Pankhurst son threatens own chained protest

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THE SON of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst yesterday demanded a Scottish regiment return a looted African drum or face a wave of protests involving activists chaining themselves up in Edinburgh Castle.

Dr Richard Pankhurst, a 75-year-old university professor from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, said he hoped the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards would voluntarily return the artefact before protesters had to "intensify our agitation".

The ceremonial 16th century drum was part of a priceless horde of treasure seized by British soldiers when they invaded Ethiopia more than 130 years ago.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards were one of the regiments involved in the plunder of the fortress of Emperor Theodore II at Magdala in 1868.

Pankhurst’s great grandmother, Emmeline Pankhurst, launched the militant campaign for the vote for women in 1905. during which women chaining themselves to prominent public buildings. Pankhurst’s mother, Sylvia Pankhurst, chained herself to Buckingham Palace’s gates in one protest.

sfraser@scotlandonsunday.com