Today Brighton honours the suffragettes
Today (10th of May 2019) Brighton will be honouring the brave contribution of the Brighton and Hove suffragettes, through the unveiling of a plaque at a former city centre office for Women’s Social and Political Union.
The Woman’s Social and Political Union was a women-only political movement- founded by Emily Pankhurst- that campaigned for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom, from 1903 to 1917. The Union fought relentlessly for women’s right to vote. Members heckled politicians, marched through the streets and even broke the law – they were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted.
The Brighton office was once the most active outside London, and was a key hub in the nationwide campaign to secure women’s right to vote. It opened in 1909 and over 150 women had meetings there, including Mary Clarke, sister of Emmeline Pankhurst and Minnie Turner, leading campaigners for the movement.
A Plaque at the former office will be unveiled today at a commemoration event at the North Street clock tower at 2.15 pm
Green Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty has said:
“101 years after women first won the right to vote Greens are proud to stand alongside all of those seeking to commemorate the brave and important contribution of Brighton and Hove suffragettes.
Acknowledgement of this important shared history follows repeated calls from the Greens for better recognition of the role our city played in securing women’s right to vote. Last year I wrote a letter to our council’s most powerful committee calling for a blue information plaque at the site of the former WSPU offices. We are also proud to support the appeal for a statue dedicated to active local suffragette Mary Clarke
Because history continues to cast a shadow over the present, we also successfully pushed a set of proposals that aim to increase the participation of women in politics and we have called for Brighton Museum to adopt a quota for more women artists. The city has just elected 11 women to join our group of Green Councillors and Greens join with others celebrating the role of the suffragettes in securing a future for women in public life.”
The featured image was accessed from the Brighton Suffaregettes page, a link is available here.
Read the Green’s initial request here.