Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

The Book Dumpers


5,000 books at Occupy Wall Street were unceremoniously placed in a dumpster (now the NYPD claim it was simply a “sanitation truck”) during the inevitable nighttime raid. I say inevitable due to the moral decay of those in power in NYC.  These books were all donated, many one at a time, by generous lovers of the written word- the free expression of it, that is. In response to widespread anger, the NYPD is saying that the books were not really destroyed and can be picked up later this week. Regardless, eyewitnesses say they were put in a dumpster.

OWS doesn’t sound convinced by the NYPD claims, and I wait with curiosity to find out what will transpire when people go to claim them. I’m sure that the books will be quite usable if they weren’t destroyed, lord knows, time in dumpsters or “sanitation trucks” will do wonders for page crispness and scent. I actually like to do my reading at dumps for the ambiance.

Here’s a little trick brought to you by a lover of simplicity: did you know that you can look at any political group or entity in power…then look at how they treat books. Do they value or destroy them? This will allow you to figure out who the good guys are! Pretty simple, huh? Decent entities do not fear sunlight or the free exchange of ideas. It’s a certain truth. Folks who burn books or tear down libraries are never who you want in charge. But they always seem to find their way there, don’t they?

It’s obvious when a nation has reached a dangerous time -when books are targeted as dangerous trash to remove. Hey, that’s sort of how they treated the OWS protesters themselves. They are full of ideas and open horizons – the Bloomberg billionaires don’t want that sort of thing to dwell in the minds of the staff (or would be staff). And the first OWS encampment was a hotbed for the sharing of these ideals.

And let me get this straight….in order to improve on the hygiene of the park; they took items in trash trucks to redistribute later? Sure.

None of it makes sense because once again, they destroy to save, beat to bring order, and create filth to bring cleanliness.

And certainly a myriad of possessions in the camp were treated with the destructive glee end of a beating stick. The NYPD is claiming that other items can be picked up with a photo id. Umm, yeah– that’s probably a safe thing to do! Go hand over your identification and get a “sorry don’t know where your laptop is, but make sure you enjoy the hand up your crotch next time you go to an airport!” And I’m still skeptical that all the books will be returned. Books are dangerous, as are the thoughts that percolate after reading them. They were not to be saved, nor should the humanity behind their donation be noticed. But we shall see where we are on the trajectory towards Kakistocracy (look it up…it’s a word that fits)- if they return the books in usable condition or not.

A shared library full of truthful books is emblematic of a decency that they probably want to extinguish. Wow, even anarchists will return books for others to use in a timely fashion- who knew?! We can’t let it out that community can occur, even when a homeless subset who are violent are dumped nearby (wink, wink from the agent saboteurs). It’s amazing that the OWS NY camp held together as well as it did with tricks and malice in their every direction.

That was truly one of the first endearing stories that emerged from OWS- that of the shared library. Picturing those books in that goddamn city dumpster/trash truck-whatever it was should fill all with a disgust for the Bloombergs of the world. They are the true barbarians. Gilded gorillas, nothing more, confusing their wealth with worth.

I wonder if the outcry about the books had some low level employees dumpster fishing late Tuesday night, pulling out books to return? Did they realize at that moment that they were part of the 99%?

Education is not a free right of a free man according to those who want to destroy the OWS core values. It is to be financed, only through student loan penury and later servitude in an institution geared to grind out only the facilitators to the elite. It’s also no accident that in our society libraries so often face the budget cuts while graft laden deals mark much of even our local expenditures. Roads to hell, paved not with good intentions, but with deals that drain coffers. Rotten from the top, rotten to the core. And OWS sees it, hence all the drama.

But yes, Bloomberg, you cleaned up your girlfriend’s park, didn’t you? Funny so many stretches in NYC don’t get the same attention. A friend mentioned to me that perhaps a poor neighborhood should put in a big statue of a bull- that seems to ensure police patrols and presence.

I hope that in this coming time of winter solitude, the long nights and introspection will mark another chapter of the OWS protests. A hibernation and rejuvenation. And I hope that with the coming of spring, that the movement will reemerge with vigor and righteous anger. I want to see Punxatawny Phil emerge, not just with a shadow, but with rabies.

Kathleen Peine writes out of the Central Time Zone in America so please only email during those hours so as not to wake her. She can be reached at:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 27, 2016
Paul Street
An Identity-Politicized Election and World Series Lakefront Liberals Can Love
Matthew Stevenson
Sex and the Presidential City
Jim Kavanagh
Tom Hayden’s Haunting
CJ Hopkins
The Pathologization of Dissent
Mike Merryman-Lotze
The Inherent Violence of Israel’s Gaza Blockade
Robert Fisk
Is Yemen Too Much for the World to Take?
Shamus Cooke
Stopping Hillary’s Coming War on Syria
Jan Oberg
Security Politics and the Closing of the Open Society
Ramzy Baroud
The War on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is Illegally Occupied
Colin Todhunter
Lower Yields and Agropoisons: What is the Point of GM Mustard in India?
Norman Pollack
The Election: Does It Matter Who Wins?
Nyla Ali Khan
The Political and Cultural Richness of Kashmiriyat
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“It’s Only a Car!”
October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases