The Washington Post

Salman Rushdie on Bloomberg’s book problem

During Tuesday’s unfolding drama at Zuccotti Park, people critiqued Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the eviction, from the short notice given to campers to the way the press was treated. One complaint resonated with the online bystanders almost more than anything else: the treatment inflicted on the protest movement’s library.

(Courtesy Occupy Wall Street Library)

Complaints about the 5,000 books possibly being destroyed came in fast and furious throughout the day, so much so that the New York Mayor’s Office specifically acknowledge the library in a tweet informing the public where the protesters could pick up their belongings.

“Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds,” the tweet read.

The attempt to assuage people’s fears about the fate of the books, however, has not worked. The Occupy Wall Street Library posted a blog Wednesday complaining that members went to pick up the books, but some 2,000 books may still be missing, and many others were damaged or destroyed.

Authors and librarians have called for donations to start a new library and literary star Salman Rushdie came out swinging on Twitter:

Nazis destroyed books to “purify” German culture. Bigots do it in the name of God, or Allah. What’s Bloomberg’s excuse? “Hygiene”? #owsWed Nov 16 18:18:00 via webSalman Rushdie

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