London: Feminists Evicted from Women’s Library

At 3.30pm on 9 March feminist protestors were evicted from their two-day occupation of The Women’s Library [1]. Defiant to the end, women had to be dragged from the soon-to-be-closed building by High Court Bailiffs and Police. Outside they were met with cheers from a one hundred-strong crowd of supporters.

The world-renowned library had been occupied the previous day, International Women’s Day, by a coalition of activists from feminist groups, UK Uncut, Occupy and Disabled People Against the Cuts. This daring and audacious action highlighted the disastrous impact of government spending cuts on women [2].

The occupation succeeded in extending the opening of ‘Treasures of The Women’s Library: The Long March to Equality’ which ironically was scheduled to close on International Women’s Day. During Friday and Saturday, people of all ages flocked to the library to visit the exhibition, and take part in a programme of feminist discussion and workshops.

Occupier Josie Foreman, a University History Lecturer said: ‘Holding onto the history of women’s struggle for equality becomes even more important in a moment like this, when the government is closing women’s refuges and shutting down children’s centres. The Women’s Library reminds us that these are hard-won gains for which women have fought for centuries. We will not allow them to be taken away from us so easily. Acting in the tradition of the suffragettes, we are willing to take direct action for what we believe in. In this time of savage austerity, we do indeed need ‘Deeds, not Words’.


Notes to Editors

Women affected by the library’s closure and austerity cuts more widely are available for interview.

[1] The Women’s Library is due to close on 22 March 2013. On 1 January London Metropolitan University divested custodianship of the world-renowned UNESCO awarded archive collection, which passed to London School of Economics. The collection will be moved out of its purpose built, heritage lottery funded building in London’s East End, to the fourth floor of LSE’s academic library.

[2] For more on the gendered impact of the cuts, see:

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