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.