Black Friday, 18th November 1910


Museum of London

Museum of London

A Suffragette struggling with a policeman on Black Friday 18 November 1910. Furious suffragettes marched on the House of Commons in response to delays to the Conciliation Bill. The resulting riot ended in the arrest of 115 women and four men. Many of the protestors suffered violence, intimidation and even acts of indecency at the hands of the police. One suffragette noted 'Several times constables and plain-clothes men who were in the crowds passed their arms round me from the back and clutched hold of my breasts in as public a manner as possible, and men in the crowd followed their example...My skirt was lifted up as high as possible, and the constable attempted to lift me off the ground by raising his knee. This he could not do, so he threw me into the crowd and incited the men to treat me as they wished'.

After the violent events of Black Friday the WSPU changed their tactics. Large deputations were considered too dangerous and it was decided to wage a more underground form of 'guerilla warfare' against the Liberal Government.

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