Emily Davison tribute – Your Vote Matters!

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Emily Davison Tribute – Your Vote Matters!

On 4th June 1913, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison made her final brave protest, in the name of Votes For Women, at the Epsom Derby, the date of this year’s Derby. With the upcoming EU Referendum voting matters are very much on the agenda.

 

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The Referendum result will have a profound effect on the future of the UK, yet 1.5 million 18 to 24 year old potential voters won’t get the opportunity to have their say at the Ballot Box, unless they register to vote by 7th June.

See our Thunderclap page for more information about who can vote, how to register as well as details about the Remain and Leave campaigns

It’s a decision that will affect all our futures, but it will impact young people’s futures most of all. 

I believe that Emily Davison and her sister suffragettes would urge all of us to reach out and ensure that everyone we know is on the electoral register and able to vote (in personby post, or by proxy).

Young people have the most at stake in this, so it would be a hollow victory without their active participation.

Emily Davison was an incredibly smart woman, who knew the power of Deeds AND Words. That’s why, with your help, we can pay tribute to her and spread the vital message far and wide on social media that ‘Your vote matters. Make sure you can use it!

THANK YOU to everyone who joined our #EURef Register to Vote ThunderClap on Saturday 4th June 2016.

 


You helped the #Emilymatters campaign amplify this important message across social media on such an important day in women’s suffrage history.  To know more about how it worked, click here.

 

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It’s easy to take our democratic rights for granted and to forget how much we owe to suffragettes like EmilyMary LeighSophia Duleep Singh and Sylvia Pankhurst, for our right to vote, to be seen and heard as equals.

Emily was imprisoned several times and suffered State sanctioned brutality, including forcible feeding 49 times. Yet despite these horrors she kept on. Emily was a bright sunbeam of a woman who loved life to the full. She was cultured, creative with a kind heart and wicked sense of humour.

I was working in Manchester earlier in the week and visited the Pankhurst Centre, where Emmeline and her daughters once lived.


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Watching the footage of Emily Davison’s famous Epsom Derby protest at the birthplace of the suffragette movement made it all the more poignant.

Although today it is right to take a quiet moment to remember Emily’s bravery, I think she would want us all to get out there and make a positive case for voting.

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Epsom racecourse memorial plaque at Tattenham Corner

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I created the #Emilymatters social media campaign as part of a special performance of my play about Emily Davison (To Freedom’s Cause). The campaign aims to continue her legacy by supporting and advancing gender equality, with a particular focus on the importance of voting.

Emily and her sister suffragettes never gave up their noble fight because they trusted us, future generations, to have the rights so forcibly denied to them.

 

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Special House of Commons performance of To Freedom’s Cause by Kate Willoughby. Kyra Williams as Mary Leigh and Kate Willoughby at Emily Davison. Photo by Brian Astbury (production director).

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We may have come a long way since the suffragette movement first began in 1903, but the UK is still far from equal. From Parliament to the workplace, home and school we still have some way to go before we achieve a fairer, more representative society.

Let’s continue to champion their Cause and make it our own, by ensuring as many young people as possible value their vote, their voice at the EU Referendum and always!

 

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The #Emilymatters campaign draws on Emily Davison’s important legacy and seeks to educate, entertain and empower.

The #Emilymatters Team is developing some innovative new projects, which will include To Freedom’s Cause and draw on the campaign’s outreach work to date.

To find out more about our voting matters campaigns and how you can get involved, see our #Emilymatters page.

Listening and valuing what others have to say is very much a part of what we do. It matters to me that you are heard and not just at election time.

If you believe that equality and democracy matter, please do get in touch.

 

Kate Willoughby 

Step Up | Vote | Lead
Because #youmatter

bit.ly/Emilymatters

 

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