Dear Westminster City Council Planning Department: Emmeline Pankhurst Statue

Dear Westminster City Council Planning Department,

Suffragette (women’s rights movement) Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested after protesting near Buckingham Palace in London on May 22, 1914

After a fight, a statue of Dame Millicent Fawcett, suffragist, was erected earlier this year in Parliament Square, the first statue of a woman ever to be placed there. This, together with the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in the nearby Victoria Tower Gardens, represents the only two great women commemorated in the area around Parliament. When Millicent Fawcett’s statue was unveiled, PM Theresa May made a speech to the effect that she would not have been standing there making her speech had it not been for the great woman.

There are currently only seven statues of great women in Central London. Aside from Millicent Fawcett’s and Emmeline Pankhurst’s, there are statues of Edith Cavell, Florence Nightingale, Louisa Blake, Margaret Ethel MacDonald and Catherine Booth. It is already a sad indictment that there are considered to be only seven British women worth publicly commemorating in the capital and it would be a greater indictment to reduce this number back to six by removing the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst to the grounds of a private college. Please turn down the planning application to do so. Those seeking this should instead focus their attention on increasing the number of public statues of great women, not decreasing them.

Yours faithfully

Mrs Ann Isik

Dear Internet friends, if you’re wondering what this has to do with art, writing, singing, spirituality of walking (my blog themes) I can only echo Theresa May’s sentiments at the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue. I doubt I’d have had the right to an education equal to a man’s and the freedom to pursue my artistic endeavours or to write this blog had it not been for women’s rights pioneers.

You can sign a petition to protest this planning application at 38 Degrees.



About AnnIsikArts

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4 Responses to Dear Westminster City Council Planning Department: Emmeline Pankhurst Statue

  1. Jacquie Hawkins says:

    Dear Ann Isis

    Thank you so much for your support and very thoughtful and insightful letter regarding the threatened removal of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue from Victoria Tower Gardens.

    And many thanks you for directing people to the 38 Degrees petition that I set up, as a member, having read an article in the Guardian.

    Yesterday the petition, at over 179K, was handed into the Planning Office of Westminster Council along with 10,000 objections. I owe a great debt to the hard work and support of 38 Degrees and especially to Georgina for guiding me in what has been somewhat of a whirlwind process over this past month.

    Best regards

    Jacquie Hawkins 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hear hear!! What a way to arrest a woman! These days it will be assault – thanks to work by women like her.


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