an image of the ‘big society’? a report from woodberry down community library

by ‘Lady Stardust’

The Tories are talking about the Big Society; anti-capitalists are talking about self-organisation and the commons; and the anti-cuts campaigns are demanding the preservation or re-instatement of state run and controlled services. Amongst this finding a radical critique of the state whilst defending those state services; finding a critique of self-exploitation whilst acknowledging the great things communities and small groups are doing to change lives and empower people – is not always easy. To take a concrete example we did a couple of interviews with some people running a community library in Hackney, North London.

The history

Woodberry Down is a huge run-down estate in Hackney with a population of 280,000. It has had a long planned and long delayed regeneration programme, resulting in repairs not done and empty flats; along side a huge building site for a flashy new development of ‘mixed housing’. Continue reading “an image of the ‘big society’? a report from woodberry down community library”