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Occupy Wall Street

Alice Walker, Jonathan Lethem & 1,943 Other Writers Support Occupy Wall Street

1,945 writers have signed the Writers in Support of the Occupy Movement petition since the site opened in mid-October. The petition is composed of a single sentence: “We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.”

The site now seeks submissions: “If you’d like, visit your local occupation and write about it—a paragraph, a poem, a comic, a story, a vignette, anything goes—and send it our way. We’re looking for original writing by signatories to the list. What kind of writing is up to you, but we’re especially interested in hearing accounts, in any form, of your experiences at Occupy camps and protests around the world.”

The site now includes short essays by different writers, including Francine Prose, Lemony Snicket, D.A. Powell, Duncan Murrell, Anne Waldman, Danica Novgorodoff and Michael Voll, Maureen Miller, Daphne Carr, Alice WalkerPaula Z. Segal, John McManus, David Hollander, Blair BravermanScott Sparling, Joshua Cohen, Larry Heinemann, Sara Paretsky, Judith Butler, Sarah Schulman, Ann Neumann, Eileen MylesAmirah Mizrahi, Jerry Stahl, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jorie Graham, Craig Clevenger, Nathan Schneider, Francesca Lia Block, Alfred Corn, Cara Hoffman, Dana Spiotta, JoAnn Wypijewski, Matthew Zapruder, Vanessa Huang, and Jonathan Lethem.

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Occupy Wall Street Library Catalog Online

As the Occupy Wall Street protest continues, the activists camped out in New York City have built an impressive library. Thanks to Library Thing, you can now explore the library online and watch it grow.

The online catalog grew from 390 books on October 10 to nearly 4,000 library books today. Follow this link to find out how you can donate. We’ve listed ten books from the library below, illustrating the scope of the collection. The Occupy Wall Street librarians also hope to schedule more author visits.

Here’s more from the library blog: “Rather than having scheduled mega-events with activist authors coming to pep talk the whole occupation, I would prefer smaller, impromptu groups and a books-oriented approach to fit with our little niche mission. My idea is to ask authors to come talk about the ‘books that have inspired you’ and then whatever else they want. We can post announcements in advance on a dry erase board and/or make an announcement when someone arrives. Then, whoever happens to be around can come check it out. If it’s only a few people, I see no problem with that. Whatever stimulates conversations, and huge groups don’t allow it so much. I feel this is a good role for our library.”

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Occupy Oakland Gets Support from Authors

More than 50 writers have signed a petition condemning “the violent crackdown on peaceful, nonviolent Occupy Oakland protesters” earlier this week. The document includes signatures from authors Michael Pollan, Rebecca Solnit and Dave Eggers.

Here is an excerpt: “As writers, authors, editors, filmmakers and artists from across the country, we believe free speech and assembly are paramount to democracy. We urge you to cease the police crackdowns immediately, and stop trampling on protesters’ First Amendment rights. As Mayor, you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your police department, and by all accounts they have behaved shamefully—attacking, beating, and tear-gassing people who were assembled peaceably in nonviolent protest. Mayor Quan, let free speech and assembly have its day, and its night, and stop your police from these terrible and entirely unnecessary attacks. The country is watching. Let the protesters speak and assemble, and end the attacks—now.”

During Occupy Oakland protests this week, hundreds of police officers have clashed with activists. 24-year-old Scott Olsen was hit in the head by a police projectile. He has been hospitalized ever since and will have surgery to reduce swelling in his brain. Doctors upgraded his condition to “fair” yesterday.

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Occupy Wall Street Book Coming In December

Writers have been joining Occupy Wall Street since the movement began in September, so books are soon to follow. OR Books has the first book on the movement slated for a December release called Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed the Course of America.

The work will be written collectively by a group called Writers for the 99%. It will detail how the movement got started and include interviews with occupation participants. OR will publish a 200-page paperback as well as an eBook edition. It comes out on December 17th–the three month anniversary of the movement. All of the profits will be donated to Occupy Wall Street.

It will also focus on the everyday activity in the occupied Zuccotti Park. It will include details about how the occupation works.  including the general assembly, the kitchen, the medical center, the library and media center.

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Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology

The Occupy Wall Street library has produced the first Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology. The founders seek poetry in all the languages of the world, building a “massive text of dissidence, a testament to the infinite beauty of the human spirit.”

Poet, author and rock star Patti Smith visited the protest site over the weekend, donating ten copies of Just Kids to the library and reading the anthology. The Wall Street Journal even took notice of poetry scene at the park, writing an article about the poetry anthology.

Here’s more about poetry at the protest site: “Every Friday night around 9:30pm poets of all walks of life and ages come in and read/perform their poetry. Folks that have been around the NYC poetry scene for a long time have been saying the poetry assembly is one of the greatest open mic reading series NYC has ever fostered and NYC has a great legacy of poetry. With that validation, I highly suggest you join us. Poetry illuminates the soul of Occupy Wall St. A lot of people are asking, “What are the demands” and the poets voices show just how nuanced the human spirit and impossible a set of demands truly is. This occupation is about transforming consciousness and the poetry community is a major part of that process. So please join us!”

‘Writers in Support of the Occupy Movement’ Counts 1,300+ Signatures

So far, more than 1,300 writers have signed a new Writers in Support of the Occupy Movement petition.

The petition is composed of a single sentence: “We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.” The site now includes short essays by different writers, including Francine Prose, Lemony Snicket, D.A. Powell, Duncan Murrell, Anne Waldman, Danica Novgorodoff and Michael Voll, Maureen Miller, Daphne Carr, Alice WalkerPaula Z. Segal, John McManus, David Hollander, Blair BravermanScott Sparling, and Joshua Cohen.

So far, the petition has virtual signatures from Alison Bechdel, Samuel R. Delaney, Jennifer Egan, Barbara Ehrenreich, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Patchett, Salman Rushdie and many other authors. You can sign at the bottom of the page, but the organizers are processing a huge influx of signatures.

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Naomi Wolf Arrested in Occupy Wall Street Protest

Author Naomi Wolf was arrested last night after she joined Occupy Wall Street protesters outside a Skylight Soho event that she was covering for The Huffington Post.

Animal NY explained in a blog post: “They were protesting Governor Cuomo’s refusal to extend NY’s ‘Millionaires Tax.’ Noticing the crowd that had assembled across the street, she challenged the NYPD’s claim that people can’t march in front.”

Wolf described the moments before her arrest in a Guardian essay: “[I] returned to the protesters, and said: ‘The permit allows us to walk on the other side of the street if we don’t block access. I am now going to walk on the public sidewalk and not block it. It is legal to do so. Please join me if you wish.’ My partner and I then returned to the event-side sidewalk and began to walk peacefully arm in arm, while about 30 or 40 people walked with us in single file, not blocking access.”

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Best Writers Covering Occupy Wall Street

As the Occupy Wall Street activists celebrate one month in Zuccotti Park, we’ve created a reading list to help you follow the story as it unfolds in New York City.

On the Morning Media Menu today, we interviewed journalist and literary blogger Edward Champion about his coverage Occupy Wall Street protests. Champion talked about the narrowly averted park cleaning and shared this Twitter reading list of writers producing “incredible reporting” about the protests:

Lucy Kafanov Russia Today
Andrew Krucoff Fellow Traveler
Adam Gabbat, The Guardian
Ryan Deveraux Democracy Now
Anjali Mullany, The New York Daily News
Bucky Turco Animal New York

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Occupy Wall Street Library Packed 1,178 Books for ‘Eviction Resistance’

News broke this morning that the city has postponed its scheduled cleaning of Zuccotti Park. The Occupy Wall Street librarians had packed a growing catalog of 1,178 books in preparation for a nonviolent response to the eviction.

In the photo embedded above, Stephen Boyer showed how the People’s Library was “wrapped up and ready for the eviction resistance” before the protest. The library is still looking for donations and author visits. According to one novelist, the city’s response was less hospitable during the Great Depression.

Here’s more from the Occupy Wall Street page: “300,000+ Americans signed petitions to stop the eviction, and flooded the 311 phone network in solidarity with those in Liberty Square. At 6 AM this morning, 3,000+ New Yorkers, unions, students, and others joined the occupiers in the square to send a clear message to the 1% who want to silence this peaceful assembly of the 99% … On October 15th, Occupy Wall Street will demonstrate in concert over 951 cities in 82 countries and counting as people around the globe protest in an international day of solidarity against the greed and corruption of the 1%.”

Naomi Klein to Speak at Occupy Wall Street Protest

At 6 p.m. tonight, The Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein will speak at the Occupy Wall Street protest open forum.

Klein (pictured, via Ed Kashi) recently wrote about the protests: “This is not the time to be looking for ways to dismiss a nascent movement against the power of capital, but to do the opposite: to find ways to embrace it, support it and help it grow into its enormous potential. With so much at stake, cynicism is a luxury we simply cannot afford.”

Last night, hundreds of reported heavy police action in the wake of a massive march. To help you follow the breaking story, we’ve created a short but informative list of writers on Twitter covering the protest movement…

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