NYPD Seizes 5,554 Books from Occupy Wall Street Library


Perhaps, like us, you woke up to the news that Occupy Wall Street has been violently evicted from Zuccotti Park, where protesters have been camped out for almost exactly two months. There’s a lot out there to process, from the arrest of journalists attempting to do their jobs (and exercise their First Amendment right to a free press) to Bloomberg’s admission that the decision to raid Zuccotti was “mine and mine alone” to the revelation that the mayor is now knowingly in violation of a court order to allow the occupiers back into the park. But there’s one detail of what happened in the wee hours of this morning that seems particularly symbolic of a Farenheit 451-style scenario: In addition to confiscating tents and sleeping bags, the NYPD rounded up all 5,554 books in the Occupy Wall Street Library and threw them into dump trucks.

While the city claims that “property will be stored at the Department of Sanitation parking garage at 650 West 57th St,” OWS Library staff say they saw cops destroying the books before loading them into the trucks. The library has also published a lengthy blog post recounting the “emotional night in Liberty Square,” in which a witness to the raid writes, “It reminded me of something that would happen in war-torn Eastern European country in the early nineties… I couldn’t believe this was happening in New York City.”

Update: The @NYCMayorsOffice account has tweeted that the OWS Library’s books (and other property confiscated from Zuccotti) are, in fact, safe and ready for pickup at the 57th Street garage. They’ve even included a photo as proof.

[Image via Occupy Wall Street Library]