Woman is arrested during police raid on the steps of the New York Public Library during the Republican National Convention in 2004. The police arrested 75 people, including protesters, several bystanders and library patrons. The police attack was prompted by two young activists who were holding a banner. Photo: Langelle (2004)
Below, read the report on the arrests from the American Libraries Association
, September 3, 2004
Protesters Arrested on New York Public Library Steps
Some 75 protesters were arrested August 31 in front of the New York Public Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library on Fifth Avenue amid demonstrations taking place during the Republican National Convention.As about 200 people gathered on the steps of the library for a march to Madison Square Garden, two young women tried to hold up a banner when police pinned them to the ground and a scuffle erupted between officers and demonstrators.
Cyndy Bruce, 26, of Chicago said in the September 1 Long Island (N.Y.) Newsday, “The officer said you can’t hang it but you can hold it. As soon as they held it up, the officers swarmed in. They incited this violence. Not us.” Newsday reported that police moved the protesters away from the library and wrapped the whole block in orange netting.
NYPL Public Relations Manager Carolyn Oyama told American Libraries that no library employees were involved in the protest and that no demonstrators came inside the library. She said that the event only lasted about 45 minutes and that “the egress from the library was not affected.”
Also in New York City, library workers and students from a group called Radical Reference
protested September 1 outside the New York Historical Society as First Lady Laura Bush arrived to have lunch with Republican delegates, according to the online anarchist blog Infoshop News.
The group of eight librarians and their friends were initially forced by police to stay on the sidewalk across the street from the society’s back entrance. Later the protesters made their way to the front of the building where another group of demonstrators was already in place.Signs displayed by the group included “Books Not Bombs,” “Laura, Stand Up against the Patriot Act,” and “Another Hysterical Librarian against Bush.” No arrests were made.
Also check out past Photos of the Month posted on GJEP’s website, or Langelle’s photo essays posted on GJEP’s Climate Connections blog.