The People's Library of Occupy Vancouver

Equity, Access and Openness (@OccVanLibrary)

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This teach-in on capitalism was sent to me by one of our lovely librarians. With our eviction a few months behind us, the significance of what we did is coming into greater focus. This is one of the first of many retrospectives by various groups, and we look forward to seeing you this Friday, and at the number of events to follow!


We’re excited to announce the first in our series of teach-ins on capitalism, what it is, and how it works.  Our first event, Capitalism and You, will be held at the Vancouver Public Library on March 23rd.  Are you curious about exactly what it is that we Occupiers mean when we say that we’re protesting against “capitalism?” Or maybe you are an Occupier, and want to gain a clearer understanding of how we all got into this mess, and what some strategies might be for getting ourselves out.  How do all the diverse issues that the 99% are facing tie together, and what can we do about it?  How are we all effected by our economic system, and how can we stand together to make it more just, equitable, and sustainable?  Come on down to the VPL on March 23rd and let’s figure it out together!

Capitalism and You

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Photos: The Library at UBC

One of our lovely community members sent us some lovely shots of our lovely cataloguing session at UBC from two weeks ago. We enjoyed a delicious by-donation lunch, shared some great books and had some amazing conversations. We also got around to cataloguing a few books. Mostly we just nerded out, though.

In short, if you haven’t been to our Friday Library at UBC, you’re missing out! Consider these photos further enticement to join us next week.

Your librarian loves you.

While some have made given attention to the tent as symbol, but I really love how books have been used to protest student evictions and police brutality.

You can’t form a fist with a book in your hand.

Sin Bibliotecas No Hay Paraíso

Porras contra libros – Books against police brutality

Fotos de las manifestaciones en repudio a las cargas policiales contra los alumnos del IES Luis Vives de Valencia. –
Pics of the manifestation against police brutality on teenage students from the Luis Vives Highschool at Valencia. Spain.

“Me podréis romper la mano pero no la voz”

“You may break my arm but not my voice”

“Teo no va a la escuela”
“Teo isn’t going to school”

“Cuidado, tenemos libros”

“Watchout, we have books”

“Officer, say hello to your family, you are on Youtube”

“Our turn to be the ‘new’ revolution”

“Soy nieta-flauta”

“Nosotros también somos el enemigo”

“We are the enemy too”

Libros contra las porras en la marcha en solidaridad con el instituto de enseñanza media Luis Vives de Valencia. Books against police brutality


Libros contra porras.

“Aquí está la madre que parió a tu enemigo”

“Here`s the mother…

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Consensus on the High Seas: Lessons from 18th-Century Pirate Democracy

It’s been a while since our last recommended reading, but this one is a goodie.

There have been a lot of discussions recently regarding the needs of governance at Occupy. Community members (including self-professed anarchists) have appealed to the police or taken independent and divisive action that the rest of the group didn’t agree with.

But if we don’t agree on the actions of other individuals, and if we can’t agree on a common framework, then what is Occupy? And what is the hope that we will ever re-converge as a “mass” movement, if we have nothing in common to bring us together?

The challenges of governance within the Occupy movement are complex, and new and innovative solutions must be invented to deal with the needs of our complex, globalised movement. While we may idolize Wall Street’s GA or the Paris Commune of yesteryear, different geographies call for different solutions.

Like other Occupies, Vancouver has been challenged to govern itself. More mainstream activists have often advocated a very different type of radical action than the anarchist-leaning community, while “new” activists advocate reinventing governance structures based on everything from corporate organization to computer logic.

In that spirit, I’d like to throw this article into the mix. Peter Leeson of George Mason University offers this analysis of Pirate democracy on the High Seas. It is a story of independence, self-determination, direct democracy and, yes, booty.


Occupy Wall Street Library

Melissa Gira Grant has written an excellent account of the People’s Library and is currently in the final 48 hours of a Kickstarter campaign to pay for design, printing, and postage. (She plans to donate it to occupations around the country.) Melissa has been a wonderful advocate of the library—please help support her project!

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Check out our new Branch Library at the Dharma Lab!

Check out our branch library at The Dharma Lab, on the second floor of 1814 Pandora St!

Happy Holidays from The People’s Library