Hackney Council appear determined to sweep away any signs of the old Hackney in time for the 2012 Olympics.
It really is a case of one step forward, two steps back in Dalston. Yes we get a new station, Dalston Junction, but the price is hundreds of towering flats that few if any local residents can afford to move into. Dalston gets a new library, replacing what is a rather dated facility - but its longstanding name, the CLR James Library, is to be ditched.
This is shameful. James was one of the greatest thinkers of his generation, in both the Caribbean and later the UK. Good enough at cricket to play in the Lancashire league with his friend Learie Constantine, James' Beyond A Boundary, is considered one of the finest books on our summer sport ever written. It is however for his activism, and his writing on race, history and Marxism for which he is best known. The Black Jacobins, on the Haitian slave revolt, is a timeless piece of writing, that has influenced activists in groups as diverse as the African National Congress through to contemporary Anarchists.
Hackney Council honoured CLR James by naming a library after him. To remove that honour, is a way of saying that CLR James does not count anymore. And of course CLR James does not count - certainly not to the people who run Hackney Council.
Others feel differently. His work, and his life, stand the test of time. You can sign the petition to keep the library's name here. I urge you to do so.