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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.

Strike action

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).

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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.

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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


 

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Related links:

Lambeth:

triangleLambeth Unison letter

triangleLambeth & South West London Socialist Party: Revolt in Chile

triangleLambeth & SW London Socialist Party: Crisis in the Middle East - will there be a war?

triangleLambeth & SW London Socialist Party: After the election - Britain's uncharted waters

triangleLambeth & SW London Socialist Party: After the election - What next in the struggle for socialism?

Strike:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

Libraries:

triangleBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

triangleBradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

triangleBradford: Workers walk out over council cuts

Councillors:

triangleCamarthenshire: Councillors' 'walk of shame'

triangleIs there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?

Unison:

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

London:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

Council:

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

Library:

triangleVictory for library workers after 241 days on strike!

Jobs:

triangleThe 'Lucas Plan'

Austerity:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

Labour:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

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