The city of New York has agreed to pay more than $230,000 to settle a lawsuit over destroying thousands of protesters’ books after the city’s November 2011 raid to break up the Occupy Wall Street encampment.
The national anti-inequality movement that began in New York partially faded from view after enthusiasm waned and police crackdowns around the country cleared out encampments that officials viewed as problematic.
The Nov. 15, 2011, nighttime police raid to break up the 24/7 Zuccotti Park encampment in New York swept up 3,600 books that had been donated to an on-site library by volunteers, librarians and authors, according to the lawsuit.
Roughly 2,600 of those books were never seen again.
The city, which agreed to pay $47,000 in damages and $186,000 in attorneys’ fees for seizing the library, did not outright apologize and remained unapologetic about the mayor’s go-ahead to sweep the camp.
“It was absolutely necessary for the city to address the rapidly growing safety and health threats posed by the Occupy Wall street encampment,” said Sheryl Nuefeld, senior counsel for the city’s administrative law division.