I was held by the Police – Jack Ludd, Trade Unionist

July 10, 1885 ·

I write this note in some haste after being released from the clutches of Government agents. I apologise for any ramblings and confusion in advance. I am sore exhausted and will clarify the events after some sleep.

Last Wednesday, some 5 days ago, as I was leaving my lodgings to attend a weekly reading group  I was seized in the street by plain clothes policemen, thrown into the back of a van and hauled off to a cell.

(I have since discovered that) I was to be  held under The Special Provincial Powers Act 1876introduced to suppress revolt in Kenya. All I know is I was locked in a cell and frequently and regularly taken to be questioned, and questioned and then questioned further.

At all times of the day and night I hardly slept or ate. They asked about the recent raid but quickly moved on to the forthcoming strike; What did I know? Who were the ringleaders? What plans had been laid? For my part  I remained silent having been questioned many times by the law before and knowing that silence hurts no one, and their handling of you  only hurts if you’re scared.

Luckily when I was taken some folk had raised the alarm and a search went out to locate me. For which I am most grateful. I hear groups came in solidarity to the police station in such numbers that the police fearing a riot would occur decided to release me.

After what was said to me in the station by certain senior officers I fear that I may lose my employment at the depot, but being another’s chattel never agreed with me anyway.

I must to bed.

Jack Ludd

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