The People's Library of Occupy Vancouver

Equity, Access and Openness (@OccVanLibrary)

Tag Archives: Public Space

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!

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Protesters Plan to Occupy Little Mountain Housing Project

Little Mountain was one of the most successful public housing projects ever built. Known for its safety, the design of Little Mountain allowed neighbors to keep an eye on each other, while common areas created a space where neighbors could meet and share the burden of childcare.

Truly, it was a model of successful planning. It was one that many in the planning field believed should have been replicated around the world, if the Province hadn’t sold the land to a developer.

It was mostly demolished in 2009. Since this much-loved social housing project was destroyed, the developer has built nothing to replace it. The residents, including many elderly, have all been relocated. Demonstrators will be occupying the grounds today, risking arrest.

Literature on Little Mountain will be available in our library as soon as we re-launch.

The People’s Library is Safe! Occupy Vancouver moves 200 metres to Provincial Courthouse!

In an audacious new development, Occupy Vancouver has relocated to a new home to comply with the Court’s injunction! I’m happy to report that this scare has made our contingencies more robust than ever. Should we be forced to move again, we will likely be ready to resume service immediately from a temporary location.

Based on their first General Assembly at the new location, it seems the new location will give us a chance to deal with such issues as:

  • People smoking on site
  • Poor acoustics
  • Wind chill
  • Not being visible enough to the powers that be
  • Being a protest during a municipal election
  • Mud puddles

We are now located 200 metres to the West. The Library will resume operations very shortly. We apologise for the brief interruption of our services.

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.

Cities for People, Not Profit! UBC Urban Studies Chair Elvin Wyly: The Right to the City

Elvin Wyly on The Right to the City at Occupy Vancouver, VAG. on November 12th, 20/11

 

For the Right to the City, Turn Left — Elvin Wyly at Occupy Vancouver

To Claim The Right to the City, Turn Left
Elvin Wyly, Nov 12, 2011, http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~ewyly/

Five weeks ago, a small group of committed activists went to Zucotti Park, a “privately owned public space” in New York City. At first, Occupy Wall Street was ignored. Then it was dismissed as just another protest by a few people on the far left fringe. No. This is a fringe of 99 percent. Occupations have spread to more than a thousand cities in a hundred countries around the world.

Can you hear us now?…

Full transcript available here!

Interview with Chef d’Cuisine Mya from Food Not Bombs!

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.