Inside the NYPD Destruction of the Occupy Wall Street Library

Grouchy Ass Cat Meme

One of the more impressive accomplishments of the Occupy Wall Street movement was the creation of a People’s Library of some 3,600 volumes donated by members and supporters, available for anyone to borrow free of charge. The library included not just political works, but all kinds of reading matter, and included many signed copies donated by authors.

It came as a shock to many literate individuals around the world when officers in the New York Police Department, in the course of a surprise nighttime raid on the Occupy Wall Street protest park in November 2011, hauled away the entire Occupy Wall Street Library. Witnesses reported that police officers threw books into dumpsters along with food, drinks, garbage, etc. Only about 1,000 of the volumes were ever returned to the protestors, some 200 of them too damaged to use.

Many activists around the world have been quick to claim malice on the part of the NYPD, noting that political works, especially copies donated by sympathetic authors, were particularly unlikely to have been returned. However, thanks to an anonymous (but not associated with the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous!) anarchist infiltrator utilizing reverse COINTELPRO tactics, the truth can be revealed in the officers’ own words.

As a pair of police officers sat down for a brief rest, one of them began, “Can you believe all the heat we’re taking over that People’s Lyeberry thing? Oh, we damaged some, some, what are they?”

“Books?”

“Yeah, that’s it, books, like Facebook. Oh, we damaged some books. Well, how are we supposed to know how to handle this unfamiliar technology? These things could be dangerous, and the safety of law enforcement officers comes first.”

“Hey, I know what you mean. I don’t know how they work, but I’ve observed some of the people who use these things, and from what I can tell, they have a psychoactive effect more powerful than any drug!”

“My Gawd! We can’t risk touching something like that!!”

“And they’re highly addictive, too. As soon as users finish one, they’re right on to another. They never get enough.”

“I know what you mean. Could you pass the coffee and donuts?”

“Sure. But the effects aren’t all bad. I don’t know how they work, either, but the people who use them the most can develop almost superhuman powers.”

“Huh?”

“I mean, they know all kinds of things without looking them up in Wikipedia or googling for them, and they use long, hard words that a normal human would have to look up on dictionary.com, and stuff like that.”

“Ah, I get it. But these folks come up with the craziest ideas.”

“Hey, no kidding. Once, when I started pounding on one of these pinko hippies because I didn’t like the way he looked, a bunch of them crowded around me chanting, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?’ What’s that supposed to mean?”

After a few moments of confused silence, the other answered, “They said that, really? A law enforcement officer could get killed while he’s disoriented by that sort of thing! I mean, that’s even weirder than the stuff Sergeant Angus starts babbling when he’s been dipping into the contraband.”

“Ha! But even though they’re totally insane, these book-users are not only lucid, but hyperlucid.”

“I know. It’s like these books are creating a horde of supervillains!”

“Yeah, and all we have to protect ourselves with is stormtrooper riot gear, billyclubs, beanbag rounds, rubber-coated bullets, teargas, mace, tasers, pepperspray, flashbang grenades, and sonic cannons. How are we supposed to defend ourselves against–ideas?”

“Man, it’s scary out there–”

(The conversation then lapsed into silence and the recording provided by the anonymous anarchist infiltrator ends shortly thereafter.)

Please note that the forgoing is satire, entirely the product of the author’s diseased brain, and any resemblance to actual individuals or groups is entirely intentional.

Dan Clore is a freelance writer and author of The Unspeakable and Others as well as Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon.