Sorry to rock the boat on this one, but I totally agree with the following paragraph:
It must be noted that various groups have adopted the area informally and this does not constitute a right over the space. Whilst from their perspective the area is welcoming, for other students or groups who want to use the area when they exert their control over the space it can be unwelcoming. The area has thus not always been functioning as a student lounge as intended. There are reports of students being abused or asked to leave where this conflicts with an organised group activity in the space. Thus bookable space is the fairest way of allocating resources available.
Whether or not it was done deliberately, a very small portion of the student (and non-student) population has dominated that space for quite a long time. They have no right over the space, and have exploited the space to the exclusion of others.
Whilst I have, in the past, enjoyed the privilege of being part of this select group, and I can understand why those of you still using the space will be annoyed to lose it, I hardly see it as fair that this small group should get to keep this space for themselves and stop the development of the space for all students.
The argument that this is a "student space" for "all students" is clearly bullshit, as is pointed out in the above quoted paragraph. Any protest would come from purely selfish reasons; you want the Mary Cooke lounge to remain geek central, and would not be happy if, say, it started to become a regular meeting place for the campus jocks or the Young Liberals. You are upset not at the loss of "student space" but at the loss of "our space", and that, in the end, is the reason you are losing it.