From the Carnegie library Twitter feed – artist unknown (at present……)
LIBRARIES CAMPAIGN SNOWBALLS – Campaigners amazed at range of supporters (which now includes Liverpool FC and Dulwich Hamlet FC fans……..)
Here is the latest frontline dispatch from the Friends of Lambeth Libraries sent today (Friday):
On Saturday, 9th April a demonstration gathers at Carnegie Library at 11.30am, marches past nearby Minet Library – also closed on March 31st (but the archives part remains open – Ed.) or can be joined when we get to Windrush Square, Brixton at about 1pm.
“We are expecting a big event. “Lambeth’s arrogance and inefficiency extend well beyond libraries. “We have issues in common with many Lambeth residents suffering from the give-away of public assets to commercial firms, the demolition of people’s homes and the loss of much-loved local landmarks in favour of expensive flats for wealthy outsiders.”
(Readers should note that if they see marchers carrying signs saying ‘Defend the Ten’ that this applies to Lambeth’s ten libraries, not its ten cabinet members – Ed.)
“The occupation at Carnegie library, Herne Hill, is still strong and our supporters are seen and heard far afield. “We are tired, but buoyed up by the support of hundreds of people, from all over Lambeth and beyond.
“One of the many generous donations was a fish and chip supper for all which was delivered on Wednesday evening by the owner of local business Olleys Fish and Chips who tweeted: ‘It’s my pleasure supporting the community.’We all are the community. ‘Without each other there is no community.
“Every day, a constant stream of visitors thank us for what we are doing – for everyone, and ask how they can help. “We are amazed at the range of our supporters.
“Students from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts were in central London showing their support for the Carnegie occupation by visiting GLL premises with banners and placards.
“Liverpool fans in Dortmund unfurled a Save Carnegie banner yesterday, 7th April around the German city. “Dulwich Hamlet will do the same at their away match on Saturday.
“We have supported the junior doctors strike Wednesday, 6th April. “We made a banner to support the BMA strikers at King’s College hospital. “As we are trapped in the building by the council, we gave it to some visitors to take along. “Later the doctors dropped in and spoke on the steps, to support us.
“Each day there has been a continuous pot-luck of entertainers on the library steps: poets, singers, artists, musicians, comedians, performers and choirs. “St Saviour’s, the nearest church, sent two guitarists to lead a sing-song.
“Messages of support have come in from all over the world, including Canada, France, USA, Tanzania and Switzerland.
“Despite all of this support, Lambeth council won’t budge.”
Laura Swaffield, who chairs the Friends of Lambeth Libraries and is one of the Carnegie occupiers, said: “Lambeth council remains at odds with everyone else, and at odds with common sense.
“It is completely out of touch. “And it seems determined to remain so. “For months it has ignored what thousands of residents have been telling it. “That’s why we were finally forced to occupy the Carnegie.”
“Nobody wants four well-used libraries to be reduced to a fraction of their current size, with no staff at all. “Nobody wants two of these four to be converted into gyms at huge expense (likely to exceed £6m).”
At 1pm on Friday there will be a celebration outside Carnegie library.
“Whatever the court’s verdict, we will celebrate our success, and share the wonderful food we have been given with the local community” say FOLL.
A VISIT to the Carnegie this week saw several mock Penguin book covers on the railings outside. A variety of titles – all ‘written’ by Lambeth councillors, include The Idiot; Fahrenheit 2020; How to lose friends and alienate people; Crimes against the Community – and Council of Idiots.
Other titles have included The Book Thief; and Ex Libris: Confessions of a Labour councillor.
Signs included: “Lambeth kids need books”, “GLL go to hell” – and a South London Press cutting which had a photo of library supporters with banners, one of them with DAWN in big letters – which stands for Dulwich and West Norwood Labour party…..
Further reading: Londoners occupy steel magnate’s legacy library – report by Henry Mance, political correspondent Financial Times online April 1st
Local Labour party members question claims made by Herne Hill Labour Cllr’s about Carnegie library – report by Jason Cobb, Brixton Buzz April 6th 2016