Wednesday, November 23, 2011

May His Legacy Be: Bloomberg, Book Destroyer

Submitted by Justin Wedes:


Today, librarians from The People's Library at Occupy Wall Street (OWS) held a press conference with renowned civil rights attorney Norman Siegel to denounce the destruction and disappearance of thousands of books during the midnight raid last week on Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park). Staff and patrons at the people-powered library gave heartfelt testimony about the city's trashing of the library, which at the height of its operation had over 5,000 books, newspapers, zines, digital media and rare documents housed under a half-cylindrical covering donated by Patti Smith. 

At the conference, hundreds of severely-damaged books were presented as evidence that the Bloomberg administration lied about its treatment of the People's Library during the raid. They claimed, through the Mayor's twitter feed, that the library items were "safely stored at the 57th St Sanitation Garage". In fact, thousands of books and other media remain unaccounted for and requests for information and comment from the City have not been returned. 

[Ed Note: They say OWS have no demands. Here are a few simple ones]

These are the immediate demands of the OWS People's Library:

~The Bloomberg administration must replace every single book missing or damaged, about 3161 books.

~The Bloomberg administration needs to acknowledge that a wrong was committed and this can never happen again.

~We need a space to recreate the People's Library (12% of city storefronts are vacant right now.)

The OWS People's Library remains committed to rebuilding itself in the coming weeks, with the support of the broader #occupy movement. But in the meantime, the sad reality is that 'Banks got bailed out. Books got thrown out.'

There is a formal press release coming in the next few hours on the OWS People's Library website.

Video from the event is forthcoming, but preliminary (low-res) video available here and here.

Ed Note: Let me remind you of the intentional destrucion of laptops that look as if smashed with a bat.

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on the right for important bits.

1 comment:

  1. I wrote my own little piece on this that connects well with this press release.

    Also, Norm, read the bottom of the blog post to see what happened a year ago today.


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