The People's Library of Occupy Vancouver

Equity, Access and Openness (@OccVanLibrary)

Tag Archives: Education

Lessons from the 1960s: An Essay by Andrew Feenberg

The PDF file can be downloaded here

What can the Occupy Movement learn from the 60s? How did the New Left fail to mobilize a mass base? How did sectarianism divide them into weaker and weaker factions? Why could not they effect the changes they set out to make? Santayana says: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Therefore let us take a look at history and heed the warning.

Professor Andrew Feenberg provided an analytical account of the New Left Movement, as both a witness and an active participant. This essay, Paths to Failure: The Dialectics of Organization and Ideology in the New Left, is not only informative but also insightful. His dissection of psychological, emotional, as well as ideological pitfalls will have a sobering effect on enthusiastic members of any civil rights movement who wish to learn from the past.

The PDF file can be downloaded here

This article was submitted by Librarian Amy.  Thank you, Amy!

The Future of the Occupy Movement with Michael Stone

A brilliant speech with Michael Stone at Occupy Vancouver

The People’s Library Stands its Ground Against Eviction

After a difficult working group meeting, The Librarians decided that we will NOT be removing the entire library from the Vancouver Art Gallery Site. Well into the night, the last remaining tent and bookshelves were abuzz with protesters, spectators and tent city residents. Some were checking out books for the long, sleepless night ahead, while others were discussing the legal challenges or ethical foundations of remaining to defend the space.

Their Library was there for them.

Over the past four weeks, we’ve provided a needed social space and political resource. It’s a shame the judge or Crown legal team will never get to see it. They have, however instructed law enforcement to remove it. When faced with the question of what we should do with the books, my first reaction was to save them at all costs. But I have been inspired by the courage of fellow Occupy protesters, and outraged by the threat of State violence against our books.

It would be as to abandon our founding principles to remove all of the books. It would be to deprive the movement of its very soul if we would withdraw our support. We, the Librarians, have made the difficult decision of placing books in harm’s way. Yet, for the same reasons that the protesters:

If the police want to use violence to physically remove just and peaceful protesters from the site, they will have to use violence on our books as well.

Looking to those with a history of dealing with The Crown, I turn to the words of American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”

Should we did save all the books, what good are they to read if we sit in chains? As much as we, The Librarians of Occupy Vancouver have come to educate our fellow revolutionaries–as much as we love and wish to protect our collection of books–we will not be intimidated by the threat of State violence against our just and non-violent cause. Please pray for us.

Interview with one of our Librarians

A retrospective of the library’s earliest days. Filmed on Day 7 of the Vancouver Occupation, Oct 22, 2011.