Writ on cold slate

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In 1920 Sylvia Pankhurst was sentenced to six months in prison for publishing articles in the Workers' Dreadnought asking London dockers not to load ships with arms to be used against the Bolsheviks. At her trial she declared: 'Capitalism is a wrong system of society and it has got to be smashed - I would give my life to smash it.' While she was in Holloway prison Pankhurst wrote the poems that became 'Writ on Cold Slate'. It was the product of a period of intense and unrelenting activism by Pankhurst on behalf of the East London Federation of Suffragettes, campaigning for votes for women, and against the First World War. During these years she was imprisoned fifteen times.