What were the experiences and perceptions?

'Freedom or death': Emmeline Pankhurst on direct action

Emmeline Pankhurst's most famous speech, 'Freedom or death', was given in Connecticut, USA on November 13th 1913 when she was on a fundraising tour. In her speech Emmeline reminded Americans of their revolutionary heritage, telling them they had to break free, using force if necessary.


In her speech she said:

Since I am a woman it is necessary to explain why women have adopted revolutionary methods in order to win the rights of citizenship. We women, in trying to make our case clear, always have to urge upon the men in our audience the fact - the very simple fact - that women are human beings.

Later in the same speech, she said:

Human life for us is sacred, but we say if any life is to be sacrificed it shall be ours; we won’t do it ourselves, but we will put the enemy in the position where they will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death.