The Friern Barnet Library gets Six Weeks before Eviction

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Jan 8 23:11:40 GMT 2013

The Friern Barnet Library gets Six Weeks before Eviction
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]
This entry was posted on December 19, 2012. 

The homelessness of many people on the street is not merely a lack of 
housing. Society puts many demands on people, often excluding and 
refusing to accept those who do not conform to the rigid standards 
deemed as normal.
The Simon Community accepts people for who they are, rather than 
trying to tell people who they should be. When we make contact with 
homeless people we do so on their own terms and aim to live with them 
in a philosophy of love, tolerance, acceptance and self-help. For 
this reason we do not seek to rehabilitate people, but to give them 
the opportunity to think about their lives, what they want and 
provide them with some choices.

Why do people become homeless?
The theory underlying our work is that many people end up on the 
streets as a result of damaging life experiences and have difficulty 
making relationships work. They often have unrealistic expectations 
of themselves, other people and social structures. We therefore 
believe that helping people move forward from homelessness and the 
social exclusion that accompanies it is not just about providing 
accommodation. It must include helping people build stable 
relationships and achieve a sense of belonging. Hence the importance 
of working as a community.

Why do some people choose to sleep rough when there are hostels?
Surviving life as a homeless person on the streets of London leaves 
little time for thinking of a way out. Finding food and shelter, 
avoiding violence, coping with ill health and loneliness can take all 
of a person's energies. A bed in a traditional hostel will provide 
temporary comfort, but it alone is not the answer. For some, hostel 
rules and regulations can contribute to their sense of powerlessness. 
For others, bad experiences of hostel life have led them to prefer to 
take their own chances on the street.

Should I give to beggars?
Whether or not you give to beggars is an entirely personal choice. 
What may be more important is to consider that many homeless people 
have not had any positive human contact for some time and they are 
likely to be feeling vulnerable, isolated and ignored. Remember that 
they are people just like you and at least take the time to 
acknowledge their presence.
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Twitter: @TonyGosling
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revealed; and nothing hid that shall not be made known. What I tell 
you in darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye hear in the 
ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
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