100 Years Ago – 13 April 1920

13 April 1920

The hunger strike at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin continued, with over 100 prisoners, of whom most were young men, refusing food. The situation worsened as a general strike started throughout Ireland, which demanded the rest of the prisoners who had mostly been arrested as part of the Defence of the Realm Act legislation. There were now crowds surrounding the prison, with the military and police guarding the building for fear that it might be attacked.

Thomas Johnson, the Acting Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said that the organisation was sympathetic to Irish workers across England, Scotland and Wales. He said, “there are many thousands of Irish men and women in the industrial districts and we feel that we have the right to appeal to them to take some action on behalf of their imprisoned countrymen”.

The Jewish Socialist Labour Party complained to the British Government that they were failing to do enough to protect Jews in Jerusalem. There was disorder in the city between 4 and 6 April 1920, with a pogrom starting in the Jewish quarter of the city. The city of Jerusalem had been captured by the British in 1917 and it was still being governed from London, a decision which was formalised in the 1922 Conference of Lausanne.