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Emmaline Pankhurst

            My name is Emmeline Pankhurst and I am known as the first suffragette. My greatest cause was to achieve the vote for women, and if I do say so, I have been rather successful in my plight. Living in Britain, The Reform Acts of 1832, 1867 and 1884 extended the right to vote to all British men. But us women were excluded. With my lead, my women and my supporters united to fight for full and equal voting rights. Throughout the years my major accomplishments include the Women's Franchise League, (which won the right for married women to vote in elections for local offices, but not the right for them to vote for the House of Commons), the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Manchester, as well as successions of municipal offices in Manchester. For years I organized marches, rallies and campaigns against the Liberal government's candidates at elections. My followers have interrupted meetings of Cabinet ministers. One day, my women were disparaged as "suffragettes" by the 'Daily Mail' newspaper. After that day, our movement proudly adopts the description, and it has stuck ever since.
             In our plight my beautiful daughter Christabel along with her friend Annie Kenney, were jailed. After being thrown out of a Liberal Party election rally for demanding a statement about votes for women, the two were arrested in the street for a technical assault on the police, but refused to pay their fines. A spunky girl she is. Another incident I recall is that of the first time that our organization , The WSPU became militant, with Christabel directing arson attacks, window smashing, picture slashing and hunger strikes from Paris, where she has fled to avoid arrest for conspiracy.She learns for the best. In all I have been arrested, released and rearrested 12 times, serving a total of about 30 days jail. Oh, but that government won't get me. Under the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health) Act of 1913 (the 'Cat and Mouse Act') hunger-striking prisoners could be freed for a time and then reimprisoned when strong enough to serve the rest of their sentences.

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