PEOPLE’S LIBRARY 3.0 MOBILE AND IN THE STREETS!
Monthly Archives: November 2011
The Occupy Wall Street Education and Empowerment group hosts a Read-In at Liberty Square, 12pm-1pm, Friday, November 25th.
“Come be part of a mass read-in at Liberty Square in solidarity with the continuation of The People’s Library & OWS’ education work. Bring a book or two to read or share. The goal is to have as many people as possible reading silently in the park for an hour – quiet conversations & arriving later to read are also encouraged!
Readers and non-readers of all ages & abilities welcome – let’s make Black Friday a day of learning and sharing ideas rather than one of mass consumerism. Bloomberg can destroy books, but he can’t destroy ideas…”
Liberty Square/Zuccotti Park is in lower Manhattan on Broadway between Liberty & Cedar.
Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience. Learn more from the United American Indians of New England.
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Occupy Wall St. Librarians Demand Accountability from Bloomberg for Destruction of Thousands of Books and NYers’ Rights to Free Expression
Packed Press Conference Documents Ruins of over 3,000 Books by Raid
The People’s Library was not only forcibly removed from Liberty Square in the early hours of November 15th and destroyed but – since the raid – has been harassed and prevented from operating in the park by the Bloomberg Administration. Only about 1,300 books – a third of the stock – were returned to them, they said, and around a third of those were damaged beyond repair. Only about 800 are still usable. About 3,000 books are still unaccounted for. Photos of the books are available here http://bit.ly/u4QeTP
Civil Rights lawyer, Norman Siegel, opened today’s press conference, at a table of damaged books, with his statement articulating the demands of the OWS Librarians: “The Bloomberg Administration needs to replace every book missing or damaged. 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.”
Hawa Allan, a Fellow of Columbia Law School, added, “the People’s Library represents the town hall spirit of the Occupy Wall Street movement.” Referring to the piles of destroyed books on the table, she also noted “This display is a chilling image of the attempt to destroy free expression.”
13 Librarians from the People’s Library were in attendance, and several spoke, talking about the important role the library played in the movement, as well as their own experiences of the raid and the aftermath. In response to questions from the press, the librarians stressed that their request is not about money, but rather about accountability and that they are asking the Bloomberg Administration to replace the books they destroyed, not write a check.
People’s Librarian, Betsy Fagin, stated, “What’s important isn’t just the cost of the books that were destroyed . . . The People’s Library was built entirely of generosity, of community spirit, of love.” Michele Hardesty described her visit to retrieve some of the seized books, “It was clear from what we saw at the sanitation garage that our books—the community’s books, these donated books—were treated as trash.”
People’s Librarian Danny Norton called the destruction of the library by the Bloomberg Administration a “crusade to destroy a conversation” and People’s Librarian Frances Mercanti-Anthony stated, “You can take our books. You can take our park. But you can’t take our spirit. And we’re not going anywhere.” In closing, Norman Siegel was asked about any planned legal action against the Bloomberg Administration, and he responded that he wasn’t going to answer any hypothetical questions, but said “in the words of Clint Eastwood, make my day.”
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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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Occupy Wall Street Librarians Address Bloomberg for Destroying Books
Over 4k Books, Documents, Were Trashed by NYPD & Dept. of Sanitation in Raid
OWS Library Staff Recovers Books and Supplies, Less Than One-Fifth is Usable
What: Press conference to address the destruction of the OWS People’s Library by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the 11/15 raid.
*Photo Opportunity* All of the recovered, destroyed books will be at the press conference.
Where: 260 Madison Ave, 20th Floor, between 38th and 39th St
When: Wednesday, November 23, at 12:00 noon
Who: Norman Siegel will host and moderate. Speakers: Gideon Oliver of the National Lawyers Guild, Hawa Allan a Fellow at Columbia Law School, and Occupy Wall Street Librarians from the People’s Library. Law professors from Columbia, members of the American Library Association, various writers and others have been invited.
So far, the People’s Library has received 1,099 books back from the Dept. of Sanitation after last week’s raid (some of which were not library books to begin with), and out of these, about 800 are still usable. About 2,900 books are still unaccounted for, and less than one-fifth of the original collection is still usable. These numbers may change slightly when the People’s Library gets an exact count of the recent (and final) retrievals from Sanitation, but not considerably.
“The People’s Library was destroyed by NYPD acting on the authority of Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the night of the raid. In addition to all our supplies, laptops, and tent, they threw roughly 4,000 books into garbage trucks and dumpsters that were adjacent to the park, as well as assorted rare documents that were associated with OWS,” says William Scott, an Occupy Wall Street Librarian.
Watch video of the NYPD and Dept. of Sanitation destroying the OWS People’s Library tent and throwing away all the books. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTkUjQwHf4I
Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to more than 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. For more visit www.occupywallst.org
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