Dear friends of the People’s Library, we recently hit a turning point in the history of our beloved library. As you may remember, last spring we reached a settlement with the city and it’s various departments and officials. We received $47,000 and a not-quite-apology. We got lots of questions about what we were going to do with all that money.
As the city and the NYPD have made it an impossible thing to plant libraries such as we once had, we knew it would be futile and wasteful to attempt such a thing. Further, we are tired and busy, and many of us have moved on to other projects and several have left NYC for less hellish homes. Besides which, money being power, and power corrupting… we didn’t want it. After all, it wasn’t really about the money, it’s just that money is how capitalist government says it’s sorry. Earlier on in the lawsuit process, we were offered a settlement without the not-quite-apology. We didn’t take it.
Anyway, we had no use for it, but we knew there were lots of groups that could use it. We drew up a list of groups we’d like to help out, divided, and wrote some checks.
Of course, it wasn’t actually that simple. There was a ridiculous group video conference, where we spent more time trying to get the damn thing to work than actually talking, for example. It obviously took a while. I’d especially like to thank Michele, Danny, and Zachary for staying on top of it and doing most of the legwork. I’d also like to thank our liaisons from Finance for helping us out along the way. And, as always, big thanks to our lawyers.
For transparency’s sake, here’s the list of groups we gave it to. We’ve held on to a little bit for things like maintaining the domain registrations of the blog and what-have-you.
- Word Up Community Bookshop
- The Brecht Forum
- Bluestockings Books
- Queers for Economic Justice
- National Lawyers Guild
- Food for Thought Books
- Waging Nonviolence
- Reader to Reader
- Silvia Rivera Law Project
- OWS Jail Support / Just Info
- Indiana Prison College
- Free University NYC
- Books Through Bars
- Housing Works
- NYC Anarchist Black Cross
- Pink and Black
- Urban Librarians Unite
- Queens Café (new community space in Queens)
- Free Press
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Demand Progress
- Brooklyn Public Library
- Queens Library Foundation
- New York Public Library
- New Alternatives
- Bailey House
- Lesbian Herstory Archives
- Interference Archive
- American Indian College Fund
- Brooklyn Base
- Tamiment Library
- OWS poetry Anthology
So, that’s pretty much it, y’all. It’s been great to serve you as your faithful librarians. You’ll hear from us occasionally as we work on further projects. And next time things go all insurrection, we’ll be there, too, books in hand.
Four day, folks, just four days until May Day! Are you excited? I’m excited. The weather is projected to be mixed sun and clouds, with temperatures in the mid-60s.
In the meantime, the street medics could use a boost. Remember, the ass they save could be yours. Kitchen could also use a little help from their friends, but I can’t seem to find the WePay link for them at the moment. Anyone? If you can’t spare the cash, in-kind contributions can be brought in on May Day; there will be oodles of mutual aid going on at Bryant Park from 8am to 2pm.
And, as mentioned in my last post, keep us on the streets with the bail fund.
Just one week until May Day, friends! (Which will also be my 28th birthday. A general strike: great birthday present, or best birthday present ever?) As Betsy mentioned below, the People’s Library will be out and about at Bryant Park, Madison Square Park (with Free University), and Union Square.
It’s going to be a big, exciting day. But, since the NYPD doesn’t like us to have nice things, we expect to see some of our friends end up in jail (again). If anyone out there has a few bucks to spare, we’d all really appreciate contributions to the OWS May Day Legal Expense Fund. That’s the bail fund, folks, and more money means more of our people bailed out, on May Day and in the future. After trials are complete, bail money circulates back into the fund, so it’s a gift that keeps giving.
And, if you just can’t wait for May Day to hit the streets, there are a few actions between now and then.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25, ACT-UP is holding a 25th anniversary action, and calling for a financial transaction tax to raise the funds needed to end the global AIDS epidemic. Meet at City Hall at 11am for a rally and then march down towards Wall Street. ACT-UP has always rolled pretty hard, and lots of folks are coming from out of town, so it should be very exciting!
Also tomorrow, 4pm at Union Square, the Occupy Student Debt Campaign is having a mocking party to recognize that the combined student debt in the USA has topped $1trillion. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, Plus Brigades, and Billionaires for Debt will all be in attendance.
And then, this Friday will be the last weekly Spring Training before May Day; meet at Liberty at 2pm. See you in the streets!
Illustration by Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt
As many of you may have already heard The People’s Library in solidarity with Occupy Tucson recently launched an action called Operation Book Bomb Tucson. In response to the disgraceful decision of the Tucson Unified School District to end the ten-year old Mexican-American Studies program, and to ban books from the school curriculum The People’s Library is holding a series of teach-ins/book drives to support the Mexican-American community both in Tucson and throughout the U.S. We are collecting copies of the seven banned texts as well as Spanish language books, books on Mexican history, and books on Latino culture to ship out to the students and teachers of Tucson. We want to let the Mexican-American community know that we are not indifferent to their struggles, and to let the Tucson Unified School District know that a threat to educational freedom somewhere is a threat to educational freedom everywhere. Here is how you can help us.
We have received some generous donations of books from publishers throughout the U.S. including Arte Público Press, NYU Press, and The Southwest Organizing Project. Follow these links and you can ship us copies of the seven banned books to add to our book bomb. We want to ship as many copies of them as we can out to the students and teachers of Tucson. The first two books listed can be purchased at 50% off thanks to the good people at Arte Público. Just let them know you are purchasing books for Operation Book Bomb Tucson! We encourage you to support publishers and your local independent bookstores with your purchases, but if you need to shop elsewhere online, we’ve also provided some links to Powell’s Books. Click the links below to purchase any of the titles below.
Message to Aztlán by Rodolfo Gonzales
Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement by F. Arturo Rosales
Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures by Elizabeth Martinez
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
Rethinking Columbus by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña from Powell’s Books
All books can be shipped to:
The UPS Store
Re: Occupy Wall Street
Attn: The People’s Library/Operation Tucson
118A Fulton St. #205
New York, NY 10038
Additionally we will be holding book donation drives and teach-ins here in New York City. Our first book donation event will be held at the next Occupy Town Square on Sunday, February 26 in Tompkins Square Park from 11AM to 5PM.
Our second event will be held at Word Up Community Bookshop, 4157 Broadway @ 176th St in Washington Heights on Thursday, March 1, from 7PM-9PM
featuring special guest speaker Chris Hedges. Please bring any books to these two events that you would like to donate to Operation Book Bomb Tucson. Keep those books coming and we will update you on our progress here. Thank you for supporting us and for supporting educational freedom everywhere.
Filed under Announcements, Direct Action, Donations, Education, Frances, Free Speech, Literature, OccupyTucson
Tagged as #Arte Público Press, #banned books, #Bill Bigelow, #Bob Peterson, #book drive, #Elizabeth Martinez, #F. Arturo Rosales, #Jean Stefancic, #NYU Press, #Occupy Tucson, #Paulo Freire, #Richard Delgado, #Rodolfo Acuña, #Rodolfo Gonzales, #Southwest Organizing Project, #teach-in, #Tucson, Solidarity
Have you wanted to get involved with Occupy, but not really a marcher? Too far away from an Occupation? Intimidated by crowds?
Do you support the right to read and abhor censorship?
We’ve got the action for you.
The Tucson Unified School District has dismantled its Mexican-American Studies program and removed the books used in that program from the classrooms of the district. Teachers and students have vehemently protested this move, including a student-led walkout and an Ethnic Studies School, arranged on the symbolically important 100th day of school. The day when the state counts heads to determine funding.
The books removed include:
Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Rodolfo Acuna’s Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
Bill Bigelow’s Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years
Richard Delgado’s Critical Race Theory
Rodolfo Gonzales’s Message to AZTLAN
Elizabeth Martinez’s (ed) 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures
Arturo Rosales’s Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement
This is where you come in. Acting in solidarity with OccupyTucson and the students, parents, and teachers of the Tucson Unified School District we are going send copies of the banned texts to Tucson for distribution. Lots of copies. As many copies as we can find and buy. We respect the rights of authors and publishers, so all copies will be completely legally purchased though an independent bookseller or directly from the publisher. Donations of the these texts are, of course, welcomed.
We’ll be collecting funds via the WePay link on this page. Any amount will be gladly welcomed and all donations will go toward the purchase of books or shipping books.
The repression of the history of resistance, of what Howard Zinn called People’s History, is an old tactic in the class war. Hide what previous generations accomplished, hide the fact of genuine social change in the past, and you hinder the possibility of social progress today. The young people and their teachers in Tucson have spoken loud and clear. They want to know that history and they want those books. Let’s send them some.
Was doing what we librarians do yesterday, cataloging and sorting new books. Got to talking from some folks from other working groups about what the library is up to these days, how we are interacting with other groups.
Anyway, it was suggested to me that we rebuild our sections that help facilitate the work of other groups, in particular legal. So, dear readers, if you are out there wondering what you can do for the library or what kind of materials we might want, here’s a suggestion:
Please send us current legal reference books. Especially useful would be things pertaining to New York State or New York City laws, and topics that might help with the kinds of things the Occupation is involved with — civil rights, housing, finance, non-profits, etc.
Tonight at 6:00 writers and readers from across New York City will gather in Liberty Plaza to reoccupy the space and rebuild the People’s Library. Authors will bring their books, readers will bring their favorite books to donate and together we will rebuild to create the revolution this country needs.
I invite those not in NYC to gather at their occupations, campuses, squares, and parks to read poetry and prose in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the 99%. Literature is a revolutionary force. Let’s unleash it against the forces who would divide and conquer us. Let’s make the sound of democracy heard across this whole country. Share your poems, your dreams, and your stories with each other. Stand in solidarity together.
Join us in NYC and across the world for a night of readings, poetry, and revolutionary ideas. Together we will change this country and reclaim our democracy for the 99%.
by Betsy |
October 25, 2011 · 14:16
We now have an Allen Ginsberg collection in the People’s Library.
Thanks so much, Simon & Peter for the generous donations!
by Michael |
October 12, 2011 · 16:57
The Arts and Culture Working Group brought us some artist’s books that they made out of signs they’ve been producing. They punched holes in and strung together stacks of signs to make them.
by Michael |
October 12, 2011 · 15:42
2600: The Hacker Quarterly dropped off some magazines and books the other day. Thank you to publishers like these folks who are stepping up to support us! Yesterday we also received some amazing books from WBAI, and wonderful boxes from donors across the country and authors bringing us copies of their books. Check out our Flickr group for photos of incoming book inscriptions and notes. Going forward I hope we can photograph and post as much of this as possible.