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Protest, Action and Hunger Strike

60 second histories

This video covers:  The WSPU tactical intensification and hunger strike

On the twenty first of June nineteen o eight, we held a rally in Hyde Park. Over five hundred thousand activists turned up to demand votes for women, and yet still Prime Minister Asquith, and other leading MPs ignored us. When twelve of our ladies gathered in Parliament Square to deliver speeches for women’s suffrage, several were seized by police officers and pushed into a crowd of opponents. Two of our members, Edith New and Mary Leigh, threw rocks at the windows of ten Downing Street, which earned them two months in prison. But it was the following year when Marion Wallace-Dunlop was imprisoned that our cause began to generate public sympathy. In a deliberate attempt to bring attention to our cause, and in protest at prison conditions, Marion went on hunger strike; and her action was so effective that fourteen more of our ladies also went on hunger strike. They were frequently force-fed, with their mouths clamped open and a tube pushed down their throats; it was a terribly painful practice and caused the government a great deal of embarrassment.
20th Century
Suffragette Movement
Key people
Suffragette Movement
Emmeline Pankhurst
Key words: 
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