Friern Barnet Library: a People's Library, and a People's Victory
Here is a press release from Friern Barnet Community Library:
"The trustees of FBCL have now received an amended licence from LBB to
allow them to be in the library legally. They will have 2 weeks, with
promise of renewal of licence if necessary, to negotiate a lease and
other matters. LBB has shown a willingness to amend the licence to their
There was a meeting tonight [Thursday 31
January] at 7 pm where it was agreed that Occupy will hand over the keys
to the building Tuesday 5th February 12 midday - EVERYONE WELCOME
The local residents thanked Occupy for a fantastic occupation.Occupy encouraged Friern Barnet Community Library to continue to fight
for a paid librarian and said this victory was not just about a local
library but about the national campaign to save libraries everywhere."
The story of Friern Barnet Library is so much more than the tale of one library, one community, or even the library campaign itself.
It is a magnificent example of what ordinary people can achieve, if they just try to stand up for something they feel passionately about, to fight an injustice, to make their voices heard. It might be a library, it might be a hospital, it might be a school: it is a fight going on all over the country: a resistence to the plundering of our communities, the marketing of everything we own, the destruction of our welfare state, our NHS, our educational system.
Our Tory councillors have been well and truly outmanoeuvred, defeated by the determination, hard work and ingenuity of residents who would not sit back and let their elected representatives act in defiance of their wish to retain something they considered to be at the very heart of their community.
Of course heart and community are difficult words for our Tory administration to comprehend: in the end what has forced them into what is really a pretty ignominious defeat is the cold hard political reality of the next election, and the probability of massive loss of seats for the Conservative party in Barnet.
Here is another warning for Capita, and any other interested parties watching from the sidelines: the Battle of Barnet is not over.
Whether the weapon of choice is direct action, or the use of legal challenge, the people of Broken Barnet will continue to fight for their borough, their services, and their future.
Get out while you can, Mrs Angry would suggest: retreat with dignity.
Mrs Angry lives in the Tory run London Borough of Broken Barnet.
Mrs Angry's Fan Club - rather surprisingly - Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government - "Mrs Angry, (as she had every right to be)" ...
Boris Johnson, sidestepping Mrs Angry's probing questions: Who are these people? ... Ah: Socialists ...
"The Finchley Fishwife" ..: "You - you are a nasty piece of work" - Brian Coleman
The rages and reflections of Mrs Angry -Top London blogger', (even though she isn't a bloke, and doesn't write about cycling) - Dave Hill, Guardian ...
'Why do you have to be so embarrassing? And stop swearing.' Mrs Angry's daughter.