Increased militancy after 1908

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  • Increased militancy after 1908
    • In response to Asquith arguing that not all women wanted the vote, there was a huge meeting in Hyde Park in 1908 with somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 women, who demanded the vote
      • despite this, Asquith was unmoved, thus causing the need for an increase in militancy
    • Christabel Pankhurst directed a mass campaign of window smashing in 1908
      • purpose was to show people that daily life couldn't continue whilst women were excluded from politics
    • In June 1909 the WSPU organised a march on parliament, during which windows were smashed in the Home Office, Privy Council and Treasury
    • In June 1909, jailed protestors began hunger strikes
      • the government introduced force feedings, but this created images of heroic sacrifice
      • The passing of the Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health Act 1913 undermined the power of the force feedings
      • force feedings were highly controversial
    • On 'Black Friday', 300 women marched on the HOC, where they were treated with extreme violence, sometimes sexual violence, by the police
    • In 1912, the WSPU set fire to artwork and pillar boxes
    • Their militant campaign alienated some non-militant supporters, such as `millicent Fawcett, who wanted women to build sympathy for the cause


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