The Friern Barnet Library gets Six Weeks before Eviction

Barnet Library

The Friern Barnet library, opened up again by squatters and the community in September this year, stocked with 8,000 books from local donations (after the TSG raided the building to take the existing stock) and has became more popular and accessible than ever before. In the true tradition of squatting, people took the initiative to open a private building as a public space, organising and running it collectively for the benefit of the community. SQUASH commends the hard work done by these local heroes, who have overcome the odds to create something beautiful and vibrant, even while they have had to fight tooth-and-nail (metaphorically speaking) against the reactionary forces of the neo-liberal Barnet Council, its One Barnet privatisation programme and squad of legal goons.

The case was heard on Monday (17th December) and the district judge Patricia Pearl granted the occupants six weeks of leave before an eviction would take place. She recognised their “right to protest” but stated they needed to be removed so that Barnet Council could continue with giving the building over to Craptia (sic), the multinational infrastructure company. The occupiers will be appealing the verdict.

In the meantime, get down to the Library to show some support and see how you can help out. They will be open over the solstice period including hosting a bring-a-dish Christmas lunch, and no doubt working hard over this holiday period, along many other local anti-cuts groups faced with unwarranted and fast-tracked budget cuts early in the new year. Happy winter solstice, merry Christmas and a portentous New Year to all.

Some articles:

“Occupied Friern Barnet Library in court Monday” [IMC UK, 16th December 2012]

Solidarity message from sister reclaimed-commons group, Transition Heathrow

“Barnet library squatters to be evicted, judge rules” [Guardian, 18th December 2012] [Top prizes for those who can spot the well-positioned words and phrases in this article which undermine squatting in general]