SCALLYWAGS Theatre Company is back at Portland Basin Museum on Saturday, September 15 for Let’s Protest!
It is a day of family theatre, stories and fun activities to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act. Suffragists and Suffragettes both campaigned for women to be given the right to vote but they had different views about how this could be achieved.
The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), also known as the Suffragists, were led by Millicent Fawcett and took a peaceful, nonconfrontational approach. They hoped to change opinion through public meetings, petitions, posters and leaflets. In contrast, the Suffragettes adopted a more aggressive and militant strategy.
They were founded in Manchester by Emmeline Pankhurst with her daughters Christabel and Sylvia in 1903.
Officially known as the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), their motto ‘Deeds not Words’ reflected their members’ disillusion with the lack of progress made by the Suffragists and the need for more direct action. The Suffragettes disrupted meetings, chained themselves to railings and damaged property.
Many were arrested and continued their protests in prison by hunger strike.
Both the Suffragists and Suffragettes suspended their campaigns when war broke out in 1914. After the war ended in 1918 some women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote, and in 1928 this was extended to all women over 21.
In addition to the Scallywags performance, visitors to Portland Basin Museum can also dress up as a Suffragette, design their own campaign rosette, and take a walk down our historic street and see which residents have joined the Suffragettes.
Let’s Protest! is free and runs from 11am to 3pm.
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