Friday 1 February 2013
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 satisfaction.
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.
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.
Or face the consequences.