Black Friday

Published: 2021-09-12 15:30:08
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Category: Justice, Democracy, Police, Black Friday

Type of paper: Essay

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The three sources to be compared are all in relation to the events that occurred on “Black Friday”, particularly surrounding the conduct of the metropolitan police. Source 10, taken from “The Times” newspaper presents the view that the police were more victims of the women and raiders that they were trying to control, and that it took some effort to restrain the women that were protesting on that day. Whereas source 11, taken from a memorandum that was sent to the home office after ‘Black Friday” gives the view that the police were acting violently towards the women protesting and that the women in this situation were the victims.
Source 12, a statement from a suffragette who participated in “Black Friday” presents a similar opinion to that in source 11, indicating that the woman in question received several injuries from a police officer. The events that occurred on “Black Friday” and the conduct of the police have been under dispute by many historians, which some taking the side of source 10, and others agreeing more with the recollections presented in sources 11 and 12- it can therefore be argued how much sources 11 and 12 challenge the view contained in source 10 about the conduct of the police on “Black Friday”.
Source 10, taken from “The Times’ newspaper on 19th November 1910 is an extract from a report covering the events of what eventually became known as “Black Friday”. It presents the view that the police “kept their temper very well’ towards “the ladies who flung themselves against (them)”. It also speaks of how “several police had their helmets knocked off in carrying out their duty” and later mentions that “one was disabled by a kick on the ankle” and another “was cut on the face by a belt” therefore implying that the women who were present on Black Friday were acting violently towards the police, and that any rough handling of the police towards the protesters was only in response to the treatment they were receiving.

It could be said then, that this article presents the police in a positive light and shows the suffragettes to be the ones at fault on “Black Friday” which comes as no surprise given that the article comes from “The Times”- a newspaper that would have been primarily aimed at educated men, and its purpose therefore would have been to share the opinion that women were out of control and lacked the dignity to receive the vote.
Source 11 on the other hand disagrees with the view presented in source source 10. It is an extract from a memorandum by the Parliamentary Conciliation Committee for Women’s Suffrage send to the Home Office after “Black Friday”. It agrees with the source ten in the sense that it admits a “relentless struggle” occurred between the police and the suffragettes, but it disagrees with source 10 because it presents the view that it was the police acting violently towards the women, who it says were “flung hither and thither amid moving traffic, and into the hands of a crows which was sometimes rough and indecent”.
This opinion is presented because the purpose of the memorandum sent to the home office was to request a public inquiry into the conduct of the police on “Black Friday”, because they did not follow their “usual course of action” which “would have been to arrest the women on a charge of obstruction” but they “had been instructed to avoid, as far as possible, making any arrests” which is why, the women argue that the police were so violent. Also, this article presents the events of “Black Friday” in such a different light, because it was written by those who sympathized with Suffragettes and therefore supported them, the Committee was set up in 1910 to encourage support for women’s suffrage, so it would have wanted to make the actions of the police look bad in order to gain support for the women who were protesting.
Similar to source 11, Source 12, from a statement by a 60 year old suffragette who had participated in the demonstration on “Black Friday” is of the opinion that it was the police who acted wrongly during the events, and not the women protesting. The suffragette talks about how she was “seized by several policemen” and how “one twisted (her) right arm behind (her) back with such brute force that (she) really thought he would break it”. She also mentions that “another policeman gave (her) a terrible blow in (her) back, which sent (her) whirling into the crowd”- clearly presenting the view that the police were acting violently and out of conduct towards the women and as a result disputing the viewpoint held in source 10.
However, it must be taken into consideration the purpose of this statement, which was a testament before the Parliamentary Conciliation Committee for Women’s Suffrage, who we know from source 11 sympathized with suffragettes and were trying to gain support from them. Therefore, the women who gave this testament would have been trying to give as much evidence against the police as possible in order for the Committee to have a case against the police and order for an inquiry to be made. In addition to this, it was the aim of suffragettes at time to create as much publicity towards their cause as they could, whether good or bad, they wanted attention, and by complaining about the police it would have prolonged the time that “Black Friday” was publicized in the media which was what they wanted.
In conclusion, sources 11 and 12, which present the view that it was the police who acted wrongly on “Black Friday” disagree with the view presented in source 10, which is that it was the women who were at fault. This is because the purpose of both sources 11 and 12 was to create sympathy for the suffragettes in order to gain support for their cause, whereas source 10 was aimed at an audience who did not support women’s suffrage, and by publishing an article presenting women in a bad light, “The Times” newspaper would have been ensuring that it’s readers remained loyal. Although sources 11 and 12 agree with source 10 in the fact that a violent dispute took place, they differ in opinion of who was the victim in the situation, therefore sources 11 and 12 challenge the view presented in source 10 about the conduct of the police on “Black Friday”.

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