Jack the Ripper Museum
Protest against the Jack the Ripper Museum in Cable Street, LondonTwitter: Sarah Jackson

Protestors dressed up as suffragettes and in a variety of costumes to show their concern over the Jack the Ripper museum which opened on Tuesday 4 August.

Jemima Broadbridge, community campaigner said the mood at the protest was "very lively."

However, she added that: "One of the henchmen who works for the museum was a bit aggressive last week but he was all smiles today.

"The museum was open all day today but I noticed they didn't have an official fanfare because we had stolen their thunder. They are chasing their tails to clear up the damage."

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs was invited to the official opening but boycotted the event. He said: "I have withdrawn from attending the opening of this museum as I feel the focus of the Museum has significantly changed. I will be seeking an explanation from the museum owners as to how this shift in the nature of the museum has come about.

"Planning officers in the Council will be investigating whether the installed museum sign is contrary to the planning approval conditions. Further enforcement may also be taken in relation to the opening hours listed on their website, which are not in line with the original planning application."

Around 300 people attended the protest including local residents, women's groups, Green Party members and historians.

On 3 December 2014 a planning application was submitted to extend a former shop at 12 Cable Street, London E1 to "create a world class museum that celebrates the historic, current and future contribution of the women of the East End."

To the dismay of many, it turned out to be a museum celebrating London's most notorious serial killer of women, Jack the Ripper.

Broadbridge said: "East London has a proud tradition of women campaigning for social change, from the Suffragettes to the Dagenham Equal Pay strikers. But these women and their powerful contribution have been shamefully overlooked and misrepresented by a museum that seeks to present women only as victims of East London's most notorious serial killer.

"We are protesting outside the new Jack the Ripper Museum today because local residents, London historians and women's groups from across London are outraged that they appear to have been misled about the original purpose of this museum.

"If we cannot ask Tower Hamlets Council to shut down the Jack the Ripper Museum, then instead we must call on the Council and the Arts Council to help us fulfil what appears to be a strong desire and the perfect opportunity in East London to establish a proper museum honouring these women."

Sarah Jackson, co-author of East London Suffragettes is working with historian Sara Huws to create a real women's history museum in the East End. Sarah said: "The Ripper museum is a huge missed opportunity. People in the East End and beyond have been cheated out of a much-needed celebration of women's contribution to history.

"East London has an incredibly rich social, political, and cultural history and women were part of all of it, although their voices are seldom heard. We plan to create an East End Women's Museum to share stories that illuminate the lives of East End women, not only their deaths."

Katherine Connelly, co-organiser of the protest and biographer of Sylvia Pankhurst, said: "The public were misled about the nature of this museum and the depth of anger now felt is testament to the widespread enthusiasm there is for a museum that tells the inspiring stories of women's struggles.

"From the Matchwomen's Strike, to the Suffragettes, to the Dagenham Equal Pay strike, East London has experienced some of the most vibrant of these campaigns, and we intend to bring the spirit of those women to this protest."