Library campaigners rally in Herne Hill

Herne Hill library protestLambeth libraries campaigners gathered outside Herne Hill station this morning in the hope of confronting Labour party members due to assemble there to campaign for their mayoral and Greater London Assembly candidates.

Reading about the "genteel occupation" of the Carnegie library in the Financial Times
Reading about the “genteel occupation” of the Carnegie library in the Financial Times

But the only sighting of a Labour activist was Camberwell & Peckham MP Harriet Harman in a nearby café, who had thanked one campaigner for showing her a much discussed item about the “genteel occupation” of the Carnegie library in the Financial Times.

Gerlinde Gniewosz
Gerlinde Gniewosz

The lively rally heard from Cressingham Gardens campaigner Gerlinde Gniewosz and a multi-tasking solidarity speaker campaigning for Barnet libraries in north London who broadcast herself live via an iPhone.

Campaigners believe the council will on Monday morning seek a court order to remove them.

Reports of a late-night Twitter spat angered the protesters. Lambeth councillor Alex Bigham (Stockwell) had engaged with library campaigners first by posting a video of a bored and yawning cat, then, apparently in response to accusations about gyms in the Carnegie and Minet libraries, with another video of cats on a keep-fit treadmill.

He apologised with a third video of a cat reading a book on military strategy, saying: “Here’s one doing something we can all agree on”.


  1. Lib Peck invisible. In fact no Lambeth councilor or rep has bothered to come – except one 100% focused on getting us out.
    So much for our last report action to shame council into listening to community – overwhelmingly against losing much used library run on a shoestring, in favour of spending millions on a gym nobody wants or needs.
    Lambeth still has fingers jammed in ears. Only reaction so far is to summon police & numerous security guards, all standing about with nothing at all to do (at our expense).
    Mind you, it does look intimidating, which we don’t at all. Well done, Lambeth.
    As I write, crowd of supporters outside huge, spilling into road, but cars don’t mind – they are all tooting in support.

  2. Lib Peck did NOT come (unless disguised). No councilor or Lambeth rep has bothered to visit – except the one 100% focused on getting us out asap.
    After all, it’s a massive demonstration of public opinion & community engagement.
    The last thing council wants.

    The occupation is a last resort plea for council to listen to views of entire area – overwhelmingly against losing their much-loved library (where usage is rocketing) so council can waste millions on GLL gym.

    Council’s tactic is to keep fingers jammed in ears & bring in police and loads of security staff. All standing about doing nothing (at our expense). Does look intimidating though – while we do not. Well done, Lambeth!

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