I was fascinated by your story about the suffragette medal that fetched £13,400 at an auction in Stroud (SNJ January 26).

The medal recognised its recipient’s pursuit of a “great principle of political justice” - namely, the right for women to vote - after she was jailed for smashing windows.

It is interesting to consider this “gallant action” in the context of current events.

With the government attempting to criminalise protest through the Police Bill, we should remember that if the suffragettes were campaigning today, their actions would have been deemed ‘noisy’ and ‘annoying’ – aspects of protest that the government objects to so strongly.

Their protests might well be stamped out at an early stage, with the result that 50% of the population – women – might well not have the vote, a democratic right we take for granted today.

Sometimes, noisy and annoying protest can be justified in pursuit of a greater good, whether that be demanding action over climate change or trying to stop damaging actions such as war and fracking. We allow draconian government legislation to happen – whether through apathy or through selfish aversion to ‘noise’ and ‘annoyance’ - at our peril.

It is good to see that the local Greens at least are aware of this danger (SNJ letter LETTER OF THE DAY: Proud to stand up for what is right in Stroud)

Naomi Seffar

Springhill, Stroud