The campaign to build a London statue to the socialist suffragette, Sylvia Pankhurst, is calling for donations towards its goal of erecting a monument outside the Marx Memorial Library on Islington’s Clerkenwell Green.
“To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016 we are kicking off the drive to fund the statue of Sylvia Pankhurst, the suffragette who fought not only for women’s rights, but for peace and against racism and imperialism too,” the 17-year campaign stated on its Facebook page on 8 March.
A new website called inVISIBLE Women was also launched on International Women’s day, “dedicated to changing the status quo of gender imbalance in public monuments”.
The inVISIBLE Women site states: “Judging by the majority of public monuments in the UK you might think that the only people worth honouring are old white men, often in official regalia.”
It goes on: “The work of women in the world is worth its weight in gold. It is what oils the wheels of the world and we would all be stuck without it.”
A memorial to Sylvia’s mother, Emmeline, and sister, Christabel, stands at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens, just outside the House of Lords in Westminster, but despite her committed work with the poor women of London, Sylvia has yet to be honoured in the capital.
The campaign’s Facebook page explains: “Sylvia Pankhurst was a tireless activist for a variety of radical causes, including women’s suffrage, the labour movement and international solidarity campaigns. She made pioneering contributions to gender and class politics, revolutionary politics and the struggles against imperialism, racism and fascism.
“This campaign aims to give this extraordinary woman some of the commemoration she deserves by erecting a statue of her on Clerkenwell Green.
“The site has been approved and the cast for the statue has been completed by Ian Walters, who also sculpted the statues of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square and outside the Royal Festival Hall.
“All that remains is raising the funds in order that the statue can be cast.”
Donations of any size are greatly appreciated, while supporters are urged to spread the word about the campaign, Sylvia Pankhurst, and the values she stood for.
Information about Everything is Possible, a feature-length documentary about Sylvia Pankhurst, is here.