Yesterday I took myself off to meet up with Reclaim It! for a mystery direct action on International Women’s Day. It’s a while since I’ve written legal numbers on my arm and I was a little nervous given that I didn’t have Leon with me… but my excessive caution proved unnecessary. We arrived at the Women’s Library to find a few women already peacefully in occupation, the staff seemingly unfazed, and members of the public still visiting the fabulous Long March to Equalityexhibition on its last day.
The Women’s Library is about to be moved out of its purpose-built home to the LSE Reading Rooms, something supporters see as more of an abduction than a rescue. The current building is amazing and easily accessible to the public (it’s not clear what will happen to public access when it moves to LSE, but the library certainly won’t exist in its independent form any more) and it’s shocking that it’s just going to be moved out of there.
The occupation was protesting both the library’s closure, and opposing the cuts, which have a disproportionate effect on women. It was a great atmosphere — cakes and a samba band! — and although I had to head home yesterday afternoon, they’re still there now and you can go down to join them at 25 Old Castle St, London E1 7NT — various workshops and events, and a kids space, are running today. It’s also a fabulous final opportunity to see the exhibition (which I thoroughly enjoyed) the day after it was due to be shut down.