Mayor Bloomberg: I watched on live stream as the dark-suited police officers raided the Occupy wall street encampment in the middle of the night last week. I was sickened by the officers’ obvious disrespect for the campers and their possessions, but was especially appalled by their careless treatment of the large collection of valuable and neatly organized books and computers that comprised the Peoples’ Library. There was no excuse for that type of behavior, other than the police were purposely making a statement that they have no respect for anything about the Occupy encampment and its beliefs. It would have been so much simpler to have given the protesters a 24-hour notice, then go in calmly and assist them in the packing and removal of tents, books, and food service equipment. By doing it in a calm, organized manner the police would have maintained the respect of the occupiers, rather than spurring them on to further action, and at the same time the tents, books, and other valuable equipments would not have been ruined. I think you need to face the fact that the Occupy movement is here to stay, that it is needed and supported by a huge number of Americans, and that vicious attempts to squelch it will serve only to spread it all over the city, the country and the world.
You are in some dubious company.
You have joined the ranks of individuals and groups responsible for the destruction of famous libraries throughout recorded history. Men like Al-Mansur Ibn and Abi Aamir, who destroyed science books in the library of al-Hakam II around the year 976, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, who burned down the Library of Rayy in 1029. You are now among groups like of the invading Oghuz Turks, who sacked and burned the Library of Nishapur in 1154, Bakhtiyar Khilji, who wiped out most of the Buddhist knowledge that existed in the world in 1193 when he ordered the destruction of the Nalanda University Library. Your actions echo those of the Knights of the 4th Crusade when they burned the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
How does it feel to have the same place in history as the Mongol Invaders who flung the books of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad into the Tigris, which is said to have run black with ink, in 1258? We can now compare you to the Grand Inquisitor Cardinal Cisneros, whose troops burned the books of the Madrassah Library in a public ceremony in 1499.
We should not forget that your actions are similar to the actions of German occupation troops, who burned the Library of the Catholic University of Leuven to the ground in August of 1914, and the National Socialist German Students; League, who burned the resources of the Institute of Sex Research in public in 1933.
You have ordered actions similar to those carried out by Japanese troops between 1937 and 1945, when they destroyed the libraries of most of the major universities in China. You are responsible for ordering actions that are like those carried out by German Occupation Troops in Belgium in 1940 when they destroyed the Library of the Catholic University of Leuven. What are your concerns about being grouped with the Nazi Luftwaffe, who destroyed the National Library of Serbia by bombing in 1941? Nazis burning the Zaluski Library in Warsaw?
Another group that has been in the news lately are the surviving members of the Khmer Rouge, who destroyed most of the books and all the bibliographical records of the National Library of Cambodia between 1976 and 1979, when they were also busy with other activities you might want to read about.
We will skip a few of your ilk, like the Bosnian Serb Army, Georgian Army, and Sri Lankan Police, and focus on the Taliban who destroyed the Pol—Khomri Public Library in Afghanistan.
It is not too late to do something about your new status as attempted library destroyer. This should not be your legacy. You should now show yourself to be a champion of libraries by restoring the library to its former status. You should also consider advancing the People’s Library, as many Americans have chosen to do through their time, donations, and goodwill. We supporters have supported the People’s library according to our means. I invite you to do the same.
List of libraries retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_destroyed_libraries,_archives_and_museums
This was a blatant act of aggression and thuggery. It also showed another act by the city of New York to repress ideas and the citizens to address their grivences against a system that is corrupt that is morally and ethically bankrupt. I ask how much money does a individual need to have to be happy? Michael Bloomberg and all his buddies will never be able to spend all the money they have amassed in their life time. They must be at heart very cruel and very small, if that is what they need to feel powerful. What they have done to hang on to their material wealth should bring shame on them. I encourage all to Occupy your local small business’s and retail stores and starve the beast.
Please put right this terrible wrong.
Mr. Mayor: Please replace all books damaged and/or destroyed by your troops when they attacked the Occupy Wall Street’s Peoples Library at Liberty Park, formerly known as Zuccotti Park. Books are speech. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the right of assembly and peaceful protest. Your storm troopers illegally destroyed the protesters’ freedom of speech and right to assembly. Acknowledgement of the infringement of our rights and this crime, and restitution (by way of an apology and replacement of the books) is requested at the earliest possible date. As one of the top 1% wealthiest Americans, it would go far to absolve your personal guilt in this matter if you would purchase a nice big retrofitted bus to serve as a moveable library, so that it could benefit New York residents in every burrough, and around the state. I await your timely response. Peacefully yours, SMF
Has the Mayor of N.Y.C. lost his mind or has he lost control? Who thought raiding and destroying books was a “good idea”? I for one kinda hope that you keep showing this attitude towards the People. It shows you up for who you are and who you serve. Your actions to date have only served to attract more to the OWS movement. As dumb and stupid as those actions have been I can’t help thinking they ultimately work in the People’s favor. So… keep up the good work, Bloomberg.
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