Working-Class Suffragette: The Life of Annie Kenney - Softcover
Annie Kenney, a working-class mill worker, hears Christobel Pankhurst talk about women's right to vote. Annie is inspired and agrees to help in the campaign. The two women interrupt a Liberal Party meeting held in Manchester in 1905. They dare to ask the leaders whether they intend to support women's suffrage. Annie unfurls a banner displaying the words VOTES FOR WOMEN. After the police remove them from the meeting they address a crowd outside the building. Christobel spits at a policemen and they are arrested, charged and fined. They refuse to pay and become the first women to be imprisoned in the fight to gain the vote. After many years of peaceful campaigning the Pankhursts and their followers decide to create scenes to gain publicity. This includes knocking on politicians doors, heckling politicians, breaking windows and entering the House Of Common. The militants become known as the suffragettes. Only 60% of men are eligible, therefore there are calls for a change in the suffrage qualifications. Bills are drafted to include women, but are repeatedly 'talked out.' Militancy escalates as frustration rises. Annie and others serve more prisons sentences and go on hunger strikes. Many are force-fed. When Emmeline Pankhurst and another leader are imprisoned, Christobel decides to go into hiding in Paris leaving Annie Kenney in charge. With the help of a chemist, Annie provides incendiary devices to damage property. After a police raid they are found guilty and imprisoned. After hunger and thirst strikes they are allowed out under a new act, known as the Cat And Mouse Act. This allows weak prisoners out on licence to recover their health before being returned to prison to complete their sentence. The militancy is halted by the start of the Great War. Annie works with Emmeline and Christobel to recruit men for the war effort and women to work on munitions. After the end, of the war all men over the age of 21 are given the right to vote. Women over 30 who conform to the property rules are also allowed to vote. for the first time. Annie is exhausted. She goes to Scotland for a holiday and meets her future husband, James Taylor. They marry and have a son in 1921. Annie Kenney dedicated her young life to fighting for the right of women to vote. She risked her health and even her life for a cause she passionately believed in.From humble beginnings, Annie rose to be a leader in one of the best known campaign groups. She did this despite her limited education and the prejudices of class and gender.
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- PublisherOldham Writing Cafe
- Publication date2018
- ISBN 10 095654102X
- ISBN 13 9780956541024
- Number of pages152