Sylvia Pankhurst, British suffragette and socialist

Sylvia PankhurstBy Lindsey German in Britain:

One hundred years ago this week, Sylvia Pankhurst found herself in prison for the first time.

The crime of the 24 year old? Campaigning for votes for women.

This was a cause Sylvia was to devote herself to for more than a decade.

But the course of her political development was very different from the two more famous Pankhursts – her mother Emmeline and her older sister Christabel – and the political conclusions she drew led her towards socialist organisation.

Sylvia was born into a political family in Manchester. Her father, Richard Pankhurst, was a well known lawyer, a campaigner and a leading member of the Independent Labour Party.

After his death, his widow Emmeline began her campaign for votes for women, forming the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903.

This organisation rapidly became known by the nickname given to it by the Daily Mail – the Suffragettes.

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  4. Campaigners win recognition for anti-war activist

    Tuesday 07 May 2013

    Local campaigners have won recognition for anti-war activist, suffragist and revolutionary socialist Alice Wheeldon who died in 1919 after a state-run conspiracy to destroy her.

    Over 100 people including Ms Wheeldon’s great grand-daughters Chloe and Deirdre Mason, from Sydney, Australia, attended the installation of a blue plaque commemorating a woman whom the city’s Mayor Lisa Higginbottom called a “great citizen of Derby.”

    Ms Wheeldon, a Socialist Labour Party activist and close comrade of Communist Party founders Willy Paul and Arthur McManus, died of flu during the global epidemic.

    She had been weakened by a hunger strike in prison after being convicted on a fabricated charge of conspiring to murder PM David Lloyd George and Labour leader Arthur Henderson.


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