The NYPD raided the Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park last night, tossing tents, tarps, pallets, sleeping bags and 5,554 books into dump trucks. This afternoon, the Mayor’s Offices released the photograph embedded above with some welcome news: “Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds.” However, activists reported that books were damaged or lost.
The OWS Library posted this response: “We’re glad to see some books are OK. Now, where are the rest of the books and our shelter and our boxes? Nice try guys, but we won’t be convinced until we actually have all our undamaged property returned to us.”
Tonight ReOccupy Writers will help rebuild the library in a rally in Foley Square. Even though the New York City camp has been cleared, these People’s Libraries are popping up around the country. We are building a list of Digital People’s Libraries, if you want to contribute.
The Occupy Wall Street librarians tweeted the eviction all night: “NYPD destroying american cultural history, they’re destroying the documents, the books, the artwork of an event in our nation’s history … Right now, the NYPD are throwing over 5,000 books from our library into a dumpster. Will they burn them?”
Here is a picture of the cleared park. According to the city’s eviction notice, the “property will be stored at the Department of Sanitation parking garage at 650 West 57th St.” But the librarians disputed this: “it was clear from the livestream and witnesses inside the park that the property was destroyed by police and DSNY workers before it was thrown in dumpsters.”
The police said that more than 150 people were arrested last night. Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a news conference this morning about the eviction. “New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself … What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.”
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated as the story evolved.