Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Crisis: Ruskin Readers & Carnegie Library - 2

Support into the early hours

The #carnegieoccupation has been ongoing for 7 days now.  And it’s trending in 19th place on Twitter.  Don’t think Lambeth was expecting that.

On Monday evening Ruskin Readers went along to the library at our usual time to see if security would let us in to the building to do the vital adult literacy work we’ve been doing for the last 40 years.

Unsurprisingly, we were denied entry.  Our stock of books, laptops and folders are trapped in the library and we cannot gain access to any of them (all locks in the building were changed by Lambeth before the planned closure on 31st March).  Once we do gain access to all of this we will then have to mull over the problem of where to store 2 cupboard’s worth of necessaries.

After joining in the vigil on the steps of the library, interviews by London Live and photo opportunities, students and tutors headed to the Cambria Pub for a pow wow.  We’ve still had very little response from Lambeth on where we will be housed during our eviction.

The wonderful acting Head of Lambeth libraries (having been dumped with our dilemma at the 11th hour) is doing her utmost to sort out a new venue for us.

The Cambria - Kemerton Road SE5
But meanwhile the public spirited landlord of The Cambria has generously offered us space in the pub on Monday evenings.  We will hopefully be convening there as of next week.  Volunteer tutors will raid their lofts, storage units, basements etc for old readers and literacy friendly books to keep our students going in the interim.

We are however still without a venue for our Wednesday afternoon class.

On Saturday the campaign to save Carnegie library, and defend others in the same position, made it into the Financial Times.  And today another feature in The Times (albeit on p17) highlights the importance of this issue for the most vulnerable in our community.

A protest march is taking place on Saturday 9th April.  It starts at 11:30am from Carnegie Library.  Please lend your support either in person or on Twitter #carnegieoccupation #defendtheten and Facebook.

One of the councillors who handled this whole business so appallingly has been MOVED ALONG.  But we all know this is not going to solve the problem.  Let’s hope Lambeth decides to talk to the COMMUNITY sometime soon rather than only pretending to.


  1. I would like to say I'm shocked at the behaviour of Lambeth council, but sadly this sort of strong-arm tactics is the norm nowadays. I do hope your good literacy works continue - good for the pub coming to the rescue. It's just so sad they have to. Hope the protest march today went well.

  2. Thanks for the support Lindsay. Yes, indeed, strong arm tactics seem to be the order of the day.

    I'd say the march went well. We had a few supporters turn out. Take a look at my Facebook page later. Doing an album at the moment.