Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Two events have been called at Minet Library at Myatt’s Park, this Saturday, National Libraries Day, in response to controversial plans by the council to shut Libraries.

Lambeth Council is planning to sell the Minet and Waterloo Libraries.  Funding will also be stopped for Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood Library. If community groups do not come forward to take over Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood Library, they too may face closure.

Ruth Cashman, Unison Representative for Lambeth Libraries commented;

“Library staff and our Library Friends Groups have been gearing up for a huge membership and publicity drive around National Libraries Day and now we find out the Council has announced plans which threaten half of the borough’s Libraries. Frankly, it’s a slap in the face to library staff, our Friends of Libraries Groups and the communities we serve. We now know exactly what the long-running and costly Cooperative Libraries project was, an attack on a comprehensive public library service across the borough. Labour was reelected boasting that it kept all our libraries open, where is that commitment to the service’s future now?”

Lambeth Council launched the Cooperative Libraries initiative as part of its Cooperative Council Plans. Outlining the plans for the Cooperative Libraries Project in November 2011, Councillor Steve Reed, then Leader of Lambeth Council said;

“I’m excited about the future for Lambeth’s libraries.  While other boroughs have been forced to close libraries thanks to Government funding cuts, thanks to Labour in Lambeth  our library service is now secure for the future.”

UNISON say they will work with the community to fight the Council’s proposals.

The Save Lambeth Libraries campaign have called an event called “Save Our Library Because…” at Minet Library, at 3pm on Saturday 7 February, World Libraries Day. This is followed by a candle lit vigil in Myatt’s Field Park to protest both Library cuts and 50% cuts to the Park, called by the Myatt’s Field Hub.

The Save Lambeth Libraries campaign have called on everyone unable to attend the events to tweet their support for their libraries. Their Facebook Page states

“We are asking people who cannot make it down to the events to tweet a photo to Jane Edbrooke, Cabinet member responsible for Libraries (@JaneEdbrooke) and your local MP with the hashtag ‪#‎SaveLibraries. If you do not have a twitter account, send the photo to us at Save Lambeth Libraries and we will send it out for you. ‬

  • Take a big piece of paper
  • Write “Save Our Libraries Because…” across the top
  • Fill in your reason – it can be something you’ve written, a quote or a picture
  • Send us a photo of yourself holding your “Save Our Libraries Because…” page, tweet it, post it…”


Download pdf version: PRESS RELEASE Library Workers Accuse Council of Insult to National Libraries Day after Cuts and Closures Announcement

Lambeth Save Our Services is proud to support the following demonstration

UCU poster

You can download this poster in .pdf form here

demo 12 april 2013

a5 lobby leaflet front

a5 lobby leaflet back

download a5 lobby leaflet front

download a5 lobby leaflet back

Westminster Bridge joins Parliament with St Thomas’ Hospital. What better place to protest the passage of the NHS privatisation bill (so-called ‘reform’ in the ConDemNewBlueLab newspeak) in Parliament and its upcoming test in the Lords? UK Uncut put out a call to block Westminster Bridge from 1pm on 9 October to tell our rulers: “We won’t take this laying down!”

About 3000 people attended. Many people have memories of being kettled on this very bridge last winter on one of the tuition fees protests. And recently people were kettled, beaten and arrested on Brooklyn Bridge in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. So perhaps worries over the strategic challenge of occupying a bridge kept some people away.

I brought along lots of layers in my rucksack in case we got kettled, but happily it turned out to be unnecessary. An early morning rain had also subsided into a warm but not hot afternoon, with scattered sun. The weather was fine for a day out.

There were loads of great colourful banners and homemade placards. This was encouraged by a guy who gave out speech bubble placards and marker pens for people to write out their own personal slogans. “Block the Bill” stretched across the southern end and “Save the NHS” suspended between two tripods, occupied by protestors in surgical uniforms. There was a refreshing lack of mass-produced party political placards on the southern end of the bridge!

Adding to a carnival atmosphere similar to Reclaim the Streets actions of the 1990s, people dressed up in hospital scrubs and surgeon’s masks or blood-spattered patients; sound systems serenaded different parts of the bridge and a samba band drummed.

Lambeth Keep the NHS Public also put Andrew Lansley on trial. Patients, health workers and others affected by the destruction of the NHS testified against the health minister. His feeble attempts to justify his policies as ‘improving’ the health service were met with boos from the large public jury, and then overruled by the judge. A death sentence was pronounced on Lansley’s political career, and he would be taken to Tyburn where…ahem… his political career would be put to death. Some felt the sentence should be much more severe, but further action was left to the crowd on the day…below is the trial in pictures for your enjoyment

There was also an assembly for planning ‘Occupy London’ actions. Reports on this were positive, though I missed most of this when I went to get some lunch. The assembly continued with personal contributions with health workers and health services users, plus some more comedy.

Around 4:30pm the banners went down. The crowd moved from the bridge, with one group going down to the Southbank and another with the samba band headed towards the roundabout at the end of Westminster Bridge. Rumour had it they were headed to Parliament Square by way of Lambeth Bridge. I was already near the roundabout so I joined the second group. But this all seemed to break up and I went home.

However, I later read that a group had been kettled on Lambeth Bridge for about an hour and forced to take off their scrubs and other ‘disguises’. For an account of this see

We’ll be assembling in Kennington Park at 10.30am so bring a pack lunch and all the banners, instruments and home made placards you can carry. The feeder march has been called by Lambeth SOS, Southwark SOS & Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance.

The ConDems want working class communities to bear the brunt of the economic crisis. And they are using the crisis as a cover for their ideological plans to break up the welfare state. These ‘austerity’ cuts are totally unnecessary. Why should bankers continue raking in fat bonuses while our jobs, services and communities are destroyed? In Lambeth alone the Council are making 37million in cuts this year but across the country people are beginning to fight back…

  • GPs, Unions and patient groups are uniting to keep the NHS public and to keep the market and the private profiteers out.
  • Students and staff have taken to the streets in their tens of thousands to stop funding cuts in education at all levels.
  • In Lambeth, parents and play workers are uniting against the closure of adventure playgrounds and youth clubs. Thousands have signed the petition to stop all the park rangers being sacked. Workers in the libraries and in Lambeth Living are balloting for strike action in response to Council plans to close 4 libraries, 2 mobile libraries and to cut frontline services on housing estates.

Lambeth SOS is an umbrella organisation of local trade unionists, community organisations, pensioners and students working to support & build every struggle against cuts, to save services, to stop job losses and to bring down the ConDems!

Join the national demonstration on March 26th and get in touch at Our next open meetings are on Thursday 17th and 31st March at 6.30pm in the Vida Walsh Centre, Saltoun Road, Brixton.

Camden Council Refuses Entrance to Public

Posted: February 28, 2011 by blackdaffodil in Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!
Tags: , ,

Just got back from Camden town hall, I went with the LSE contingent because it’s our University’s borough, but showing a little solidarity from Lambeth SOS as well! I have no nice words for our Labour council at all, but Camden’s Labour council had upwards of 30 policemen waiting for their constituency. They closed down the main entrance, and police lined the concrete ramp leading to the small door labeled staff entrance.

It seemed absurd when we arrived, a line of pensioners and people in wheelchairs behind a line of metal barricades across the street from the Town Hall. They had tea and biscuits, and one carried my favourite sign: ‘Age Against the Machine’ was once again in play! We yelled ‘Save Great Croft’, one of the two day centres up for the axe. In the words of Mrs Ruse, of Cromer Street, King’s Cross (taken from a Camden Gazette article): “If they closed this centre, they would be sending us all home to die. There would be nowhere else for us to go.”

They are planning to close the centre. They were voting tonight. We chanted with the small crowd, I can’t tell you how awful it was to stand next to elders in wheelchairs across the road from the hall while the police stared at us. But that’s when the main contingent showed up from Camden United Against the Cuts. They had a bus! And several hundred people and we took over the road and got rid of the barriers.

There were attempts to break through the police line, chants of ‘Whose town hall? Our town hall.’ But there were too many of them and the doorway far too defensible.

So we took Euston Road, and held it. At no point before then did I see them allow anyone from the public into the building, and I heard that not even all of the official delegations got in. At least not until we had held the road for forty minutes or more. Maybe more, it felt like more, it was ridiculously cold and damp and my feet and hands have still not recovered. Word was that the meeting had been adjourned, postponed, dragged out, who knows. But they finally did let a handful of people in, a ploy to get us off Euston Road? Text from inside said that the balconies were empty.

And then they stopped letting people in. I laughed at, and others argued with, the police. Not much else to do given their numbers and their funny array of hats. And then I was just too cold, and so I came home, though I was feeling as though I could leap a double line of policemen in a single bound if only to be warm again. But I figured that might be slightly delusional. When I left we were still holding the road.

For some amazing pictures and another take, check out this great blog from HarpyMax, and then there are some more great pictures from demotix, especially if you like pictures of policemen. There’s a great longer post, which includes info on the UCL and anticuts occupations, with a picture from inside Camden town Hall at beyond clicktivism, And make sure you check out the Camden United Against the Cuts site for what’s coming next!

No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts. I’m looking forward to fighting with you all until we win. Or I get so cold I can no longer move my fingers.

Last night around 300 protesters lobbied Lambeth Councillors to vote against the Labour group budget. When security and police refused to allow members of the public into the galleries and overflow rooms a fight broke out in the council lobby and protestors stormed the council chamber.


UK Uncut came out in force against the cuts in Brixton this morning, cold and rainy as it was, as part of the Big Society Bail-In. The demand? Books Not Bonuses.

So a quick note on why protest Barclays Banks, and just what this is all about:

  • £11.6 billion: the amount of profit Barclay’s made in 2009. They paid tax on only 1% (The Guardian)
  • £6.1 billion: the profit Barclay’s declared in 2010, along with a 23% rise in the average pay of its investment banking arm, Barclays Capital (The Guardian)
  • £9 million: the bonus paid to Chief Exec of Barclays, Bob Diamond, this week — more than 400 nurses earn in a year. (UKuncut)
  • over £100 billion: the Bank of England estimate of the subsidies and guarantees to the banking sector in 2009, which Barclays has benefited from. (The Guardian)

How can it possibly be such an uphill battle to save thousands of jobs, frontline services, and a tradition of taking care of each other, when making Barclays (and all the rest) pay their tax could pay for it all?

So we’ll see you on Wednesday, February 23rd, 6pm at Brixton Town Hall to protest as Lambeth Council votes on a budget that will cut almost every council service, anything up to 1000 council workers, and 25% of all staff.

On the 23rd February Lambeth Council meets in full to vote on its proposed budget and we, Lambeth Save Our Services, will be protesting against it, just as we did on the 7th February when hundreds protested at the last cabinet meeting.

What is getting cut?

Almost every council service, anything up to 1000 council workers, 25% of all staff, this includes:

  • The entire park ranger service
  • The entire school crossing patrol service which serves 24 schools
  • More cuts in Children’s Services
  • Libraries budget slashed – staff cut, Nettlefold hall closed, four of nine libraries under cuts consultation
  • Discretionary freedom passes for adults with mental health problems
  • Regeneration schemes on housing estates
  • Cuts and privatisation in adult social care
  • Lambeth and Lewisham Colleges to merge – massive cuts to local education
  • Reduction in highway maintenance levels and potholes
  • Rent rises whilst there are less staff to keep estates safe, clean and in decent state of repair
  • Maintenance of the borough’s parks, cemeteries and crematoria is to be scaled back.
  • Street cleaning levels reduced
  • Many cultural events scrapped
  • Three out of four Public toilets to close
  • Noise nuisance service
  • Reduction in the Faith Engagement Programme, which helps to support events such as Holocaust Memorial Day and Peace on the Streets and other community events and projects.
  • Any much more. For more info see the council website (400+ pages!) or check this websites for Cutswatch updates

What is the alternative?

Most importantly Lambeth SOS believes that our local democratic representatives – councillors –  should not implement government cuts they openly disagree with. Lambeth Labour, who run Lambeth Council, admit that the government cuts to the budget are ideological. We agree – these are cuts made by a Conservative (and Liberal) government made up of millionaires who believe huge public service cuts and big business are the way forward.