Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

miércoles, noviembre 16, 2011

The People's Library Needs Your Help

Some sadness.

One of the very best parts of Occupy Wall Street at Z park was the People’s Library. It had about 5,500 volumes, and it accepted books from whoever wished to donate them. It didn’t approve books before including them in the collection, it just accepted them. In other words, the library incorporated the same, basic, participatory democracy precepts as the Occupy Movement itself. And the collecting was democratic and from the ground up.

On November 15, 2011, when Occupy was evicted from Z park in what I still think, despite the Court’s ruling, was a grotesque, repressive misstep by the Government, the library was removed. Was it, as told by Keith Olbermann and others, thrown into dumpsters and hauled off to the dump by police as if this were 1933 in Germany? Or was it, as claimed by Mayor Bloomberg, removed and stored at a far away building at 12th Avenue and 57th Street. Bloomberg, of course, dutifully released a photo claiming to show that the books were in safekeeping. Those at OWS disputed the claim and wanted to know where the rest of the books had gone. That is a story still to be sorted out.

This is a photo from this morning. This is now the People’s Library.

And this is sad. This is sadder than being told that tents and sleeping bags and tarps are not permitted. It is sadder than being told that drumming is not permitted. It is sadder by far than yesterday’s questionable First Amendment ruling. This strikes at the heart of Occupy in a way the reminds of Fahrenheit 451 and evokes pyres of burning books. And that simply cannot be permitted to continue. The library must be returned. And if cannot be returned it must be rebuilt. Immediately. The movement requires it. If the library cannot be continued at Z Park, it needs a safe space nearby. There must be a People’s Library. All of us need it.

Please join me in rebuilding the People’s Library. Please join me in sending books to the Occupy Wall Street library. Here’s where to send them:

The UPS Store
Re: Occupy Wall Street

Attn: The People's Library
118A Fulton St. #205

New York, NY 10038

As I write this Occupy is trying to retrieve the books that were allegedly taken Uptown. If you have a car or truck, you could help with that.

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