the water’s on fire!

Here’s some of what we’re doing in NYC to help stop fracked gas coming to town via Spectra Pipeline: http://occupythepipeline.blogspot.com/

Obviously though, all our grievances are connected. Today was a big day of direct action against construction of the southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma.

Here are some links to other organizations and ongoing actions:

http://saneenergyproject.org/
stopthefrackattack.org
tarsandsblockade.org
Friends of the Earth
Waging Nonviolence

No Gas Pipeline

Marcellus Earth First!
Don’t Frack with NY

what’s been going on?

Atlantic PacificSubway-wise, the MTA’s officially announced a name change for our beloved hub. It will always be Atlantic-Pacific to me.

Poetry-wise, some of my poems were in the April edition of the Brooklyn Rail.

Library-wise, we filed a lawsuit against Bloomberg, Ray Kelly, the NYPD, the Dept of Sanitation, and the City of New York. w00t! The case is Occupy Wall Street et al. v. Michael Bloomberg et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-4129. The full complaint is here.

Michele said it well in her post, “We believe that the raid and its aftermath violated our First-Amendment rights to free expression, Fourth-Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure, and Fourteenth-Amendment rights to due process, as well as the laws of the City of New York regarding the vouchsafing of seized property.” What’s most exciting to me is what we might turn up in the discovery process. As Norman Siegel points out, the suit “not only addresses the seizure and destruction of the books, but it also seeks to show why, how, and who planned the raid on Zuccotti Park.”

Illuminator debut this Saturday

Occupiers, 99%-ers, Fellow Insurgents–

The rumors are true. Deep in the bowels of Brooklyn the plans were hatched, the forces gathered, the dream made real. The Illuminator has been given form and will ride out on its maiden voyage this Saturday night, March 3rd, as part of Low Lives: Occupy! Its mission: To smash the myths of the information industry so that people might see for themselves what the 99% movement is fighting for.

The Illuminator is a tactical media tool and spectacularization machine, a beautiful and useful instrument to be used to grow and strengthen the movement in New York City and around the country. We’ve got big plans. Go to the website, follow us on the social media outlet of your choice, and stay tuned.

To catch us on Livestream on Saturday night at 7:28, 8:26, or 9:24pm, check in on the Low Lives channel: http://www.occupywithart.com/llo-live-channel/. To catch us live, follow us on one of those aforementioned outlets.

See you in the Streets,
The Illuminator Team

 

ALA Midwinter Conference in Dallas

I’ll be presenting in the ALA Masters Series at the Midwinter Conference in Dallas this weekend with fellow Occupy Librarians Mandy Henk, Zachary Loeb, Jaime Taylor and Danny Norton. We’re very excited to be able to connect with so many librarians about our shared passions. If you’re in the area, please join us.

Saturday January, 21 at 8:30 am in the Dallas Convention Center Theater.

ALA Press release here.

Full text of the presentation is here.
Coverage from American Libraries and Library Journal.
And a post-panel interview with American Libraries Editors George M. Eberhart and Sanhita SinhaRoy.

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! (Keats)

I spent time yesterday at the Department of Sanitation digging through the rubble of what was left from Liberty Park. It was the second day I’ve spent doing it. The NYPD officers there know me by now and we’re friendly enough to chat to help pass the time. I was asked more than once why more people hadn’t shown up for their stuff. I didn’t have a good answer. Maybe they don’t know about it or maybe it’s too difficult to get here. Others posit that we’re just too lazy to get it together to get uptown or maybe we don’t want to be in the system because we’ve got priors or something to hide.

Yesterday I was really interested in filing claims against the city and Bloomberg that they should pay for what they’ve destroyed (“destruction of private property–that’s an actionable offense.”). But today I’m wondering how could they ever? It’s impossible to repay. We’ve got two different realities at clash. This is the paradigm shift we’ve been talking about for so long. One reality is Bloomberg’s world of finance and hierarchy, where people just follow their orders and there are claims to file. The other isn’t even about that. It’s not all about finance, it’s a gift economy. The second reality is a world of interdependence and connection, of mutual aid and relationships.

When I move to file a claim against the city, my underlying need is for some retribution, some justice. I want my whole community back, but it can’t be bought with monies paid out by the city comptroller. What I mourn is the destruction of the love and goodwill that was embodied in the creation and daily life of Liberty Park.

It’s not just the cost of the tents and the sleeping bags, the clothing and all the gear. It’s not just about how much the electronics cost or the generators or any other thing. Their true value isn’t reflected in their money cost. Justin’s leather portfolio was given to him at graduation by his grandfather. It is irreplaceable. Its value doesn’t derive from the cost of the leather or of the craftsmanship of the thing in itself. The value is in the love the object was steeped in and the feeling it created over time.

So too the People’s Library built entirely of generosity, of love. So too all the tents, all the mittens, all the jackets, all the socks. Every pizza, every energy bar, every bottle of water. Almost every aspect of life at Liberty Park was created through a generosity of community spirit with a foundation in love. This is not quantifiable. It is the destruction of our home, of our community.

What happened at Liberty Park wasn’t just clearing a park of a bunch of campers or people leaving piles of books around, it was an attempt to sever the ties of love, community and support that had taken root and begun to grow.

I believe that what any gardener knows will prove true for our community as well. Bloomberg’s deadheaded us and our community– temporarily destroyed the visible, flowering growth. It’s almost impossible to kill a plant by deadheading, it’s actually one of the best methods for creating new growth. Now our roots can grow deeper and stronger. Thanks again for your help, Mr. Bloomberg! It really is the beginning of the beginning.

Biblioklept

Originally, I just swiped your tag @marykvalle and @JeffSharlet– Bloomberg Bibliocide– but only because it’s so lovely. Thank you for it. Bibliocide. But it could be meaning the degradation of the book’s narrative when re-cast as a film. It could also sound like we’re calling for his death by books. Maybe biblioklept instead? I’ll change it here, but know please, in my heart that I love you and your tags.

xo,
Betsy
@blizf

Here are some links:

Al Jazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011111681642279467.html

AlterNet: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/731822/bloomberg%27s_bibliocide_update_on_confiscated_%22people%27s_library%22_books/

American Libraries: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/11162011/occupy-wall-street-library-regrows-manhattan

Library Journal: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/892805-264/occupy_wall_street_library_removed.html.csp

NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/occupy-wall-street-protesters-return-zuccotti-park-tents-head-depot-reclaim-belongings-article-1.978485?localLinksEnabled=false

New York Times: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/protesters-find-their-belongings-in-chaos-at-a-city-garage/

Rachel Maddow Show (11/15/11): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/45316274#45316274

The Stranger: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/11/16/nypd-didnt-realize-that-you-can-damage-books-by-throwing-them-around (Yes, that’s a Bible on top of the pile)

Village Voice: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/11/occupy_wall_street_library.php

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/occupy-library-bloombergs-book-problem/2011/11/16/gIQAhHcrRN_blog.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=1

WNYC: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2011/nov/16/zuccotti-park-demonstrators-trying-reclaim-items-confiscated-police/