Emmeline Pankhurst was the founder of the Women's Franchise League in 1889, she was also a member of the Manchester branch of the NUWSS. By 1903 Pankhurst had become frustrated at the NUWSS lack of success in their struggle to get the vote for women. With the help of two of her daughters, Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst, she formed the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Atfirst the main aim of the organisation was to recruit more working class women into the struggle for the vote. She also had another daughter, Adela, who became a leader of left-wing socialism in Australia.
By 1905 the media had lost any real interest in the struggle for women’s rights. Newspapers rarely reported meetings and usually refused to publish articles and letters written by supporters of women’s suffrage. In 1905 the WSPU decided to use different methods to obtain the publicity they thought would be needed in order to obtain the vote. They took a much more militant role in campaigning and this won them both respect by some women and the press attention that they wanted. In 1905, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney attended a meeting in London to hear Sir Edward Grey, a minister in the British government. When Grey was talking, the two women constantly shouted “Will the Liberal Government give votes to women?” When the women refused to stop shouting the police were called to evict them from the building. Pankhurst and Kenney refused to leave and during the struggle a policeman claimed the two women kicked and spat at him. Pankhurst and Kenney were arrested and charged with assault. Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney were found guilty of assault and fined five shillings each. When the women refused to pay the fine they were sent to prison. This case shocked Britain. For thefirst time in Britain, women had used violence in an attempt to win the vote. It was only now that members of the WSPU became known as suffragettes.
This started a…