The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Officials Want to Turn Library into Police Station

May 23, 2022

The City Council in the town of McFarland in central California’s Kern County has announced its plans to turn the town’s only public library into the town’s police headquarters.

Much of the community relies on this library, even though it is open only two days a week. Many students walk to the library after school. Other students are dropped off at the library and stay there until 6 p.m., when the library closes. Besides being a safe place with access to books and computers, the library offers young students a variety of activities, such as arts and crafts, story time, and tutoring.

But the City Council and the rest of the town’s top officials—including the superintendent of the school district—are determined to convert the library into a police headquarters. In a letter to the county, the City Council even said that there was little opposition in the community to the conversion of the library into police headquarters—even though no one had asked community members what they thought about it.

And sure enough, community members of all ages have openly opposed closing the library after the City Council revealed its intentions. The police chief (and city manager), said that the library would be in better use as police headquarters, because it’s being used only two days a week. Eight-year-old Francisco Hernandez had a logical, and simple, answer for him, saying: “It should be open every day!” More than 1,700 people—about one out of eight residents of McFarland—have already signed an online petition to stop the closure of the library.