The Peterloo Memorial Campaign has been set up to lobby for a RESPECTFUL, INFORMATIVE and PROMINENT monument to this profound event.
Peterloo was a critical event not only because of the number of people killed and injured, but because ultimately it changed public opinion to influence the extension of the right to vote and give us the democracy we enjoy today.
We've discovered that we are part of a long tradition, people have been demanding a fitting memorial for well over a hundred years! Let's make it happen.
Currently the only public memorial is a commemorative plaque on the side of the Radisson Hotel, formerly the Free Trade Hall. We have successfuly campaigned to have the old plaque replaced with on ethat is accurate and infromative.
An 1842 obelisk-style monument to the event in Ancoats once existed, but deteriorated so badly it was
demolished by 1888.
A 1951 mural in the former Free Trade Hall (sold to the Radisson Hotel chain, who have converted the building into a luxury hotel) still exists in an upstairs corridor, but it, sadly, is as strikingly 'airbrushed' as the plaque, showing washed out, blank banners, protesters apparently viciously fighting amongst themselves, and the cavalry coming to the rescue.
We want to see a permanent statue in a prominent position within St Peter's Fields. Such as the
proposed design from 1819
of a yeoman on horseback trampling peaceful protestors.
The call for an appropriate public remembrance isn't without precedent. It's been going on since the 1830's!
In a 2006 Guardian newspaper poll 269 voted for a greater memorial to this battlefield of democratic martyrdom second only to The Putney Debates. (The Guardian was formed as a direct result of the massacre,
and ran a piece 'Battle for the memory of Peterloo' on our campaign).
If Manchester continues to ignore this profound event from it's own history, it's hard not to wonder what would the people who lost their lives on the day make of our collective desire to forget them?
Manchester City Council have now committed to a new memorial to Peterloo. We continue to lobby for a memorial that isn't of a meaningless or abstract nature.
The commissioning process for a memorial began in 2012, and the plan was to allow just 3 councillors to make the decision in private. Our demand is that a range of designs are shortlisted and subjected to an indicative public vote.
We have held a number of campaign events to keep up the pressure for a fitting memorial, get people involved and to mark each anniversay - see more about Campaign Events.