LONDON, May 10, 1913 (UP) - England realized today that militant suffragettes were in deadly earnest when they issues a warning a few weeks ago that the real war for the ballot was just beginning.
Suffragette outbreaks have plunged the country into a reign of terror.
England's greatest fear now is that blood will be shed. Home office officials, who have gathered some small comfort from the militants' avowed intention to respect human life, believe even this ban has been raised.
They see confirmation of their fears in recent bomb outrages where, but for fortunate discovery, lives probably would have been lost.
Five months ago Miss Christabel Panhuurst in the Suffragette, now under police ban, issued the call to militancy. She wrote:
"The militancy sanctioned by the women's social and political union consists in defiance of legal enactments and in attacks on property. The only limit that the union puts to militancy is that human life shall be respected. In what other revolution has this limit been set? In six years of militancy not one life has been lost."
The militancy squad promptly got busy.
In the months following they burned buildings, smashed windows, cut telegraph wires, ripped up fences, wrecked stores, planted bombs and defied all British authority.
Following the publication of the first number of the Suffragette, Miss Emmeline Panhurst made a speech openly inciting women to lawbreaking. The grandstand at Epson course was fired the next day. Letter boxes were pillaged and mail destroyed by acids. Then came bomb-planting and more serious outbreaks.
The trouble really began in 1901 when Mrs. Pankhurst founded the women's social and political union, but there were no arrests until 1906, when Miss Christabel Pankhurst and Miss Annie Kenney, then a factory girl, were jailed for interrupting a public speech of Sir Edward Grey.
The first women's suffrage demonstration was in Trafalgar square in May, 1906, and the following months the first act of violence was recorded. A suffragette, ejected from one of Asquith's meetings, used a dog whip with considerable effect.
The great Hyde park demonstration came in January, 1908, when 250,000 persons gathered. Later there was an attempt to "rush" the house of commons and many arrests followed.
The public now became angry, and at an open air meeting two suffragettes were seized by a crowd of men and mobbed.
Forcible feeding was resorted to by jailers in 1909 when suffragettes started their first hunger strike.
The famous case of vitriol throwing occurred about this time when a man tried to prevent a suffragette from throwing acid into a ballot box and was burned.
In December, 1910, two women threw a ginger beer bottle into Premier Asquith's auto and were jailed. They hunger-struck and were finally released when exhausted.
In March, 1912, a great window smashing campaign began and probably 200 arrests were made.
On March 13 a suffrage arsenal was raided, apparatus for cutting telegraph wires, acids and other implements of their warfare were confiscated.
Then came bomb throwing, other serious outrages, and finally the home office raided the union's headquarters. Than militant leaders announced it was to be war to the death.