Lambeth councillors Scott Ainslie (Green) and Rachel Heywood (Ind Lab) were among the first to sign Defend the Ten’s libraries pledge at the Carnegie library, Herne Hill on Tuesday.

The occasion was a mini-rally outside the library on Herne Hill to celebrate the second anniversary of the library’s occupation and to gain support for the pledge.

All candidates in next month’s elections are being asked to sign the Ten’s libraries pledge which commits signatories to the reinstatement of a full library service in all ten library sites in Lambeth, proper funding and full staffing, an end to the financial giveaway to trusts and leisure firms, and a real long-term strategy for libraries.

Defend the Ten’s Michaela Loebner, welcoming people, told them: “Yet again we are on the steps of the Carnegie library. “We’ve only got a pre-election library in this space. “We know after the election it’s going to be shoved into one of the side rooms.

“We haven’t got the library service, we haven’t got the librarians and the trained library staff.”

Referring to the 10-day library occupation of the building she told library users: “We’re strong today because of that.”

Michaela told those assembled outside the library on Herne Hill Road: “We are going along to every election hustings meeting asking the candidates if they are prepared to sign this pledge.

“Labour tell us they care about libraries and they are safe in their hands. “I don’t think we’ve got any illusions that this Labour administration will sign up to it but that’s the pressure we are going to put on them.”

Scott Ainslie told News From Crystal Palace: “Ever since I got involved right back at the beginning with the ‘call in’ for Culture 2020 and I worked with the team that became Defend the Ten these objectors demands are the same as they were back then.

“Things have not changed. “There’s a perfectly reasonable management staff mutual plan in place that is financially viable. “We cannot take what Lambeth Labour say as gospel.”

Paul Rocks, Green party candidate for Gipsy Hill ward, was also there to sign the pledge.

In an ‘election countdown’ photo-session which followed campaigners lined up with posters of all the library users who have been part of the weekly photo-feature – reported in News From Crystal Palace – which counts down the weeks to the May 3rd elections.


Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten

Today, the wonderful @cllrheywood and @Scott4Streatham signed the pledge, as did other candidates standing in the May 3 election. Candidates from @LambethLibDems, @Lambethgp, @LambethLabour and any other parties are most welcome to follow suit.

Defend The Ten Retweeted Pete Johnson  🇪🇺‏ @pedrojuk Replying to @defendtheten

Consider it signed. I’m a @Lambethgp candidate for Streatham South and am with you all the way.

Defend The Ten Retweeted Chris Holt‏ @10minuteyoga Replying to @defendtheten @cllrheywood and 4 others

Consider it signed. Green Party candidate Streatham Hill.

Defend The Ten Retweeted Becki Newell‏ @BexLDN

Hi @defendtheten Well done for yesterday’s protest and pledge signing. I couldn’t be there but as a @Lambethgp candidate for Gipsy Hill I would like to sign a pledge. Please do feel welcome to get in contact. Much love

Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten

…so sign the pledge, ask your candidate if they have, and, whatever you do, on May 3: VOTE LIBRARY!!

Other Twitter posters commented on the actual event:

Defend The Ten Retweeted Stella Duffy‏ @stellduffy

“We couldn’t find any of the local community prepared to pose – and local disabled people couldn’t get in – so we took a pic of ourselves enjoying the ‘library’ as it makes way for an unnecessary gym.”

Defend The Ten Retweeted Torla Evans‏ @EvansTorla

#Defendtheten It was a blast at Carnegie today. The inimitable Micki and all the lovely library defenders were on top form despite the rain. Good people signed the pledge, too . Watch out Lambeth council, all will be revealed !

Defend The Ten Retweeted Helen‏ @jhgm50

For a wet Tuesday after a long bank holiday weekend this was a b***** good effort! Plenty of others out of shot, too busy chatting to pose! @FrndsofCarnegie @defendtheten


Candidates in Lambeth wanting to sign the Pledge please go to:


Come and meet the borough council election candidates for Herne Hill ward (Lambeth) and Dulwich Village ward (Southwark) at Herne Hill Forum hustings event, Tuesday 17th April, at Herne Hill baptist church, Half Moon Lane, SE27 9HU. Doors open at 6.30, hustings will start at 7.

It’s your chance to have your say about the issues that concern you in Herne Hill, and we want to hear from you. You can submit your questions in to advance to, or come along on the night to join the debate from the floor. We look forward to seeing you. (Source: Herne Hill Forum)


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