Hundreds to picket Jack the Ripper museum in Cable Street near Tower of London
- Credit: Julian Cole
Hundreds of protesters are expected to picket outside the new Jack the Ripper Museum opening in London’s East End next week.
Members of the Class War protest organisation plan to demonstrate on Wednesday evening outside the museum in Cable Street, half-a-mile from the Tower of London, the day after it opens to the public.
The museum’s theme is the blood-curdling Whitechapel Murders of 1888 when the Ripper stalked the streets butchering prostitutes in a reign of terror lasting from the summer to the autumn that year.
Yet there was no mention of the Ripper in the planning application to Tower Hamlets Council by former Googgle website diversity director Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe—revealed exclusively online by the East London Advertiser at midnight on Tuesday.
It was to be a “Museum of Women’s History”, according to the application document submitted to the Town Hall last summer, which would recognise heroines of the East End who have shaped history like the suffragettes and those who led the matchmakers’ industrial strike. It would “analyse their social, political and domestic experience”.
That’s what neighbours along Cable Street were expecting—until the hoarding came down last week on the converted black shopfront at No 12, revealing its red lettering and skull-and-crossbones as a Ripper tourist attraction.
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The switch uncovered by the Advertiser’s report has led to a groundswell of opposition.
“It’s just out of order,” stormed LSE sociology lecturer Lisa Mckenzie.
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“I have just seen your article about the Ripper Museum and I’m shocked.
“I’m local to the East End and part of a group called Class War. We are planning to picket this museum next Wednesday at 6pm with at least 200 people to show the strength of feeling in the East End.”
Others like community activist Jemima Broadbridge claimed the “museum of the macabre” had turned into “a gruesome tourist attraction about a serial killer”.
Another protester, art gallery director Jenny Boswell-Jones, called it “historically and totally inaccurate exploitation” because Shadwell’s Cable Street was not involved in the Whitechapel Murders and called it “completely unacceptable”.
The museum wall has a plaque to Lizzie Stride, the Ripper’s fourth victim. But she was murdered in a yard at Berners Street, today’s Henriques Street off the Commercial Road—not in Cable Street.