Subversive Historian 11/13/08

London’s Bloody Sunday

One-hundred and twenty-one years ago on this day in people’s history, police in London unleashed violence against a joint working-class labor rights and Irish home rule demonstration. On November, 13th 1887, the incidence of violence that occurred in Trafalgar Square become known as “Bloody Sunday” as it lead to numerous injuries and two deaths. The repression of the state in enforcing a ban on public demonstrations in the square had marked a turning point for the newly emerging socialist movement in England. Although the state deployed violence in order to intimidate activism, a week after “Bloody Sunday,” demonstrators took to the streets once more where they once again faced repression by police.

A friend of William Morris died in the violence of this second protest and the revolutionary poet penned “A Death Song,” in memoriam which reads, “We craved to speak to tell our woeful learning/ We came back speechless, bearing back our dead/ Not one, not one, nor thousand must they slay/ But one and all if they would dusk the day!

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