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Old 22-11-2016, 04:51 PM   #1
getagrip
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Default The Peterloo Massacre

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.’


On the 16th of August 1819 the huge open area around what's now St Peters Square, Manchester, played host to an outrage against over 60,000 peaceful pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters; an event which became known as The Peterloo Massacre.

On the morning of 16th August the crowd began to gather, conducting themselves, according to contemporary accounts, with dignity and discipline, the majority dressed in their sunday best.

The key speaker was to be famed orator Henry Hunt, the platform consisted of a simple cart, located in the front of what's now the Gmex centre, and the space was filled with banners - REFORM, UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, EQUAL REPRESENTATION and, touchingly, LOVE. Many of the banner poles where topped with the red cap of liberty - a powerful symbol at the time.

Local magistrates watching from a window near the field panicked at the sight of the crowd, and read the riot act, effectively ordering what little of the crowd could hear them to disperse.

As 600 Hussars, several hundred infantrymen; an artillery unit with two six-pounder guns, 400 men of the Cheshire cavalry and 400 special constables waited in reserve, the local Yeomanry were given the task of arresting the speakers. The Yeomanry, led by Captain Hugh Birley and Major Thomas Trafford, were essentially a paramilitary force drawn from the ranks of the local mill and shop owners.

On horseback, armed with cutlasses and clubs, many were familiar with, and had old scores to settle with, the leading protesters. (In one instance, spotting a reporter from the radical Manchester Observer, a Yeomanry officer called out "There's Saxton, damn him, run him through.")

Heading for the hustings, they charged when the crowd linked arms to try and stop the arrests, and proceeded to strike down banners and people with their swords. Rumours from the period have persistently stated the Yeomanry were drunk...

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Old 22-11-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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Never heard of that, thanks for sharing. We take so much for granted.
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Old 22-11-2016, 05:56 PM   #3
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Know a lot about this , as the site is right behind Manchester Central Library where I would often walk (there's now a blue tourist plaque commemorating it).

Something similar also near my old home town is the Featherstone massacre where striking coal miners protesting about pay and conditions in 1893, were met with the army (at the behest of the pit owner), who opened fire, killing two, wounding eight. The only place in UK where this has ever happened...Arthur Scargill himself personally unveiled the monument which now commemorates it.

http://treeworship.blogspot.co.uk/20...therstone.html



Primary Sources : http://libcom.org/files/The%20feathe...20massacre.pdf

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Old 25-11-2016, 09:43 PM   #4
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Didn't we all learn about the Peterloo massacre in school? Of course it will repeat itself any time good people get together to protest our 'masters', sadly.
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Old 26-11-2016, 07:23 AM   #5
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That's an 'interesting' monument proposed by George Cruickshank on your link getagrip. (click it, it enlarges)
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Old 26-11-2016, 03:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elenita View Post
Didn't we all learn about the Peterloo massacre in school? Of course it will repeat itself any time good people get together to protest our 'masters', sadly.
That and the Bloody Sunday action of 1887.
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Old 26-11-2016, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elenita View Post
Didn't we all learn about the Peterloo massacre in school? Of course it will repeat itself any time good people get together to protest our 'masters', sadly.
Yep we did it at school plus there's a plaque up about it in Manchester.
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Old 27-11-2016, 12:20 AM   #8
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Did anyone look at the monument proposal?
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Old 27-11-2016, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Did anyone look at the monument proposal?


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