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Behind-The-Books Blog

The protesters’ libraries

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

I learnt from the Guardian this week something quite inspiring: Occupy campaigners across the world have begun to set up informal libraries in their tent cities. Yes – in London there is a little library satirically named ‘StarBooks’ (anti-capitalist jokes, what fun!), and the Vancouver protesters even have a whole section on ‘The American Empire’.  See pictures here.

For some reason, I find the photographs quite uplifting. Whether you agree with their principles or not, it’s somehow reassuring to know that these protesters are the type to huddle down in their sleeping bags with their nose in a book. London should count itself lucky; the last ‘protesters’ (aka ‘rioters’) were determined to steal everything apart from books. This summer, amongst the ruins, ash, and broken glass, Waterstone’s alone remained intact. Not so with the new breed of campaigners! Perhaps, with the closure of many libraries across the country, we should take a leaf from their book and start our own community book-shares. As a sign in the Occupy Los Angeles camp proudly proclaims, ‘A library is not a luxury, it is a necessity.’

Picture by Mark L Scott (as featured in the Guardian)

Picture by Mark L Scott (as featured in the Guardian)

Sara Magness, Editorial Administrator


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