking him out. “Don’t buy it, Occupy it!” So in honor of our first Buy Nothing Day as a library, happy Buy Nothing Day! Here’s Reverend Billy standing on our mobile books crate, from the knee down, spreading the love.

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PEOPLE’S LIBRARY IN ACTION: FREE BOOKS!

PEOPLE’S LIBRARY 3.0 MOBILE AND IN THE STREETS!

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Press Conference on Library Destruction: Full Video



Video streaming by Ustream

Full video of the press conference as recorded by The Other 99 Ustream. The conference starts at about 15 minutes in.

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People’s Library Demands Accountability from the Bloomberg Administration

The People’s Library: CALL TO ACTION

Contact Mayor Bloomberg and ask him to respond to our three demands: 1. Replace every missing/damaged book, 2. Acknowledge that a wrong was committed and that this can never happen again, 3. A space to recreate the library. You can call 311 or 212-639-9675 from outside NYC, or email him here: www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

Today’s Press Conference

The People’s Library called on the Bloomberg Administration to accept responsibility for the destruction of the library today in a press conference with civil rights attorney Norman Seigel, Gideon Oliver of the National Lawyers Guild, and Hawa Allan a Fellow at Columbia Law School. The Library is calling on the Bloomberg Administration to replace the both the library and the 80% of the books that were destroyed.

Seated alongside the librarians at a table covered in books damaged during the raid, Seigel said:

“The Bloomberg Administration needs to replace every book missing or damaged — not usable. Together about 3,161 books. We have the titles and authors.
The Bloomberg Administration needs to acknowledge that a wrong was committed and that this can never happen again.
We need a space to recreate the people’s library.”

Official Press Release will follow.

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Your Library Today

The People's Library in Liberty Plaza, 11/19

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Destruction of the People’s Library

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OWS Poetry Anthology Update

The OWS Poetry Anthology PDF file has been updated today! It first went online a couple days ago, the original file didn’t include everything that was in the binder at the People’s Library but it was a sizeable chunk of poems and a great start! Anyway, I’ll be updating it as frequently as I can find time, once or twice a week. Normally I update it every Tuesday or Wednesday. If you’d like to help with that process simply email me and we can figure out a way of including you. Today I also added a new section to the PDF, at the beginning of the document – POETIC INTRODUCTIONS! Basically this section allows for you to write an introduction for the anthology, and it’s open to everyone as anyone is able to become part of this anthology. The idea comes from Danny who sent an introduction for the anthology this past week.

All poems are welcome to be added to the anthology. If you would be so kind as to send poems in the following format (size 12, TIMES font):

TITLE (bold)
by, Author (normal)
for JOE JOHN (italics)
SOMEWHERE, FARAWAY (italics)

BODY OF POEM (your unique vision!)

Here’s an example from a submission from this past week:

THIRST
By, John Siddique 2011
From ‘Full Blood’ (Salt Publishing)
United Kingdom

Imagine thirst without knowing water.
And you ask me what freedom means.
Imagine love without love.

Some things are unthinkable,
until one day the unthinkable is here.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.

Some things we assume just are as they are,
no action is taken to make or sustain them.
Imagine love without love.

It is fear that eats the heart: fear and
endless talk, and not risking a step.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.

Fold away your beautiful thoughts.
Talk away curiosity, chatter away truth.
Imagine love without love.

Imagine believing in the whispers,
the screams and the gossip. Dancing to a tune
with no song to sing inside you.
Imagine love without love.

The OWS Poetry Anthology is open to all languages! Every week more and more languages are added to the anthology as more and more poets from around the world are joining in to make this text more nuanced. I’m very sorry, I’m limited to English so please pass this on in other languages if you possess such magickal abilities. No poem will be translated as that creates a heirachy of language. However, if the poet who sends in a poems wishes to include the poem in more than one language, all the versions will be added. Here’s an example:

Figli della disobbedienza
Alessandra Bava © 2011

Come Thoreau
credo che le cose
non cambino, ma che
noi possiamo e dobbiamo

cambiare Con superbo furore,
lottiamo liminalmente,
perifericamente,
deliberatamente.

L’Armata Voce
ci anima,
ci unisce,
ci riunisce.

Presidiamo arsenali
di poesia e non
temiamo di esporci
alla gogna: parole, nuda

carne fremente,
ossa, grondanti versi,
denti affondati in
viscere di senso

e di dissenso.
Mani e i fianchi
immersi nel sangue
della verità

pronti a generare
molteplici fogli– pronti
a generare molteplici figli
– della DISOBBEDIENZA.

Sons of Disobedience
by Alessandra Bava © 2011

Like Thoreau
I believe that things
don’t change, but that
we can and must

change. With superb fury,
we fight liminally,
peripherically,
deliberately.

The Armed Voice
inspires us,
unites us,
re-unites us.

We garrison arsenals
of poetry and we fear
not to be taken to the
stocks: words, naked

craving flesh,
bones, dripping
lines, teeth sunk in
bowels of sense

and dissent.
Hands and hips
drowned in truth’s
blood

ready to give birth
to several leaves — ready
to give birth to several
sons—of DISOBEDIENCE.

All poems for the anthology can be sent to stephenjboyer (@) gmail (dot) com

And for those of you too lazy to go to the OWS Poetry Anthology publication page, well… here’s the file:

OWS POETRY ANTHOLOGY

If you aren’t in the NYC area and you’re planning on printing the PDF to place a copy of it in your area, the first sketch page is the cover of the anthology. The wonderful artist Molly Crabapple did the sketch. I write in sharpie marker “OCCUPY WALL ST POETRY ANTHOLOGY” around the figures head and usually include a thought bubble that says, “I Love Poetry” somewhere in the margins… I’d recommend doing something similar and that you laminate it for safe keeping. And then you can three-hole punch the entire document and put rings in it for easy-reading!

Let’s spread these anthologies everywhere!

Oh! And tonight, as with every Friday night, is the Poetry Assembly at Liberty Plaza! Starts around 9:30 pm. Come and share your poems!

ENJOY!

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Common Cause Calls on Bloomberg to “Open Your Wallet” to Replace Books

The “nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization” Common Cause has released a statement calling on Mayor Bloomberg to “Open your wallet Mayor Bloomberg, it’s time to buy some books.”

The president of Common Cause Bob Edgar:

“To the extent that the books lost can be accounted for, the city should replace each title, buying two new copies for each one destroyed,” [he continued]  “And for whatever number is unaccounted for, the city should provide Occupy’s librarians with funds sufficient to buy twice as many.”

The press release continues:

“Indeed, an attack on books is an attack on rights protected by the First Amendment. People who would ransack and trash a library or a book collection put themselves on the moral level of book-burners. Their actions are intolerable.”

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Occupying Walt Disney World

So last week I was in Florida with my mother. Yes, on purpose. It was a planned excursion to Disney World because my mother loves Disney World, and I love my mother, and I have a strict rule about never turning down free vacations.
So there I was happily occupying the Magic Kingdom while receiving updates from my fellow librarians at The People’s Library. The day I left I received the message, “Crosby and Nash at OWS at 3PM today. Spread the word,” which caused me to shout multiple obscenities in the presence of both my mother and her GPS. Then a couple of days later I read about the concert by Joan Baez, who is nothing short of a goddess to me, and had to suppress the urge to hurl myself mournfully from atop the flying Dumbo ride.
When the much anticipated tent that Patti Smith had gifted to us arrived I was occupying Epcot. I got the text, “Fort Smith is in the house,” as well as the message, “You’re going to love the new and organized library!” My librarian friends knew then and now that I am a bit of a maniac when it comes to organization. So Florida Shmorida! I was so excited by all that was happening at OWS I began counting the days until I could return to the park and see the new and improved People’s Library. I got back to my place in Brooklyn late on Monday night. Then I awoke Tuesday morning to a dozen text messages and the rest you know as front page news.
So I missed Crosby and Nash. I missed Joan Baez. And I never got to see the great and glorious Fort Smith in person. I did however manage to represent OWS at the happiest place on Earth. Check out my subversive Disney photo action! Pretty bad ass, right?
So the lesson here I suppose is that nothing good has ever come out of Florida. No, maybe that’s not it. The lesson is probably don’t ever leave town. Or perhaps the lesson is the Woodstock reunion concerts will always begin at week seven? Okay, I have no lessons. I really just wanted to post my Occupy Disney World photos. You are so welcome.

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ALA President calls dissolution of People’s Library “Unacceptable”

The ALA has released a statement expressing “alarm” at the seizure of the People’s Library.

The statement reads, in part:

“The American Library Association deplores the destruction of libraries, library collections and property, and the disruption of the educational purpose by that act, whether it be done by individuals or groups of individuals and whether it be in the name of honest dissent, the desire to control or limit thought or ideas, or for any other purpose.”

ALA’s president, Molly Raphael, adds:

“The very existence of the People’s Library demonstrates that libraries are an organic part of all communities. Libraries serve the needs of community members and preserve the record of community history.  In the case of the People’s Library, this included irreplaceable records and material related to the occupation movement and the temporary community that it represented.”

She states further that:

“We support the librarians and volunteers of the Library Working Group as they re-establish the People’s Library.”

The Library Working Group deeply appreciates the support of the ALA and all other bibliophiles who have stood by us.

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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

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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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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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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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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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And where is the rest of it?

The Mayor’s Office claims our books are safe and offers this pic as proof

We’re glad to see some books are OK. Now, where are the rest of the books and our shelter and our boxes? Nice try guys, but we won’t be convinced until we actually have all our undamaged property returned to us.

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Life in the Big City

Wake up:

made by Laura Kolnick

morning sirens and random kicks against tent
tourists shuffling through Bloombergville
shapeless figures in sleeping-bags sprawled in Manhattan flowerbeds
smile at the trees
leaves, autumn
city noises
get coffee from kitchen, eat hardened bagel with peanut butter
open People’s Library
get interviewed by Czech TV
shelve newly donated books, catalogued and stamped by Librarian Comrades
talk to grade five class about egalitarian economics
get interviewed by NY1
go to storage and open boxes from publisher
share excitement with fellow librarians
order lunch from kitchen via text
mic check over lower Manhattan cacophony
introduce famous author who addresses the forgathered crowd
eat lunch while listening
go on Internet and thank publisher for donation (ask for more books)
go to facilitation meeting on Wall Street. (read Semiotext(e) volume in route)
listen to fellow occupiers
talk with Direct Action
return to OWS and attend General Assembly
help get $7000.00 for Occupy Edmonton
eat cold supper that somehow apparates in hand
answer questions about library
talk with Sustainability about solar power
talk with MIT geniuses who are building bicycle powered batteries
visit the tree of life
reflect
facilitate Poetry Assembly
go to Tomato Cafe for coffee and toilet
tidy up Library
think about going to bed
watch NYPD erect flood lights over Liberty Plaza
see riot cops and media form up by hundreds
hear White-shirts shout nonsense into bullhorns
prepare for raid
write phone number for legal aid on your forearm with Sharpie
hug people
debate outcome
consider possibility of being deported from USA
gather what important books you see
overturn Library stacks
hang head and sulk passed waves of police
weep for friends remaining at Occupation
threatening truncheons move you away from Plaza
cameras can not record brutality within Occupation
stash books in friendly apartment
return to streets
help people who have been pepper sprayed
create art in the spirit of the Situationists
watch livestream of friends soft-locking Occupation
watch garbage trucks haul away your home, your life, 3500 books
sunrise
march to site of new Occupation
hear interfaith speakers of Solidarity
watch as fellow occupiers get arrested
return to Liberty Plaza
clutch The Coming Insurrection
march
prepare
Occupy mind
Occupy thought
Occupy Life

Love and Solidarity

Sean C. Allingham

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