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Occupied People's Library

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Friern Barnet in North London is a little known testing ground for the government's austerity plan. The counsil are in the process of cutting over twenty services including Children's Services, Social Care and Health and Safety.

The counsil closed the local library in April. Then squatters and Occupiers moved in. Now it is a fully functioning library again with full participation from the locals.

There is no offical structure to the campaign. There is instead an assumed system of self-managment. Decisions are made in groups who are affected by them. There is no official relationship between Occupy and the local campaign. The underlying principle is solidarity and mutual aid.

There is a court case in December to evict the Occupiers. But the fight is on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19590224

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/friern-barnet-library-as-cuts-close-1434695

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/12/friern-barnet-library-cuts-fight ;

Discussion 6 Comments

  • Lambert Meertens 15th Nov 2012

    The last link does not work (it includes a spurious space). This one should:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/12/friern-barnet-library-cuts-fight.

    A recent item:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/11/local-government-democracy-outsourcing-barnet.

  • Preeti Kaur 16th Nov 2012

    Thanks for posting this Mark and Lambert. Is there a date for the court hearing? Would it be possible for interested IOPS London members (like myself) to help support the fantastic campaign?

  • Mark W 16th Nov 2012

    I believe its on the 18th of december. I can get a definite date when it emerges. There is discussion about expanding to bigger scales. IOPS London could help provide analysis and promotion of values, or in other ways but it could be something to help establish the London chapter.

    mk

  • Preeti Kaur 17th Nov 2012

    Thanks. Providing analysis and promoting the values is something I would certainly be very interested in, and I am sure others would too.

    Are you planning to come to the next IOPS London meeting on Sunday 25th November? This might provide a good space to start a discussion on this. It could be raised there under the 'What IOPS London might do' agenda item?
    http://www.iopsociety.org/england/greater-london/events/iops-london-november-meeting

    Preeti

  • Mark W 17th Nov 2012

    I may be at the meeting on the 25th. I'm at my mums soaking up some laziness. I may return for that.
    My thoughts on strategy are mainly how to establish the London chapter. So I'm looking locally for ideas. The squatters are organising a big public meeting on the 25th about resisting the move to criminalise commercial buildings too. If that happens it will be a massive blow to activists, movements, marginalised communities etc.
    Maybe that could be a launching ground for iops london. who knows. I guess I'm looking for local struggles that would help forge links between iops and other groups as well as giving us a means for development through engagment.

    mk

    mk

  • Preeti Kaur 17th Nov 2012

    It would be great to discuss these ideas further with other IOPS members on the 25th. Though, reprieve at your mum's sounds well deserved and needed!
    The big public meeting on the 25th sounds very important too. What time and where will that take place?
    I think that building IOPS through both collective action (as IOPS and with other groups) will be crucial and so look forward to continuing this conversation.
    Preeti