Civil Disobedience - The Labour Movement
One shilling token, Limerick Soviet, 1919
One shilling token, Limerick Soviet, 1919After a period of protest against military actions, martial law was imposed on Limerick city and the surrounding areas on 9th April, bringing the region under direct military rule, closing the routes to Limerick and cutting off the access of about 5000 workers to their employment unless they had been issued a British military pass. In response to this a strike was called by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council - the General Strike Against British Militarism. In addition to refusing to use British military passes, instead issuing their own, they established committees to organise the supply and distribution of food and fuel and the general running of the city. This Limerick General Strike note for one shilling was issued by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council in April 1919 as a currency during the period of the Limerick Strike, or Limerick Soviet. It is stamped "Mechanic's Institute, Limerick”, where the soviet met to organise committees and passes for businesses and workers.
As a result of the strike, martial law was lifted in early May. Though the Limerick Soviet, inspired by similar soviets in continental Europe, lasted for only two weeks, it was an extremely important event in Labour activism during this period.