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Occupy protesters evicted from Women’s Library

PUBLISHED: 09:59 11 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:23 12 March 2013

Supporters outside the Women's Library on Saturday

Supporters outside the Women's Library on Saturday

Archant

Feminist activists who occupied the Women’s Library on International Women’s Day have been evicted by police.

Protestors being evicted from the Women's Library on SaturdayProtestors being evicted from the Women's Library on Saturday

Organisers said the protestors had remained “defiant to the end” and were eventually dragged from the building by High Court bailiffs and police.

Around 70 protesters from campaign group Reclaim It! occupied the building in Old Castle Street, Aldgate, from 1.30pm on Friday until Saturday afternoon.

They were joined by activists from tax protest group UK Uncut, the Occupy movement and Disabled People against the Cuts.

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

“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.”

Plans to move the library from its current home to the London School of Economics have sparked outrage.A ‘Save The Women’s Library’ campaign was started by London Metropolitan University’s UNISON branch in October.

A spokesperson for London Metropolitan University, where the library is located, said: “We appreciate that many people feel strongly about the future of the Women’s Library, and we would like to take this opportunity to reassure them that the library is not closing for good.

“It will re-open at its new home at the London School of Economics, where the collections will have more space to develop and grow.”

The library first opened 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.

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