Outside the Carnegie Occupation on Day 3
During Saturday afternoon (April 2nd), crowds swelled in support of Carnegie Library protesters who have occupied the library since Thursday evening. There was a photocall at 5pm for the demo crowd outside the library on Herne Hill Road - the largest crowd thus far. Anyone inside the library needing to leave was not allowed back in by police or security hired by Lambeth, so they later joined a crowd buoyed by folk music from The No Frills Band and passing cars beeping to local painter Wendy Sullivan flashing her HOOT FOR LIBRARIES NOW sign.
We caught up with Jeffrey Doorn of Friends of Carnegie Library after he spoke to the crowd. He has been shuttling between the Carnegie and the Minet Libraries. Jeffrey says the Carnegie is serving as a fulcrum for an electorate disappointed by its elected officials in Lambeth who have no belief in community options. The Carnegie is meant to become a "bookish gym" run by GLL. Another main Carnegie organiser, Tim O'Dell, says a court injunction will probably be served on Monday. Protesters have an injunction in the works as well, but it won't see the light of day until a week later. So things could get heavy in the meantime.
People have written to us on the Forum, asking "what do the protestors need?" So we asked around. One occupant suggested floor and kitchen cleaning agents, a bucket and loo roll. A couple of hours after O'Dell, South Camberwell All People's Party rep Steven Govier, and Dorchester Court evictee Jason Collins delivered bags of bread to protesters inside the library at a side entrance, O'Dell explained that "more than anything occupants need people to come and visit with them on the front steps … talk to them, encourage them. Whatever the weather." Try to remember, too, that the occupants are of all ages - from seniors to children!
We waited until after 7pm for Dulwich Hamlet Football Club fans, meant to march in support to the Carnegie from Champion Hill. But when it became apparent they weren't coming, things began to wrap up. By which time it began growing dark, raining harder and getting colder. Yet Wendy Sullivan was still out there getting cars to hoot! More energy for an octogenarian than most people half her age and an example to us all. We asked her why she's pulling out all the stops. She said because the Carnegie "means everything" to her - she's exhibited her artwork there, borrows books from it, uses the internet inside, has friends there. It's like a second home.
The forecast isn't brilliant for Sunday but come on out and show your vital support! You can also join the cavalcade to #SaveLibraries in Lambeth for a protest drive across Brixton which sets off from the Carnegie from 12:30.