WJBK Fox 2 in Detroit reported that 11 BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) activists were arrested for occupying the Lincoln Branch Library after it closed. The library was one of four Detroit Public Libraries being permanently closed as a result of a Detroit Public Library Commission decision made last month to deal with reductions in budget and staff.
The activists stayed in the building after it was closed while numerous protesters voiced support from outside. Police were called and gave several warnings to the protesters inside the building that they needed to leave. The protesters continued to occupy the library and were eventually arrested. The Fox 2 video shows the protesters being led out of the building in handcuffs with the crowd voicing loud support for them.
One of the protesters was only 15 and was released, but 10 others are currently in jail and might be held through Christmas. BAMN is calling for everyone to contact the Detroit jail to ask for the release of the library protesters.
It’s so sad to see these libraries close, but it’s great to see that there is so much support from the local communities. Hopefully that support can be focused into a well organized campaign to force Detroit to fund its public libraries like Measure L in Los Angeles.