The worldwide librarians and information and
knowledge workers join this protest against to
whom it may concern for the racist intent of
closing the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)
Library of UK!
It is incredible that a Commission for Racial
Equality wants to bring, expand and deepen racial
inequality by deeply deepening the information
divide among people, among races, because what
they do not know is that a library is precisely a
place for all, for everyone, for all races, all
colors, all backgrounds, all religions, all
sexualities, all diversities!
The intent of closing this library comes when the
racist party British National Party is wining
some positions in the Parliament! Close fascist
The intent of closing this library is when the UK
military is backing the US invasion to Irak.
Close the military instead!
The intent of closing this library is when the UK
spends billions of pounds keeping the nuclear
military power! Close the military instead and
build billions of libraries instead, they are
cheaper, safer and wiser!
Our most strong protest: No to the closure of
this or any other library! Build libraries
instead! Our most profound and strong solidarity
with our colleagues of this library!
No to racism!
No to the racist closure of CRE library in UK!
Let's save the CRE Library!
Let's save the jobs of the CRE librarian and
Read the letter of our British colleagues:
Progressive librarians, trade unionists and
political activists campaign to save CRE Library
Open letter to Chair of the Commission for Racial
Equality on his decision to close the “leading
specialist race relations resource centre” to
members of the public 1
16 August, 2004
Commission for Racial Equality
We understand that CRE is proposing to close the
library at the Commission for Racial Equality to
members of the public.2 This will also involve
job losses for its library staff.
This is a short-sighted decision at a time when
there is an even greater need to disseminate
facts and figures on issues of race and other
aspects of equality. In the absence of a
nationally-coordinated information campaign to
give correct information to people, it is the
racist media and parties whose views will be
dominant. Far from closing access to CRE
library, it is essential that it should be given
more resources to become an active player in
disseminating the true picture of racism and
xenophobia in the context of corporate
globalisation which has led to increasing racial
tension in the world.
This is the time when concerns about
institutional and personal racism in Britain and
Europe, as a whole, are increasing. Race
relations in Britain have been damaged greatly by
all political parties increasingly using
misinformation around refugees and asylum seekers
as an election issue. Britain’s involvement in
invading Iraq, and the subsequent anti-Muslim
climate created by the USA-UK policies, need to
be counter-balanced by the corrective force of
real information – a role that CRE should be
playing through its library.
It is ironic that at a time when the Government
is talking about finding a new relevance for
public library service through its programme of
“Framework for the Future,”3 an important
resource that should help public libraries meet
their equality targets is being restricted in its
use. A model CRE library should be able to
provide guidance to public libraries on how to
achieve, in practice, an “equal” library service,
but all we get from CRE is a further reduction to
the already restricted service on offer now. We
doubt that the Government’s aim of achieving
greater “social cohesion” can ever be met when
the “leading specialist race relations resource
centre” is being cut down. A society where only
one-sided sources of information prevail can
never be a coherent one.
This action by the CRE also indicates a lack of
commitment to the spirit of the Stephen Lawrence
Inquiry which challenged institutional racism in
the British society. The Race Relations
(Amendment) Act 2000 gives public authorities a
new statutory duty to promote race equality.
Does this proposed action by CRE itself meet this
We would like the CRE to inform the public if its
decision to close down an important public
service meets the following requirements of the
Race Equality Scheme which is one of the specific
duties under the Act. A body which advises the
rest of us on how to meet the legal duty to
“promote race equality” surely needs to set an
exemplary example itself. Does the CRE decision
on its library meet the following requirements of
the Race Equality Scheme?
assess whether their functions and policies are
relevant to race equality
monitor their policies to see how they affect
assess and consult on policies they are proposing
publish the results of their consultations,
monitoring and assessments
make sure that the public have access to the
information and services they provide
train their staff on the new duties 4
If CRE cannot meet these basic equality
requirements, then it gives us further cause for
concern about its ability and commitment to
achieving racial equality in Britain.
We would like to receive assurance from you that
the CRE library will remain a public access
service. We would like you to re-prioritise CRE
budget and ensure that the essential information
role of CRE is, in fact, enhanced. Further, we
would like to receive assurance that there will
not be any job losses for the CRE library staff.
We are also keen to hear what vision the CRE has
to ensure that the information rights of British
people are met.
Shiraz Durrani, BA, Dip.Lib., FCLIP, MBE
18 Ranelagh Road
A. Alexis, PA to Chair, CRE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prime Minister, Tony Blair: copied through:
Tessa Jowell, Culture Secretary, Department of
Culture, Media & Sport: email@example.com
Institute of Race Relations. Editor: Arun
David Lammy, Tottenham MP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Batt, Chief Executive, Museums, Libraries,
Archives (MLA): email@example.com
Bob McKee, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute
of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP):
Matthew Mezey, Library & Information Update:
Linda Perks, Unison London Regional Secretary:
Wilf Sullivan, Unison National Black members,
Rosemary McLoughlin, Merton Unison:
The Guardian: firstname.lastname@example.org
--- Shiraz Durrani
> You may want to send the attached to CRE.
> Please send me a copy if you do
> ATTACHMENT part 2 application/msword
name=Progressive librarians and activists (CRE