Unfortunately, the judgment was relatively small and the lawsuit wasn't about the (MIS)treatment of protesters at Occupy events. It actually centered on the destruction of Occupy's surprisingly comprehensive library hastily set up at Zuccotti Park back in September 2011. But at this point -- a win is a win... is a win.
To refresh people's memories, (as if we could ever forget the events started in New York City on Sept. 17th, 2011) protesters set up a makeshift library at the northeast corner of Zuccotti Park. It was quickly dubbed, "The People's Library," and soon became a veritable wealth of literary resources ranging from novels to history books. On November 15th, when police raided the encampment, in total, 3,600 volumes were either destroyed or confiscated, at the direction of the Mayor and a request from Brookfield Properties. Of those 3,600 confiscated volumes only about 1,000 were recoverable. All of the books were said to have been gathered up and taken to a landfill (probably in Jersey) by a private carting company hired by Brookfield Properties.
But this isn't the only lawsuit that's been filed by OWS. A few others were settled but there are many more pending.
The city also agreed to settle two related federal lawsuits by paying the protesters $75,000 for lost or damaged computers and network and broadcasting equipment, and $8,500 to an environmental group for 16 lost or damaged "energy bicycles" used as power generators at the park, the documents said.In Tuesday's settlement, the city of New York and Brookfield Properties agreed to pay the Occupy Wall Street Library Working Group more than $230,000. The movement itself got $47,000 and legal fees totaled $186,000. Brookfield was ordered to pay $16,000.
From the NYTs article:
“There are many reasons to settle a case,” said Sheryl Neufeld of the New York City Law Department. “And sometimes that includes avoiding the potential for drawn out litigation that bolsters plaintiff attorney fees.” Brookfield declined to comment.Yeah, blame it on the lawyers. Just the cost of doing business. OWS attorney Norman Siegel responded in kind.
“In our opinion people’s constitutional rights were violated,” said Norman Siegel, a lawyer for the protesters. “And our settlement holds the city accountable.”It's about freakin' time SOMEONE was held accountable.
Let's hope this is just the first of many coming victories for OWS.