As people gear up for the big 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre next year with a graphic book coming out, plus other books, plays and who knows what else, this year is seeing a prelude, with Mike Leigh's Peterloo film due out in early November, and, this month, a walk, rally, commemorative reading of names and the creation of a new artwork.
The Peterloo Massacre occurred at St Peter's Field in Manchester on 16th August 1819, when cavalry charged thousands of unarmed peaceful democracy protesters, leaving 18 dead and hundreds injured.
On the actual day of the 199th anniversary, Thursday 16th August, at 1pm in St Peter's Square, there's a commemorative reading of the names of those who died in the Massacre, updated with significant new information from leading Peterloo historian Dr Robert Poole.
After the ceremony, a large scale piece of artwork from Mike Leigh's Peterloo, inspired by traditional Peterloo era prints, will have its first public viewing.
On Sunday 19th August, at 1pm on the Plaza of the Manchester Convention Centre (GMex) the annual mass rally will be taking place, this year organised by Greater Manchester Trades Council, with guest Maxine Peake, who always supports the event, and stars in Mike Leigh's Peterloo film. The artwork from the movie will also be on display.
At the rally, well known socialist artist, Red Saunders, will be holding an on-site open audition call for volunteers to appear in his forthcoming Peterloo tableaux, in the style of his other Hidden project historical images, recreating scenes from working class history.*
Readings and Artwork
Thursday 16th August 1pm
St Peter's Square
Sunday 19th August 1pm
Plaza of Manchester Convention Centre
For further details see the Peterloo Memorial Campaign Facebook page - click here
For more details of Red Saunders' Hidden project – see here
On 16th August there's also a Red Flag Walk at 11am, delving into radical Manchester history – for details see previous Salford Star article – click here