Hands Off Our Libraries campaign '˜celebrating victory'

The Hands Off Our Libraries campaign is celebrating victory after Minister for Communities Paul Givan announced that extra funds have been found to prevent cuts to opening hours at 14 branches, including Glengormley.
Glengormley Library. (Archive pic)Glengormley Library. (Archive pic)
Glengormley Library. (Archive pic)

The campaign organised a day of action on Saturday, June 25, supported by Unite the Union, which saw protests and campaigning at all the libraries under threat. The campaign also picketed Minister Givan’s constituency office in Lisburn and delivered thousands of petitions against the cuts to the Department of Communities.

Local spokesperson Pat Lawlor said: “This is a significant U-turn on the part of the Minister, under pressure from community activism. We have halted the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ to which our libraries have been subjected by successive administrations, both at Stormont and Westminster. We can’t be complacent going forward, but this an important victory for the communities which would have been effected by further cuts to these vital services.

“This victory should give confidence to communities and to working people that it is possible to resist austerity and demand that people’s needs are put before the profits of the bankers and big business.”

The Hands Off Our Libraries Campaign was initiated by Labour Alternative and backed by various local trade union councils and anti-austerity groups.