On August 15th Green Left will be holding its regular Summer Camp in Manchester, this is timed to coincide with the commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre, one of the most significant events in British radical history, which occured on August 16th in Manchester.
Green Left will be participating in the events of August 16th as part of a campaign calling for a proper monument to remember the bloody events of that day. We also regard it as particularly relevant in this year when police violence has led to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demo, the criminalisation of many others, and the attacks on Climate Camp and many peaceful protestors over the last few months. Details of the Peterloo event are below.
190th PETERLOO MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY- SUNDAY 16th AUGUST 2009.
CAMPAIGNERS RAISE THE INFAMOUS 'LIBERTY CAP' IN MANCHESTER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 200 YEARS.
SUPPORT FOR AN APPROPRIATE PETERLOO MEMORIAL REACHES NEW LEVELS, WITH ENTIRE DAY OF EVENTS.
This years commemorations of the Peterloo Massacre will be the biggest yet seen, with groups from the city and beyond rallying to St Peters Fields to honour those who gave their lives in the cause of economic justice and democracy.
EVENTS OF THE DAY
11am Peterloo historical guided walk by Paul Mason (BBC Newsnight correspondent, acting in a personal capacity. Paul has a long standing interest in the massacre.) Organized by Manchester Trade Council. The walk will finish at the site of the massacre in time for the main commemoration...
1pm main commemoration- Manchester campaigners will be met on the steps of G Mex by delegates marching in from Oldham and Middleton. (Following the original marching routes from 1819) Replica Peterloo banners kindly lent to the campaign by PROCESSION artist Jeremy Deller (one carried in from Oldham), will then be raised, along with 20 replica 'liberty caps' on poles. The red and gold liberty cap is an ancient symbol of political freedom dating back to ancient Greece, and has been used as an icon of freedom by many movements, including the French and American revolutions.
Liberty caps raised on wooden poles were a crucial icon during the 1819 protest, and were ruthlessly targeted with sabres by the yeomanry, resulting in many of the injuries.
An extract from Shelley's 1819 'Peterloo' poem, 'The Masque of Anarchy' will be read, along with the names of those who died.
Guests will include Tony Lloyd MP, and Manchester City Councilors.
3pm to 5pm 'REUNION' at Cornerhouse art gallery, Oxford Rd. As part of the 'PROCESSION' exhibition, Cornerhouse are inviting all those with “a connection to any of these events” to “join us at this special informal event to meet others and share your stories.” See-
7pm Music Event- 'Hear and Now'. Singer songwriter Claire Mooney and guests perform at Briton's Protection Pub to commemorate Peterloo and contemporary political struggles, organized by Manchester Trades Union Council. £3 / £1
8pm Music and poetry event‘ PETERLOO – SOLDIERS ON THE RAMPAGE’ will be presented for the first time on Sunday 16th August at The Angel Pub, Angel Street, Manchester. Tickets £5. Details- Martin Gittins 07760 430 577 email- http://firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNTIL 26th SEPT 2009 A month long exhibition commemorating Peterloo at the Central Library in Manchester- first floor. Includes period and modern items, including the mugs and liberty caps created by the campaign. Curated by Terry Wyke and Stephen Yates, opening hours Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm and Friday and Saturday 9 - 5pm.
Said Paul Fitzgerald of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign: “We're stunned by the levels of enthusiasm this year. Just as we hoped, the campaign has swiftly bought to the surface an underground reservoir of passion about this massively significant, but much neglected event in Manchester's history.
With the Council's announcement of plans for a memorial in St Peter's Square, this is a crucial year for Peterloo. Our job now is to ensure that the design is informative, representative and appropriate. As we near the 200th anniversary, it's vital we put an end to the long and shameful tradition of neglecting or whitewashing the memory of this turning point in the history of democracy.
We invite everyone who cares about this issue to join us on the day and leave their mark on the site of this infamous event.”
PRESS CONTACT- Paul on 07800 535471
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Peterloo Memorial Campaign first bought this issue to light in 2007 with it's inaugural action on 16th August- pasting it's own accurate paper plaque over the disgraceful euphemistic old plaque on the side of the former Free Trade Hall. This led to the council installing a permanent ceramic plaque based on our paper one. It continues to campaign and lobby to ensure the memorial design is one that will inform those seeing it about what took place in the heart of this city.
The Peterloo massacre occurred at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 gathered at a meeting to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. Shortly after the meeting began, local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him, and to disperse the crowd. Cavalry charged into the crowd with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. The massacre was given the name Peterloo in ironic comparison to the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier.