Introduction: In 1919 it looked to many - to Lenin and Trotsky, for instance - as if the capitalist system was breaking down and that a working class revolution was beginning, at least in Europe. There was tremendous working class militancy all across Europe. Short-lived Soviet Republics were set up in Hungary and Bavaria.
The White Horse pub, Peckham Rye (ten minutes from Peckham Rye station)
Hosted by South London AWL.
Sylvia Pankhurst was a prominent campaigner for votes for women, who was thrown out of the official Suffragette movement for opposing British capitalism and imperialism and seeking to organise working-class women in a struggles for votes for all - not just for rich ladies. Helping to build a powerful working-class women's movement in the East End of London, she became a communist and a supporter of the Russian revolution.
Come and discuss her story, the story of the movement she helped build and its lessons for socialists and feminists today.
Some articles on Sylvia Pankhurst
"Sylvia Pankhurst: an organiser for working-class women"
"Sylvia Pankhurst and democracy"
School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1
Biographer Patricia Romero ("Sylvia Pankhurst: Portrait of a Radical", Yale University Press) is bewildered by Sylvia Pankhurst's support for the Bolsheviks. But Sylvia knew what she was doing...
In History at school, we are often given very distinctive impressions of the women’s suffrage movement – that there were two main groups, with two very different methods of gaining the women’s v
By Sylvia Pankhurst
The following account by Sylvia Pankhurst is of a police-sponsored pogrom against Jewish immigrants in London’s East End is taken from an issue of Women’s Dreadnought from 26 May 1917.
By Jill Mountford, from Workers' Liberty 58
"The name of our paper, the Woman's Dreadnought, is symbolic of the fact that the women who are fighting for freedom must fear nothing. It suggests also the policy of social care and reconstruction which is the policy of awakening womanhood throughout the world, as opposed to the cruel, disorganised struggle for existence amongst individuals and nations from which Humanity has suffered in the past... the chief duty of the Dreadnought will be to deal with the franchise question from the working-woman's point of view... (and) to review the whole field of the women's emancipation movement."
The development of industrial society threw masses of women into the factories.