| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 24 Occupy Wall Street filed a
federal lawsuit Thursday against New York City, claiming
authorities destroyed $47,000 worth of books, computers and
other equipment confiscated from the protesters' encampment in
lower Manhattan last fall.
Police conducted a surprise overnight raid at Zuccotti Park
in November, clearing scores of protesters who had set up tents
at the plaza near Wall Street and dealing a significant blow to
the movement's potency.
As part of the sweep, Occupy claims, police officers seized
more than 3,000 books from the "People's Library." While some of
the books were eventually returned, many were in unusable
condition, while the rest were apparently destroyed, according
to Occupy's lawyer, Norman Siegel.
The lawsuit also questions whether the raid itself was
constitutional, Siegel said.
Since the predawn sweep at Zuccotti, Occupy Wall Street has
struggled to recapture the momentum of its fall campaign, when
camps across the country inspired widespread protests against
income inequality. The movement has faced funding problems in
recent months as donations dried up.
A series of "May Day" demonstrations May 1 led to clashes
with police from New York to Oakland, California, but a call for
a general workers' strike failed to materialize.
Occupy lawyers and members scheduled a news conference for
Thursday morning to discuss the suit. The city's law department
and the NYPD did not immediately comment.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Doina Chiacu)