Do We Have Your Attention?
The most violent demonstration so far from the women’s suffragist movement took place this month. It happened in the UK, but American newspapers are talking all about it. British suffragist leader Emmeline Pankhurst and her “mob of infuriated amazons,” about 150 women, smashed the windows of stores on major streets in London. They hurled stones, bolts, hammers and even old vegetables at the windows. Some threw stones at the Downing Street home of Prime Minister Asquith. Police had a difficult time identifying the perpetrators, but the mob was eventually arrested.
Their trial was “highly entertaining.” Pankhurst was defiant: “We don’t mind going to jail. We like it. Until we get the power to make laws, we shall continue to break laws, and windows…We shall pester the life out of the government.”
Pankurst was sentenced to nine months in prison and the Women’s Social and Political Union, the organization Pankurst formed, is being held accountable for the damages, which amount to an estimated $100,000. From the confines of her cell, Pankhurst has gone on a hunger strike. She has been force fed by a tube since then. Suffragists refer to this feeding method as “sickening…violence” and descriptions of their pain have begun to permeate the consciousness of the nation.
[Source: BRITISH SUFFRAGISTS ARE HAVING A “BLOOMIN’ JOLLY TIME” BREAKING WINDOWS –150 JAILED, The Day Book (Chicago, Ill.), March 2, 1912]
[Source: FRENZIED MOB OF WOMEN RAID LONDON SHOPS, The Salt Lake City Tribune, March 2, 1912]