NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
22nd May, 1914 : Fifty-seven protesters were arrested today as they attempted to get to Buckingham Palace to present a “Votes for Women” petition to the King. Among them was Emmeline Pankhurst, looking frail and ill, whom police seized under the “Cat and Mouse” Act. The demonstrators, some wielding Indian clubs, had tried to break through the 1,000 strong police cordon around the royal residence. The petition follows the defeat earlier this month of an enfranchisement Bill.
[ From www.encyclopedia: – Cat and Mouse Act, 1913. Exasperated by the tactics of militant suffragettes in going on hunger strike, Asquith’s government passed the Prisoners’ Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health Act, known commonly as the Cat and Mouse Act (3 Geo. V c. 4). Prisoners could be released and subsequently rearrested. McKenna, the home secretary, argued that the suffragettes, by arson and destruction, had ‘declared war on society’ and that the measure would reduce the disgusting practice of forcible feeding. Keir Hardie opposed the bill as futile and unfair and Lord Robert Cecil suggested deportation instead.]