Suffragettes February 28 1913







Mrs Pankhurst was released on bail from Holloway Gaol last evening, after having signed an undertaking to abstain, until her trial, from committing any breach of the law and from inciting other people to commit breaches of the law. Mrs. Pankhurst on Wednesday was committed by the Epsom Magistrates to take her trial at Guildford at the Spring Assizes. She was offered bail on condition that she would give an undertaking that, until her trial at Guildford, she would abstain from committing breaches of the law herself or inciting others to commit them. No objection to her attending and speaking at meetings was raised. She would not give the undertaking for so long a period, and she announced her intention of starting a hunger strike.

From a statement issued by Mrs. Pankhurst last night it appears that as no Assizes will be held at Guildford until the end of June, the authorities have considered it reasonable that her trial shall be expatiated, and have consented to take the necessary steps towards moving the case to the Central Criminal Court, so that it may there be tried at the Sessions which begin on April 1. Mrs. Pankhurst, who had given an undertaking “neither to incite others to commit, nor herself directly nor indirectly to commit, any breach of the criminal law during the period she will be at liberty pending her trial,” has been admitted to bail in her own recognisance’s in £300 with two sureties in £250 each, the amounts which were fixed by the Epsom Magistrates.

Mrs. Drummond was the principal speaker at a crowded meeting held at the Essex Hall, Essex-street, Strand last night, under the suspicious of the Women’s Social and Political Union. “Most of you,” she proceeded. “have seen on the placards that our dear leader is once more released. [Cheers.] It seems to me that she is the freest woman in Britain. [Cheers.]m She determines her own sentence and her own release and by her actions she has put the authorities who deal with such business as agitation’s into such a state of panic that they really don’t know what to do. I have got no statement to make to-night, as I came straight to this meeting, but I want to say that Mrs. Pankhurst refused to give an undertaking at Epsom on Wednesday because she was asked to give it for so long a period. She said she was prepared to give it for a fortnight or a reasonable time and when she left for Holloway her solicitor and Mr. Bodkin met to discuss what plan could be come to whereby it would be unnecessary for Mrs. Pankhurst to go to prison or on the hunger strike. She went to Holloway with the full intention of going on the hunger strike until some arrangement was made.” [Cheers.} It was said, proceeded Mr. Drummond, that their action in going on the hunger strike and taking the law into their own hands was a very serious matter. She agreed that it was, but it was more serious to the Suffragists than to any other persons because the took their lives into their hands. They had at least got to grips with the Government. They were standing on a cliff, as it were, with the Government in front of them, and they had got to push the Government over. [Cheers.} The Government were alone responsible for the outrages, and Mr. Asquith, who had proved himself incapable of dealing with the situation, must really go. [Cheers.] It was said that people were getting their backs up. Well, they never got anything from them when their backs were down. [Laughter and cheers.] The taking away of their leader made no difference to their organisation. They had their Sun Yat Sen in Paris yet. [Cheers.]




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