Occupy Wall Street files federal law suit against city over the ‘People’s Library’
The self-appointed librarians of Occupy Wall Street’s “People’s Library,” filed a law suit against the city and the NYPD over the destruction of 2,798 books.
The five protesters who filed the suit, which also names Mayor Michael Bloomberg, seek $1,000 in punitive damages and $47,000 in damages for the books and materials that were removed and destroyed during the November 15 eviction of Zuccotti Park. Six computers and some metal shelves were also damaged, according to Norman Siegel, an attorney for OWS. Siegel said he and his clients came up with that figure by using the website Amazon to determine the average cost of a book and multiplying it by the number of OWS’s damaged or missing books.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” Siegel told Metro when asked about the protesters’ chance of winning the suit. “We hope to hold the Bloomberg administration accountable for the violation of OWS rights that occurred during the eviction of Zuccotti Park.”
After the books were
confiscated, they were taken to the Sanitation Department. Protesters
were invited to retrieve them, but many complained that hundreds of books were
missing and others were damaged.
The lawsuit also seeks to uncover the details surrounding the NYPD’s
plan to raid Zuccotti Park and evict protestors.
“The raid struck not only at Constitutional rights but at a fundamental tool of enlightenment – thousands of library books and materials were destroyed,” members of the OWS press team said in a statement.
“Although they had the power to conduct raid, this lawsuit raises the issue of whether they had the right to conduct it in the manner they did,” Siegel said about the NYPD and the Bloomberg administration.