The uncomfortable truth about a defining moment in the history of democracy in Britain has finally been recorded—188 years after the event—on a red plaque fixed to a wall in the centre of Manchester.
The 1819 Peterloo massacre, which followed a rally where thousands had gathered at St Peter's Fields to demand that the new industrial cities should have the right to elect MPs, has for years been commemorated only by a blue plaque on the Free Trade Hall, now converted to a hotel.
But the plaque made no mention of those cut down and killed when the local volunteer yeomanry was ordered to charge and break up the meeting, whose principal speaker was the famed orator Henry Hunt…
Now Manchester city council has fixed a permanent red plaque to the wall and updated the death toll in line with the latest research. It reads: "On August 16 1819 a peaceful rally of 60,000 pro-democracy reformers, men, women and children, was attacked by armed cavalry resulting in 15 deaths and over 600 injuries."
The above story only managed to make page 10 of the [formerly Manchester] Guardian. A Google News search indicates that this was the only coverage the story received in the UK national press.
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