Under the slogan “deeds not words”, some activists smashed windows, threw stones and burned buildings. Once imprisoned, they would go on hunger strike.
Their refusal to eat led to force-feeding – where a tube was forced up a striker’s nose and down the throat before food was poured in. Sometimes the feeding pipe was put in incorrectly and food would be forced into the lungs, which can be fatal.
Force feeding attracted public disapproval – and eventually the government brought in a bill known as the Cat and Mouse Act, which allowed seriously ill hunger strikers to be released until they regained their strength, when they would be re-arrested and jailed again.
via Unused ticket: The suffragette story in seven objects – BBC News