Anniversary of The Peterloo Massacre.

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
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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.

The numbers of dead are disputed – the plaque, placed at the spot, says 16, but it is now estimated that 18 people, including a woman and a child, died from saber cuts and trampling.
Over 700 men, women and children received extremely serious injuries.
All in the name of liberty and freedom from poverty.

The poet Shelley, upon hearing of the event wrote ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, which was banned for 30 years and which ended:

‘And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

And these words shall then become
Like Oppression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again – again – again –

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.’

Full version here: http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight/distress/masque.htm

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