Don't mess with the system — The Occupy system, that is. The lawsuit between Occupy Wall Street and the City of New York was settled yesterday for the sizable amount of $366,700. In November 2011, NYPD raided the OWS encampment in the Financial District's Zuccotti Park. During the late night bust, computers and the movement's collection of 3,600 books known as The People's Library were destroyed — and it appears that $47,000 of the settlement goes to the books alone. Another $50K is towards the damages the raid caused to Occupy's own Global Revolution TV's live stream equipment, while close to $10,000 will cover the ruined bicycle-powered generators from Times Up New York. Brookfield Properties, the company which owns Zuccotti Park, is throwing in some cash, too.
For two months, Occupy set up camp and protested from the heart of the Financial District. Norman Siegel, a lawyer for OWS, told The Village Voice his clients are pleased with the settlement. New York City's Law Department's own Sheryl Neufeld told The New York Times, "There are many reasons to settle a case, and sometimes that includes avoiding the potential for drawn out litigation that bolsters plaintiff attorney fees."
Money, however, wasn't just the focus of the lawsuit. If you're particularly fluent in judicial jargon, feel free to read the full settlement. The gist, we have figured, is that the city still doesn't admit fault, and the settlement is probably not the last we've heard of the Zuccotti incident. Siegel believes the settlement is about "constitutional rights and the destruction of books" — all things pertaining to Occupy's overriding (albeit convoluted) theme. Maybe this means you can't just throw money at people fighting for equality and expect them to back down. It takes a whole lot more than a monetary Band-Aid to heal an idea. (New York Magazine)
Photo: Courtesy of Occupy Wall Street.