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Occupy Wall Street Library Trashed by Police

November 15, 2011

“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? … Call 311 or 212-639-9675 now and ask why Mayor Bloomberg is throwing the 5,554 books from our library into a dumpster.”

from GalleyCat’s account of the library trashing.

The fact that the library of over 5,000 books was unceremoniously tossed into dumpsters is not the only reason I’m angry about the NYPD actions at Zuccotti Park.

As I read more about the library confiscation and trashing, I’m even angrier. Read this list of what was taken! Or destroyed!

But I think, like the library itself, it’s the only thing in a small enough scale that I can fully get my mind and my heart to process. Everything else is a Gordian knot of frustration, questions, competing issues, still unknowns.

I still don’t know what I think about Occupy Wall Street. I’m not entirely optimistic about its chances to create change, as a movement. There needs to be a sharper focus, a more coordinated effort. I can say that, even though I’m unable to offer concrete solutions. And, frankly, unwilling to take on a project of that breadth and scope.

I think I can focus on the library.

What statement does it make, when uniformed authority figures dump books into dumpsters to cart them away? Confiscating and removing is one thing. With a little careful planning, it could have been done more respectfully, though.
(The caveat being of course, that I wasn’t there. I didn’t see exactly what happened. I am reacting to reports I have read.)
They’re books!!!! Books are not trash!!! To treat an assemblage of books as trash bespeaks a darker mindset, a distinctly Orwellian whiff.

I don’t presume full understanding or authority. Just reacting.

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