Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/879/21771
From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2015
Strike to save Lambeth libraries
Laurence Maples and Steve Nally, Lambeth Socialist Party
Labour controlled Lambeth Council in South London plans to devastate library services in the borough. It plans to close down five of its ten libraries in order to sell them off to private gym companies. Lambeth's residents are not prepared to put up with this attack.
On 7 November Lambeth Unison held a demonstration to demand the reversal of this decision.
This was filled out by the Friends of the Libraries group and 600 people angrily marched from Windrush square to a group of councillors' surgery, ironically held in a library.
The Socialist Party energetically took part in the demonstration and our demand for an escalating programme of strike action was enthusiastically received.
There was a real understanding among protestors that councillors have other options, particularly given that they are spending £50 million on an unnecessary new town hall and tens of millions a year on agency staff.
Many protestors highlighted the injustice of careerist councillors defying Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity mandate.
Unfortunately, the organisers prevented Socialist Party members from speaking at the closing rally despite the Socialist Party having an elected officer in Lambeth Unison branch.
Shamefully, the councillors snuck out of the building, refusing to engage with protestors and left with chants of "shame on you" ringing in their ears.
A few days later 250 lobbied and attended an obscure committee meeting which saw cracks appear as some councillors put limited demands on council leaders to review their plans.
More protests and legal action are planned and Unison is considering strike action to save libraries and and much needed jobs.
Lambeth Socialist Party also held a successful public meeting to discuss how to save the libraries on 12 November and recieved media coverage in the London Evening Standard on 11 November (see inset).
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 18 November 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
How to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity
We can defeat the Tory cuts!
Tories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers
Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption
Councils won't spend a penny
Them & Us
Socialist Party features
The end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?
How can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?
International socialist news and analysis
Paris terror attacks
Workplace news and analysis
Junior doctors: first strikes in 40 years
Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs
Historic London bus drivers' agreement
Reinstate sacked CWU reps
Pro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members
Support for Roger Bannister in Unison election
Workplace news in brief
Readers' comments and reviews
All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike
A day in the life of a Game retail worker
Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"
Robert Tressell's characters are all too real to me
My struggle for an income I can live on
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Labour bans union activist
Thousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism
Strike to save Lambeth libraries
Gaining momentum in Lewisham
Anger at care home closure
The Socialist 18 November 2015 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook