Tag Archives: nypd

Lawsuit Update

Whoops!

So, we here at the Library have been sitting on this for a while, but the cat’s out of the bag now, thanks to the Village Voice.  In short, the city and Brookfield (owners of Zuccotti/Liberty) are pointing fingers and loudly yelling, “nuhuh!”

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Filed under 11/15 Eviction, Announcements, Brookfield, Jaime, Lawsuit, LOL, Public/Private Parks

Media Alert for Library Press Event/Lawsuit: THURSDAY, MAY 24, 11:00 AM

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2012

Press Contact: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444

For this action only: William Scott, 412-390-6510

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street Librarians to file Federal Court lawsuit against Bloomberg, the City of New York and NYPD — legal effort to uncover November 15 raid details.

New York–A lawsuit will be filed tomorrow, May 24, in Manhattan Federal Court seeking redress for the destruction of books, materials and equipment from the popular and respected People’s Library of Occupy Wall Street (OWS). NYPD raided and forcibly evicted Occupy Wall Street, including the People’s Library, from its Liberty Square camp (also known as Zuccotti Park) on November 15, 2011. The middle-of-the night raid, by members of the NYPD and other city agencies, was authorized by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Journalists were prevented from witnessing the attack; some were arrested. The raid struck not only at Constitutional rights but at a fundamental tool of enlightenment – thousands of library books and materials were destroyed.

What: Federal Court lawsuit filing, press availability with OWS Librarians and lawyers. Copies of the complaint will be available.

When: Thursday, May 24, at 11:00 AM

Where: United States District Court (Manhattan Federal Court), Manhattan. Press availability OUTSIDE — directly across the street from the 200 Worth entrance, on the sidewalk in front of Columbus Park

Who: Occupy Wall Street Librarians from the People’s Library, lawsuit attorneys Norman Siegel and Herbert Teitelbaum of Siegel, Teitelbaum & Evans.

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%. For more info, visit www.occupywallst.org and www.nycga.net

# # #

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Filed under 11/15 Eviction, Announcements, Betsy, Cops, Media

May Day General Strike Info Round-Up

Tomorrow!  I can barely contain myself.  In the meantime, here’s DA Mom’s round-up of important information for tomorrow’s actions in New York City.

The May Day NYC website has a schedule of events, list of participating organizations, links to other locations’ actions, and other useful tidbits.

If you use Twitter, some of the hashtags to follow will be #MayDay, #M1NYC, #M1GS, #GeneralStrike, #99PKTS, #May1, #OWS, #MTA, #NYPD, #NYC.  Tweeters who usually have good info include @OWSTactical, @DiceyTroop, @sabokitty, @OccupySteve, @_girlalex, @OWSBC, @PoweredByCats, @occutine, @TimCast, @OccupyWallSt, @OccupyWallStNYC.  Your dear librarians tweet, as always, from @OWSLibrary.

Streamers work from two places, UStream and LiveStream.  On UStream, try stopmotionsolo, pinkladies, timcast, occupiedair, or owsnyclive.  On LiveStream, try owshdtv.

If that’s not enough media for you, there’s also May Day Radio and Media For the 99%.

Enough of that.  On to dressing and packing!  It’s going to be a long day, the weather might not be great, there’s going to be a lot of long walks, and the cops are going to be heavy-handed.   That said, some of your decisions can be made based on your risk level; if you’ll be in green zones all day you might dress differently than if you’ll be going red.  A longer check-list is here.  My advice:

  • Comfy, sturdy, water-proof or -resistant shoes, such as hiking boots.
  • Full-length pants.
  • A couple upper-body layers that are breathable & will still keep you warm if damp.  I’ll be wearing light wool.
  • It might rain in the morning, consider a light rain coat that can be stuffed in a bag when the weather clears.
  • If you have the space, carry some clothes that allow you to khaki-flage or go civilian.  Or, dress that way in the first place.  For example, I might pack a blouse and a pair of loafers, and wear corduroys instead of jeans.  That way I can look “normal” in a rush-hour crowd or look business-casual if I end up doing jail support later in the day.
  • Do not bring anything that you aren’t ok with loosing.
  • Do not wear contact lenses.  Really.
  • Don’t wear earrings, necklaces, etc. that could be grabbed and ripped off.
  • Don’t wear makeup or put on lotion — pepper spray sticks to it.
  • Wear long hair so that it can’t easily be grabbed, such as in a bun.
  • Smaller bags, worn close to the body, are better.  Harder to grab, and lighter.
  • Water and calorie-dense snacks (Clif Bars, nuts, dried fruit, pastries).
  • If you expect to be in yellow or red zones, consider a couple bandanas (mind the masking laws!), leather work gloves, air-tight goggles.  Some of this stuff is really specific to the kinds of less-than-lethal weapons your local police force likes to use; for example, tear gas canisters are hot, so you need gloves to throw them back handle them, but aren’t a thing we’ve seen NYPD use.  [By the way, canisters are easily dealt with by either putting a bucket over them or submersing them in water. Just saying.]
  • Cell phone & camera.  Bring an extra battery and charging cables.
  • Carry a valid government-issued ID, if you have one.  You don’t legally have to, but you might get out of jail faster.
  • DO NOT bring anything that can incriminate you or people connected to you.  Weapons, drugs you don’t have a prescription for (bring a doctor’s note or prescription if you have legal drugs), your address book, etc.  Delete interesting photos from your phone or camera.  If you are arrested the cops will go through all your stuff very carefully.

There’re a few important phone numbers.  These are New York City specific.  The National Lawyers Guild (those are the folks in the green hats) is 212-679-6018.  Jail Support Coordination is 774-257-4697.  Medic dispatch is 917-727-8621.  If you  haven’t already committed the NLG number to memory, write it on yourself in Sharpie, somewhere that clothes and sweat won’t rub it off. I go with the inside of my calf.  Especially if you will be in red zones, also consider writing an emergency contact number and medical info (blood type, allergies, etc) on your body, in case you get the shit beaten out of you.  If you witness arrests, or are arrested yourself, call the NLG to report it.  Try to get arrestees’ names, so that we can find them later at precincts and central booking.  If not, give a good description, or at the very least a head-count.  If someone near you is injured, yell “medic!” as loud as you can.

Lastly, we know that the cops are mostly a bunch of jerks who don’t like to uphold the law when it’s inconvenient to do so.  Which means, while there are laws about where we can be and what we can do, it doesn’t mean we won’t be arrested for trying to do those supposedly legal things.  Signs, standing on the sidewalk, running, dancing, saying mean things, et fucking cetera, have all gotten folks arrested lately.  That said, there are some things you can do to decrease your chance of arrest, or at least give yourself a stronger case in court.

Know your rights!  The NY Civil Liberties Union has a lot of information, but I’ll also sum it up for you.  As we said at summer camp, this is a repeat-after-me song; as you read this paragraph, repeat the things you might have to say a few times out loud.  If police stop you, ask, “Am I free to go?”  If they say yes, leave; if they say no, ask “Am I being detained?”  If they say no, leave; if they say yes, holler for legal and media.   If cops try to search you, say, “I do not consent to this search.”  They’ll probably still search you, but anything they find may not then be admissible in court.  Of course, if they have a warrant, they can search you and it’ll be admissible, no matter what you say; in that case, demand to see the warrant, don’t let them bullshit you.  This also applies if cops show up at your door.  Do not let them in — don’t even open the door! — unless they show you a warrant with all the correct information on it.  Other than the above, the only other thing you should ever say to a cop (or other law enforcement agent) is “I am going to remain silent; I would like to speak to a lawyer.”  You can (and probably should) give them you name and address, but after that, shut up.  Really, anything you say can and will be used against you, so zip it!  As Safer Spaces said at GA on my first day at the occupation: rule number one, don’t talk to cops, rule number two, don’t talk to cops!  You are allowed to video the cops, including any interactions you have with them.  They won’t like it, but it’s legal and good idea.

A short word on horses — the NYPD likes to bring them out for crowd control on big action days.  We may see some tomorrow.  Horses are naturally disinclined to step on people, though some of that gets trained out of police mounts.  So, if you’ve got some coming at you, and you can’t get out of the way, make yourself compact, cover your head, keep your limbs tucked in, and stay still.

 

So, I’ll see y’all in the morning.  I plan to eat a good dinner, polish my boots, kiss one of my menfolk, and go to bed early.  We’ve a long day ahead of us.

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Filed under #M1GS, Announcements, Cops, Direct Action, Free Speech, Jaime, NLG, Party time!, Radical Reference, Solidarity

This is a Thing

Last fall, Edward Winski replaced Tony Bologna as head of downtown state-sanctioned Occupation harassment.  He’s been a pox upon our house tent.

And, despite the opinions of the “get a job!” hecklers, we have a lot of well-read, creative, hardworking folks in the Occupation.  Which means that things like this happen:

Lyrics are here, for those who can’t hear it.

I appreciate stuff like this much more than I do, say, doxing him, which is also a thing that happened.  Though, turns out that he writes his Amazon reviews in all caps with no punctuation, which makes my librarian heart cry.

[ETA: Further, if anyone even tries to give the video's makers a hard time about copyright, you'll be facing the wrath of a bunch of folks who really know what they're talking about, so maybe you shouldn't even try.  Just sayin'.]

[Additional ETA: I've since learned that one of our more fabulous librarians was in on the creation of this gem!  Clearly, one should not fuck with librarians.]

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Filed under Art, Cops, Jaime, Media, Music, Video

And then the NYPD did what they know how to do…

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Filed under Announcements

The Sad Story of Five Imprisoned Children’s Books

On Tuesday, January 24th about 20 people met at the Red Cube down by Liberty Plaza to march in solidarity with the People’s Library to One Police Plaza to retrieve five children’s books (a few of which were Spanish-English language books) the NYPD took from librarians back in the beginning of December. Many of us thought the trek would probably take a while due to police bureaucracy but none of us for once thought we’d walk away empty handed. After all we had the receipts. And we had one of the “unidentified white male” librarians (me) that were in the park that evening and are in the park on a regular basis. Long story short, we went to One Police Plaza, I was the only person allowed into the building as I was the one with the receipt. My fellow occupier cohorts were lucky to have stayed behind, as the NYPD took my photo using facial recognition software upon entering the building, they made copies of my ID, they radioed to officers throughout the building, “WARNING: THERE IS AN OCCUPIER ENTERING THE BUILDING.” At every turn officers commanded me to stop, then allowed me to continue on my journey, an eerie continual reminder that I was being watched and I was in the heart of the police state.

Finally I made it to the bottom of One Police Plaza and waited to meet the clerk working the Reclaim Property desk. Once I finally presented my papers, the clerk explained the computer was slow as molasses and I should expect to wait awhile. Eight minutes later the clerk looked up and asked me who the books belonged to.
They’re everybody’s… I mean they’re mine,” I replied…. the clerk explained that the cases information had popped up! Then glared as she told me I couldn’t take the books, “since you have the invoice receipts, it suggests the books probably do belong to you, but because the officer wrote on the paperwork ‘unidentified white male’ we can’t give them to you. We just want to make sure the books go to the right person.” –Oh I understood!

“But”, I retorted, “I’ve been heavily involved with the People’s Library. It’s really easy to prove this fact…”

The clerk looked up and gave me a long stern look before further explaining, “We just want to make sure the books get to the rightful owner. This invoice suggests the books were left on the bench and that they don’t necessarily belong to anybody. Let me tell you what I’m going to do… I’m going to contact the officer that collected the books and we will send him a copy of your ID and if he indeed validates your claim, you can collect the books, okay.”

From behind the clerk I heard a loud cackle, and then a detective appeared and exclaimed in a heavy Brooklyn accent, “Like an NYPD Officer is going to remember someone’s face!”

As oddly and quickly as the detective appeared, they disappeared. The clerk acted like nothing happened, smiled and asked for my ID. I presented my ID, realizing this was the third time during the trip NYPD recorded my information. Once my information was AGAIN collected, the clerk gave me the officers contact information, suggested I too try to contact the officer, she explained the officer was from the Bron, the NYPD has been deploying officers from every Borough to watch the park, then again she gave me a long cold look as she handed me back the paperwork.

On 12/05/2011 at 10:44pm The NYPD gave a librarian the invoice for the five children’s books seized:
“AT TPO UNK MALE WHITE DID PLACE THESE BOOKS ON A PARK BENCH I/O OF ZUCOTTI PARK AND REFUSED TO PICK THEM UP. THE ABOVE ITEMS ARE BEING VOUCHERED FOR SAFEKEEPING.”

What actually happened?

A few of our librarians were in the park that evening with a handful of books with them. By the beginning of December, the People’s Library librarians understood loud and clear that NYPD and Brookfield Security did not want to see books in the park. Two days after the park was violently raided and everything was cleared out, fifteen officers came and took away around 200 copies of books that people had brought into the park in solidarity. Every day after that, Brookfield Security and NYPD changed their story, one day they’d let us bring in carts of books, the next day they’d let us set up on the bench, the next day no books would be permitted, the next day we could put books on the tables, a vicious continuum of police state brutality. Instead of NYPD officers ever acting supportive of our attempts to give out free books, they continually used fear tactics and changed their story making it impossible for us to ever feel safe (when that is supposed to be the reason our tax payer dollars ensure they’re able to support their families). So on December 5th, a few of the OWS librarians were in the park with a small collection of books, 5 children books were on the bench that used to house The People’s Library. Officers approached a librarian and threatened arrest and the removal of the books. When the librarian backed off, the officer took the books. An hour later officers approached librarians that were in the park and delivered us the invoice to retrieve the books.

Currently I’m working on validating myself to the NYPD so I can get these books back. Either I will be validated and they’ll give me back the books or we’re going to need to gather a large crowd and go cause a big scene in front of One Police Plaza.

This is America. Books must never be imprisoned! You can watch the action on Jan. 24th, 2012 to get the books back on this livestream link.

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Filed under Announcements, Cops, Direct Action

Mic Check: NYPD Refusing Protesters The Right To Speech!

On January 3 2012, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators assembled at Grand Central Station, spreading the word about NDAA. NYPD arrested anyone that stood up and Mic Checked the crowd.

RIP First Amendment 1791 – 2011

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Filed under Announcements, Video

Happy 2012: You Are Not Alone!!!

It’s 2012!!! And an alien space ship didn’t whisk us all away! That means we got to be extra on point since it looks probable that we’re going to be staying here awhile. The energy in and around Zuccotti Park, New Years Eve was incredible! Responsible parents started the evening by setting up a small tent for their kids to hang out in while the parents exercised their right to assemble in Liberty Plaza and NYPD was not okay with it!

After the tent fiasco – I went with a group to 1 Police Plaza and we all mic checked the people behind bars. We all blew horns and chanted different chants outside the prison so the prisoner’s would know OWS was fighting for them. It was definitely the highlight of the night. I was so overwhelmed I had to sit down…

Here’s the library occupying outside 1 Police Plaza…

Here’s some video of what the event looked like (video by Mickey Z):

After hanging outside the jails for awhile, Homeland Security showed up and shortly after that we started marching around ChinaTown. The cops caught up with us a few blocks into the march, and since I had the People’s Library on my back, I realized I needed to stop marching and get the books to Liberty Square. By the time I got back to the park, it was about 10:30pm and everyone had started taking the barricades down. I set up the library….

Immediately a couple people were brought nearby the library to be treated for pepper spray wounds. I began prepping myself for a scary/violent night as the crowd seemingly started to panic and for a moment I thought everyone was going to explode. But surprisingly the cops backed off from about 11:30-1:15am. They let us revel in our newly erected Barricade Mountain.. And it felt good for us to have a moment of victory.

Sometime after 1:15 most of the crowd left on a march up to the Lower East Side. After the majority of people left the park, NYPD came in full force.

At the end of the night there were hundreds of cops surrounding the park and only a hand full of demonstrators inside. A few demonstrators were arrested for refusing to leave barricade mountain. My night ended when this guy demanded, “Everyone out of the park! The park is now closed!”

We need to remember, it’s not about taking the park! OWS is about changing America! Occupying every aspect of our lives. So that 2012 can be a year for everyone. We need to end poverty. End the Prisoner Society. We can make a better future for everyone. Let’s remember that the OWS movement was started to change America, to change the whole world, to restructure what we conceive the human experience to be, we’re out here to elevate consciousness -not take back a park- as we press forward into 2012. America is not broke, the wealth is just being hoarded. It’s time we reclaim the resources of the world and give them back to everyone.

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Filed under Time Travel

OWS In Solidary with the Shutting Down of West Coast Ports + Police Brutality

On 12/12/2011 at the Winter Garden Atrium, a “public” space inside the World Financial Center along West St. in Downtown New York; Occupy Wall Street Demonstrators enjoyed a day of action in solidarity with the shutting down of West Coast Ports. The merry-makers danced in a circle in the winter garden, as they danced arm-in-arm they chanted, “All Day! All Week! Occupy Wall Street” and “Occupy! Shut it down! New York is a People’s Town!” Demonstrators banged drums and waved umbrellas overhead as they celebrated their free human spirits. And true to form, the NYPD just couldn’t bear to see such a wonderful band of merry makers and came to shut them down with violent force.

Part 2: Show’s the wrath of NYPD… Watch as peaceful demonstrators are arrested and forced out of their demonstration. NYPD and Homeland Security were behind the forceful end of this demonstration. It’s appalling to think that in the United States of America in 2011 such force is used against people demonstrating their given right of FREE SPEECH. A demonstrator overheard one officer announce to another, “It’s time to chain ‘em up!” And an African-American Officer called an African-American demonstrator a “nigger”. Meanwhile, the United States of America is enforcing wars across the globe.

So tell me? Who’s the bull(y)?

The next day, 12/13/2011, a group of us (extremely elated by the daring and beautiful shut down of West Coast Ports) met for a day of action to honor our West Coast family. The NYPD were pissed to see us in our streets again. We went to Wall Street – Our Street and engaged in a day of “practice”… we chanted “this is just practice” as we marched onto Wall St – Our St to hold a G.A. and “practice” demonstrating. We danced up and down Wall St – Our St and we sung songs of protest and we threw up up-sparkles and we giggled and we ran full speed at barricades stopping just before we collided into the metal we’ve grown so familiar with, we chanted “GET THOSE ANIMALS OFF THOSE HORSES” at the cops on horseback and we basked in the radiate glow of one another… it was fun!

Photo is of us holding a moment of silence on behalf of all those that have suffered police brutality.

We played “Red Rover” on Wall St – Our St as it’s an American classic and demonstrates the power of locking arms, an important tactic demonstrators often use when engaged with police brutality.

After awhile on Wall St – Our St we decided to go to 1 Police Plaza to welcome our family members that had been arrested at the previous days action. As we hit Broadway, the cops showed up on motorcyles… At every march I’ve been on, I’ve been hit by police officers on motorcycles. I don’t know who raised these jerks, but NYPD motorcycle cops believe it’s okay to hit people with their motorcycles…

As they chased us up Broadway our group began to run… and we ran faster and faster…

The cops chased us into City Hall Park… They followed us on their motorcycles as we ran into City Hall Park…. Please keep in mind, we are a group of twenty people that were walking up the street. The only thing that separates us from anyone else is that we’ve been targeted because we are loud about our politics. Besides being a bit noisy, we were doing nothing illegal. The park was full of unaware bystanders. NYPD is extremely lucky they didn’t sideswipe a kid… I watched in shock as they sped through the park….

And was even more dumbfounded when they sped out of the park and up the sidewalk… an old man shouted, “Are there terrorists? I just see kids! What in the hell are they doing?!”

Eventually the cops jumped off bikes and tackled two demonstrators. Both were beat up pretty badly. They threw them to the ground and punched them, slammed them into the concrete.

Other officers created a “human wall” in an attempt to block press and all photographs of their brutality. The use of a “human wall” is becoming an increasingly common tactic. Expect to see it whenever NYPD is enacting police brutality. It’s so people cant take photos. These aren’t police officers these are abusive thugs that must be dis-empowered

As the violence winds down, the demonstrators scattered… Five police vans, a group of police cars, and an army of officers came seemingly out of nowhere and scour the streets, seemingly searching for specific members of the group of demonstrators. Notice the zip-ties officers wear on their belts. It’s so they can quickly and more-often-than-not very painfully arrest demonstrators.

This is a photo of one of the two people that were jumped by NYPD. The other demonstrator was arrested. She wasn’t arrested. But she received a concussion.

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Filed under Direct Action, Public/Private Parks, Solidarity