Search

Activists occupy Women’s Library on International Women’s Day

17:14 08 March 2013

Protestors at the Women

Protestors at the Women's Library

Archant

Feminist activists have occupied the Women’s Library on International Women’s Day in a bid to help save it from closure.

Around 70 protesters from campaign group Reclaim It! have been occupying the building in Old Castle Street, Aldgate, since around 1.30pm on Friday.

Organisers said the occupation was “part of a growing wave of feminist anger against the government’s austerity regime”.

History lecturer and library user Josie Foreman is among those joining the occupation.

“The Women’s Library houses a world-renowned collection of women’s history”, she said.

“At a time when women are bearing the brunt of this government’s savage cuts, cuts which compound the gender inequality of our society, this history is more important than ever.

“We are here to fight for our right to access that history, which is our history”, she added.

The Reclaim It! group said on Twitter that there was a great atmosphere during Friday afternoon as Samba bands played.

But later in the afternoon, the group tweeted: “Police and security have tried to stop the occupation, we are resisting. Come and join us- solidarity needed.@MillionWomen #Reclaim_it”.

Plans to move the library from its current home to the London School of Economics have sparked outrage, with MP for Bethnal Green and Bow a vocal critic.

A ‘Save The Women’s Library’ campaign was started by London Metropolitan University’s UNISON branch in October.

The library began its life in 1926, and has been in its Old Castle Street location for 10 years. It houses artefacts including banners, posters and pamphlets documenting women’s struggles for equality everywhere from the polling station to the workplace.

Related articles

Latest News Stories

17:42
Jerry Cooper (centre) with his daughter Marilyn Ehren and son Ivor Cooper

The family of a “dedicated” philanthropist, war veteran and cabbie have paid tribute to his life of helping others.

12:37
Performing their composition... Isle of Dogs yopungsters with members of The Heath Quartet at Wigmore Hall [Pictures: Arnham Wharf’s Janet Banzaca]

Music compositions by children from a Docklands school in London’s East End have been performed on stage at the prestigeous Wigmore Hall.

12:11
Joel Adesina was stabbed on December 5 off Bethnal Green Road.

A 20-year-old man this morning denied killing a schoolboy in Bethnal Green.

12:06
Branching out... students take break from studies at Queen Mary's to help clear cemetery woodland

Students have been on a tidy-up to let more sunlight into the huge Tower Hamlets Cemetery in London’s East End as part of their annual ‘Green Mary’ project.

Most read news

16-year-old Becky Watts went missing from her home on three weeks ago.

One woman from Dorset certainly thinks he is.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder