18 August, Hornby Street, off Bury New Road, Manchester 11.30 am
UNISON North West Regional Committee has agreed to support a march on Sunday 18 August to commemorate the Peterloo Massacre on its two hundredth anniversary. We are coordinating one of ten feeder legs for the march, all of which will make their way to and meet at Albert Square near the site of the massacre in 1819. Our leg of the march will assemble at 11.30AM on Hornby Street, off Bury New Road, Manchester.
Two hundred years ago, on August 1819, about 60,000 people assembled, including a high proportion of women and children, in St Peters Field in Manchester. What followed was a brutal dispersal, by armed cavalry, with fifteen people killed and over five hundred injured. People had marched from all around, many miles, to peacefully demonstrate, amidst widespread hunger and deprivation, for the right to vote. This is a truly shameful day in the history of the conservative political establishment in Britain. Yet in the history of the labour movement, this event, known as the Peterloo Massacre, has come to symbolise the centuries of unremitting political struggle that moved working people from abject poverty and squalor, and back breaking labour, to the rights we now enjoy today. It inspired the rise of the Chartists and modern trade unionism and helped transform our history. It’s crucial that we commemorate those killed and injured and recommit to their fight for democratic reform in Britain in 2019 and beyond.