St. John's nursery is now being occupied by parents, in protest at its closure by Hackney Council. We managed to set the occupation up despite the presence of a vanload of police and security guards standing by to board up the premises while the children were still inside!
Hackney Council has also been foiled in its attempts to trap us in the building by locking fire exits.
The nursery is Hackney's oldest, established more than fifty years ago, purpose-built, and in a beautiful location (especially for an inner-city area). Over 40 children enjoyed excellent care at the nursery, in a positive, multi-racial setting.
But Hackney Council would rather shell out money to private companies and over-paid Directors than continue to provide decent public nursery care. Many other community facilities have suffered cuts and closures, and nursery campaigners are hoping to link up with these for a united fightback.
Nursery workers had been prepared to take industrial action against the closure, but did not receive sufficient support from their trade union, UNISON. This has been a big disappointment.