Women’s Library occupied!

On International Working Women’s Day 2013 70 activists and campaigners have occupied the Women’s Library to protest against the planned closure!

Get down there to support if you can – The Women’s Library is at 25 Old Castle St, London E1 7NT (nearest stations Aldgate and Aldgate East).

More information from the Reclaim It! blog reposted below!


photoIn a secret action, a small group of women from the specially-formed Reclaim It! group led the take-over of the library in central London at 1.30pm. Within minutes they were joined by a larger crowd of protestors who had been led to the location by the organisers from two meeting points.

The occupation is part of a growing wave of feminist anger against the government’s austerity regime. Banners hung from the occupied building highlight the effect the cuts are having on women, such as the nearly 30,000 women turned away from refuges last year due to lack of space.

University history lecturer and library user Josie Foreman said:

‘The Women’s Library houses a world-renowned collection of women’s history. Much of its archive documents women’s struggles for equality. 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.’

The occupation was planned to mark International Women’s Day, ironically the day The Women’s Library exhibition ‘The Long March to Equality’ was due to end pending the building’s closure.

Local resident and mother Jane Summers said:

‘Women have suffered the brutal blows of this government’s attacks on vulnerable people. Cuts have ripped vital services from the heart of our communities and endangered lives through the reckless closure of women’s refuges and domestic violence services. In occupying The Women’s Library, a treasure trove of women’s history, we stand in the tradition of the suffragettes and Greenham Common protestors in our realisation that at certain moments in history it is ‘deeds, not words’ that matter.’

Contact: Jo Joyce – 07804 852 291

More info about the campaign to Save the Women’s Library.

About womensfightback17

Women’s Fightback is a socialist feminist paper and blog produced by members and supporters of the socialist group Workers' Liberty. Workers’ Liberty is a revolutionary socialist organisation fighting as part of the labour and student movements, and in campaigns, for a socialist alternative to capitalism, based on common ownership and democracy.


  1. Errm.. very very angry and depressed about these vicious cuts to public sector services… but The Womens Library is reopening at LSE in a few months, and was lost from E1 due to London Met Uni and HLF incompetence. Surely a misplaced protest?? Maybe go to the Dept of Health / DCMS next time?
    Building can p’haps be used to benefit the whole community (inc. true locals who never ventured in to the library) – a womens centre / women business centre perhaps? Rent out the high-spec storage to raise funds. Just sayin…

  2. Cathy

    The building is, can and should be used for the whole community. That was it’s original purpose.
    The thing about the cuts is that it should not be an either…. or… fight.
    Will the collection be as accessible at the LSE. I don’t think so.

  3. Anonymous Feminist

    Totally agree with Edward’s comments. This really is a misguided protest! Thanks to LSE the Women’s Library is finally in safe hands, and no longer at risk of disappearing. LSE are working closely with various organisations to ensure that the Women’s Library is righty saved and preserved for ever. In time this will also enable more and more people to access the valuable archives. This is totally unrelated to the worrying and ongoing cuts! Move on and let LSE get on with this important work!

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