New Cross library in south east London is under occupation tonight (Saturday) by campaigners against its closure.
Up to 50 people have been occupying the building since 5pm after a ‘read-in’ that began at 3pm.
New Cross is one of more than 450 libraries threatened with closure in the cuts.
The occupation comes after a national day of read-ins to save libraries, which saw protests and events at libraries across Britain.
The read-in group at New Cross library voted to continue its protest by staying in overnight.
Occupier James Holland, of Save New Cross Library, said, ‘I think with this occupation we are going to take the libraries campaign – and the anti-cuts campaign in general – to a whole new level. We are just not going to put up with these cuts.
‘We need to save all public services and we don’t need to cut any of them. I don’t understand why people aren’t looking at the genuine alternatives to fund public services and to getting the money from the people who can afford to pay it – that’s exactly the answer.’
Lewisham council recently estimated the cost of keeping the library open would be just £100,000 a year – far less than the wage of the council’s senior executives.
The protesters’ current plan is to stay until midday tomorrow (Sunday).
They are calling for more people to come and join the occupation.
And the occupiers are also planning to be part of the protest at Lewisham Council’s next meeting to decide on the cuts, at 9am on Thursday 17 February at Catford Town Hall.
New Cross Library is at 283-285 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6AS
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