Homeless people in Manchester banned from using central library

  • Manchester City Council have said the ban preventing homeless people from using the library has come from protesters attempting to storm the central library and occupy the premises./images/briefing/padlock.jpg

    Protesters are saying that the ban on the central library in Manchester makes them feel like "second-class citizens" and "members of the underclass" and are accusing Manchester city council of social cleansing, reports the Guardian.

    The group has been camping in the city centre for three weeks after an anti-austerity demonstration on 15 April. Around 30 homeless people orgininally set up tents outside the town hall in Albert Square, however the council won a possession order against them so they moved around the corner to St Peter's Square.

    A spokesman for Manchester city council said it had decided not to allow the protesters into the library following skirmishes on Tuesday which led to the facility closing early.

    "Unfortunately, the protesters had to be removed from central library on two occasions yesterday, after physically attempting to force their way into the building in order to occupy it, causing distress to children and families using the library as well as members of city council staff. Members of the group were arrested for public order offences and assaults on security staff," he said in a statement. "Following these incidents, we cannot risk any more potential disturbances affecting library users, and so we are not allowing members of the group inside the building, but as we have made clear to them they are still able to use the public toilets on Lloyd Street - less than a minute's walk away - as they have done throughout the entire duration of their protest. These incidents sadly led to us having to close the library earlier than usual, and we have also had to limit public access to the main Shakespeare Hall entrance of the library as a result of ongoing security concerns caused by the presence of the group. We have no choice other than to apologise to those library users who need to use the building and have been inconvenienced as a result of this."

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