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Lizzie Seal, 'Violet Van Der Elst’s Use of Spectacle and Militancy in her Campaign Against the Death Penalty in England', 25-41

Article

Published onNov 01, 2013
Lizzie Seal, 'Violet Van Der Elst’s Use of Spectacle and Militancy in her Campaign Against the Death Penalty in England', 25-41

Abstract
Violet van der Elst launched her campaign against the death penalty in the mid-1930s. She employed direct action tactics outside prisons on execution morning, such as leading the crowd in song and breaking through police cordons. These were not only designed to engage and include the crowd that was present, but also to grab the attention of newspaper readers. Her approach to campaigning made deliberate use of spectacle and, coupled with her direct action techniques, can be understood as a form of post-suffragette militancy. This article explores the influence of the legacy of the suffragette movement on Violet van der Elst’s style of penal activism.

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