The standard bookplate phrase “Ex Libris” is used in the title of the article excerpted below as a double-entendre: “From the library of” Occupy Wall Street, and “Former library of ” Occupy Wall Street.
This would normally be a funny play on words, but it’s not so funny under the circumstances, as lambert strether explains in his guest post at the Naked Capitalism Blog: “Ex Libris: About those 5,554 books in the #OWS library”
He writes about the police raid on Occupy Wall Street yesterday, and the zealous destruction of its considerable library.
I’m fond of books, so I take this personally:
“Yes, there were 5,554; here’s the catalog. The eclectic, donated collection, originally cared for by Brooklyn librarian Betsy Fagin, was housed in a tent donated by singer/writer Patti Smith. I say “there were 5,554″ because this morning New York Mayor-for-Life Michael Bloomberg had the library bulldozed, as part of his bungled invasion of Zuccotti Park, already rebounding to Bloomberg’s discomfiture and (hence) the public good. What’s Bloomberg’s problem with books, anyhow? Does he think trashing a library is going to help him buy his way to a third-party presidential run? Is “destroying things never felt so good” really the platform America’s Mayor of the 1% wants to run on?
“Now, let’s be fair. It is true that Bloomberg didn’t actually set the people’s books on fire. All Bloomberg did was bulldoze the library, put the books into garbage trucks, and haul them away to a Department of Sanitation facility at 650 West 57th Street in Manhattan — not to be confused with any of these facilities — claiming that they could be picked up today (Wednesday), presumably on presentation of the proper (photo) ID [Of whom?], thumbprint, iris scan, DNA sample, or whatever else the powers that be want from us these days. Some flack then tweeted a putative photo of said books “safe and sound” . OccupyLibrary:
“We’re glad to see some books are OK. Now, where are the rest of the books and our shelter and our boxes?
” … a library is more than its holdings. As soon as Zuccotti Square was re-occupied, Occupiers began immediately began to self-organize the library again.
“Here’s the library at 7:00AM today,” strether says. “And here’s the address where you can send donated books.”