"If people wish to remember Peterloo, they should take the streets as they did in 1819 and protest against poverty and exploitation..." Michael Herbert
This year is the 199th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre and there's loads of events planned as a prelude to the big 200th anniversary next year.
The Peterloo Massacre took place on 16th August 1819, when a peaceful crowd of tens of thousands from Manchester, Salford* and elsewhere, gathered at St Peter's Fields in Manchester to demand political reform. They were attacked by the military, resulting in at least 18 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
At 11am on Thursday 16th August 2018, top local historian, Michael Herbert, of Red Flag Walks, will be leading a Peterloo walk, which will include the sights and sites of Manchester's radical history. It will include the Siege of Manchester in 1642, Thomas Walker and the Manchester radical movement of the 1790s, and the riot at the Royal Exchange in 1812, ending at the site of Peterloo with an account of what took place on the day hour by hour.
"In this walk I will be trying to set Peterloo in a wider context, exploring some of the events in Manchester's history which preceded it, such as the radical movement of the 1790s, whose key figure was Thomas Walker, and the riot at the Manchester Exchange in 1812" Michael Herbert explains.
"I have become increasingly concerned that the remembrance of Peterloo has focused just on the events of the day and nothing else" he adds "I am also concerned that it's being sanitised and annexed into the heritage industry, particularly the idea of a memorial which I oppose. If people wish to remember Peterloo, they should take the streets as they did in 1819 and protest against poverty and exploitation."
It should make for a very interesting morning!
Thursday 16th August 11am
From Manchester Cathedral main door
Advance booking is strongly recommended and can be done by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
* The Salford casualties at Peterloo included...
William Barnes, weaver, sabre cuts to head, legs trampled on
Bryan Brannagan, fustian cutter, iron railing forced into leg
Willam Bromley, weaver, cut on the head and crushed in body
Alex Campbell, warehouseman, right knee fractured very badly after being trampled by crowd.
John Foster, calico printer, severely beaten by constables on Deansgate
Further details on this year's Peterloo mass rally and name reading - click here