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A Victory for The Friern Barnet People’s Library

 

The Friern Barnet Library occupation ended today after five months. The building was occupied and reopened by squatting campaigners, members of the Occupy movement and local residents. The occupation itself with it’s overwhelming public support and mass media appeal forced the current Tory council in Barnet to give way and remove it’s threat to evict the protest. The keys were cerimonialy handed over from the occupiers of the library to a local community who will now be taking charge of running the library.

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The handover represents a significant victory for the community of Barnet who have been fighting to prevent the library’s closure for several years. The occupation brought the community together and helped form a stronger and more democratic political culture in Barnet. The occupation also helped form new alliances and raised questions in people’s minds about what kind of services they really want.

The victory also belongs to squatters who in the past few years have been demonised, misrepresented and finally criminalised.

See: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/squatting-the-living-nightmare-8181768.html.

Not only has the Friern Barnet Library occupation exposed the lies being told about squatters by politicians and in the media but the squatters of Friern barnet Library have actually defeated a Tory council and prevented a cherished local library from being shutdown and sold off.

The Occupy movement also played a major role in the occupation. Their presence brought with it a stubbornly radical critique of society and a defiant spirit of resistance. The community of Barnet have experienced first hand some of the ideas and methods of the Occupy movement. The significance of the library occupation to the Occupy movement in London cannot be understated.

 

Sign the petition to undo the criminalisation of squatters here:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44597/signature/signed

Follow and participate in The Friern Barnet People’s Library here:

http://fbpeopleslibrary.co.uk

Join the National Library campaign here:

www.librarycampaign.com

ITV SPOT AT THE LIBRARY:

http://www.itv.com/news/london/story/2013-02-05/barnet-library-reopens/

 
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