Library campaigners say council is now under greater pressure

The occupied library in perfect condition
The occupied library in perfect condition

Lambeth council is under far greater pressure over its libraries policy than it was before the 10-day occupation of the Carnegie library in Herne Hill, the sit-in campaigners said in an exit statement.

Thanking supporters, they said the occupation would not have been possible without them.

“We are all part of one action to save our libraries and protect our public services,” said the statement.

“We took this drastic action in the face of an intransigent council that refused to listen. 10 days ago we decided to stay in the library to stop it closing its doors for the last time.”

The council is “completely isolated”, said the campaigners. Their plans were a sham and a shambles.

“The strength of our campaign is not only the unity across all 10 libraries,” they went on. “The unity between library users and library workers has been really important. We have marched together, organised meetings together and lobbied the council together. We have supported the four days of strike action that library workers in Unison have taken so far to support the library service and their jobs and they have shown us their wholehearted support for our occupation.

“We have been humbled by the response of so many people. We have received countless messages of support that have linked this campaign to their own struggles to protect their own services from cuts and privatisation.

“We are proud to be connected to other library campaigns and struggles such as the junior doctors’ strike where people are taking a stand to protect public services.

“We are coming out today stronger than we went in, just as resolute and with much more support.

“We may be leaving the library today, but our campaign continues. We will meet on Thursday to plan our next steps and build on the progress we have made through the occupation.”


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