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NYC settles lawsuit with Occupy Wall Street for $350K

Mary Altaffer / AP

A demonstrator yells at police officers as they order Occupy Wall Street protesters to leave Zuccotti Park, their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous.

The city of New York will pay more than $350,000 to settle a lawsuit filed last year claiming that police destroyed the private property of those evicted from a park during an Occupy Wall Street raid. 

The U.S. District Court in Manhattan announced the $366,700 settlement late Tuesday.


Occupy Wall Street organizers brought the suit against the city last year, claiming that in a raid that took place in Zucotti Park on Nov. 15, 2011, police destroyed thousands of books the movement had accumulated in its so-called "People's Library."

The "books were damaged so as to render them unusable, and additional books are unaccounted for," court papers read. Furnishings and other equipment were also damaged, the suit claimed.

Read the full settlement

"Our clients are pleased," Normal Siegel, who represented Occupy Wall Street, said following the decision, according to The Village Voice.

"This was not just about money, it was about constitutional rights and the destruction of books."

The settlement calls for the city to pay Occupy $47,000 for the loss of the books and about $186,000 in legal fees it incurred. New York City will also pay $75,000 to Global Revolutions TV, a broadcaster, along with $49,850 in legal costs, for the destruction of its computers and live-streaming equipment. An additional $8,500 will be paid to Times Up New York, an organization that provided bicycle-powered generators to the Occupiers.

As part of the settlement, Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zucotti Park, will pay the city about $16,000 for its responsibility in the property destruction.

The Occupy protest began in September 2011, and participants set up camp with tents, computers and other items soon after. The location became the focal point for all sorts of protests against capitalism, corporate greed and unsound banking practices. Police cleared the camp in a November 2011 raid.