Thursday, June 12, 2014

Today -100: June 12, 1914: Advertisement of their acts is a thing they desire above all

The House Insular Affairs Committee has worked up a proposed constitution for the Philippines. Not surprisingly, it’s a “condensation” of the US Constitution. Members of the Congress will have to be literate in English or Spanish and own property.

The Senate passes Wilson’s bill to repeal the exemption of American ships from Panama Canal tolls, 50-35.

Headline of the Day -100: “Militants Blow up Coronation Chair.” In Westminster Abbey. The news reached Parliament while it was debating what should be done with the suffragettes who commit crimes. Home Secretary Reginald McKenna insists that government policies are working and should be given time. He claims that of 83 prisoners temporarily released from prison under the Cat & Mouse Act, 15 gave up militant activity, 20 are in hiding, and 6 have fled the country. And the number of women sent to prison has decreased since the Cat and Mouse Act (even he calls it that) was implemented, which he says shows its deterrent effect (arguably, it led to a shift from open militancy such as protests at the House of Commons which courted arrest to more violent secret acts which avoid it). McKenna asks the press to stop reporting on militant activities: “Advertisement of their acts is a thing they desire above all.” He talks up plans to go after the Women’s Social and Political Union’s subscribers in court, portraying them as “rich women paying their unfortunate victims to undergo all the horrors of hunger and thirst striking” (The WSPU will respond by asking pointedly if he’d be willing to undergo those horrors for £2 a week). He quotes an (unnamed) medical expert who says that the class of militants now entering prison shows a decline from earlier, that they are more “highly nervous,” even physically “degenerate,” in other words that cripples, epileptics and women with heart and lung disease, who can’t stand up to forcible feeding, are being deliberately employed. McKenna, not the brightest bulb, claims that all the militants are paid, but also says that if they weren’t forcibly fed they are such fanatics they would starve themselves to death, and for each one allowed to die, scores more would come forward for the honor of earning the crown of martyrdom.

The general strike in Italy is back on. Barricades, fighting, attacks on trains. Six warships have been sent to threaten Ancona.

Woodrow Wilson hasn’t decided if he’s going to campaign for any congressional candidates this fall.

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1 comment:

  1. "an (unnamed) medical export"

    Animal, vegetable or mineral?