When police raided Liberty Plaza today, the more than 5,000 books in the park, everything from Shakespeare to Dickens to Fahrenheit 451 and Atlas Shrugged were destroyed.
A look at the contents of the Occupy Wall Street library reveals the patriotism behind this protest. During their early morning raid the NYPD destroyed copies of The Declaration of Independence, Democracy In America by Alexis de Toqueville, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Notes On The State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson, Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, and A biography of George Washington.
For those who believe that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are a bunch of liberal, hippie communists consider that also among the books destroyed were copies of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, The Overton Window by Glenn Beck, and Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman, and Rawhide Rawhide down : the near assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber.
Several Noam Chomsky books were destroyed. Some Piven and Cloward books were lost as well including, Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail. Quite a few Kurt Vonnegut books including Slaughterhouse-Five and Player Piano were thrown in the trash, as was Upton Sinclair’s classic The Jungle.
Classic literature was also victimized. David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, Hard Times and Great Expectations all by Charles Dickens were treated like trash. The classic works of William Shakespeare including Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and Richard III were taken to the dump. Everything from Huck Finn to Ulysses were also thrown away.
The books that you would expect to be present in a library at a protest were also included. George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm were thrown away as well.
The biggest irony of all was that the NYPD threw away Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The NYPD confiscated as trash a book about a future American society where reading is outlawed, and fireman start fires to burn books.
All told, over 5,000 books were destroyed today by the NYPD on the order of Michael Bloomberg. If a person is what they read, then the Occupy Wall Street library reveals a great deal about whom these protesters really are. They aren’t a socialistic mob who is out to destroy capitalism. These protesters love their country, and they want to make it better. They are standing on the front lines of the battle against corruption, greed, and inequality.
These people aren’t being run by the Democratic Party. They are people of sorts of political persuasions and beliefs. The left, right, middle, and non-political are all represented in Liberty Plaza. Occupy Wall Street is about righting a system that has gone wrong. It is about no longer laying down as your rights are trampled on a daily basis by a political and economic system that is currently controlled by the wealthiest Americans.
The second richest man in New York City (Mayor Bloomberg) can destroy the books, but he can’t destroy the ideas that fuel Occupy Wall Street. The books may be gone, but the ideas live on, and Occupy Wall Street will continue to grow.
Update: The Mayor’s office tweeted, “Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds.” We will find out if this is true when the protesters attempt to collect their property tomorrow, but with the way that the Mayor and his administration have behaved during this protest, people should be skeptical until they see it for themselves.