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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
New plaque for massacre memorial
The proposed new plaque
The new plaque will replace the old blue plaque
A new plaque marking the site of an infamous chapter in the history of Manchester will detail how many lives were lost, the council has said.

Manchester City Council has revealed the current plaque marking the site of the Peterloo Massacre will be replaced.

It follows a campaign for a "fitting tribute" to the 11 people who died when armed cavalry stormed a pro-democracy gathering in the city in 1819.

The council said it would also look at ideas for a monument to the event.

Calls for a permanent monument coincided with the 188th anniversary of the massacre, which historians said had a huge influence on giving ordinary people the vote.

The current blue plaque is on the Radisson Hotel, formerly the Free Trade Hall, on Peter Street.

Peterloo plaque

It states that radical orator Henry Hunt addressed a crowd of about 60,000 people and "their subsequent dispersal by the military is remembered as Peterloo".

Paul Fitzgerald, who is also calling for a permanent statue, said campaigners were "absolutely shocked" by the wording.

On the anniversary of the massacre, Manchester City Council released a statement saying the plaque would be replaced, with new wording.

Under the heading "The Peterloo Massacre", it will now read: "On 16th August 1819 a peaceful rally of 60,000 pro-democracy reformers, mostly impoverished workers and their families, was charged by armed cavalry resulting in 11 deaths and over 500 severe injuries."

Eleven killed

Sir Richard Leese, council leader, said: "In addition we are intending to mark the Peterloo Massacre as a key point in the city's and indeed the country's history with a befitting memorial.

"The issue was first raised with me by school children from Salford who understand the need for those who lost their lives and the reason they had come together to be remembered.

"The city is also looking at marking the Suffragette movement and the Abolition of Slavery and we will work towards creating public monuments to remember such important moments in our history."

A crowd of 60,000 gathered in Manchester on 16 August 1819 to listen to calls for the right for people to vote for their own MPs.

But local magistrates panicked at the sight of the huge crowd and sent in local militia, who waded in on horseback attacking people with their sabres.

Eleven people were killed, including a woman and a child, and some historians argue the figure was even higher.


SEE ALSO
Call for Peterloo statue memorial
16 Aug 07 |  Manchester
China's Tiananmen 'purge' blasted
08 Jun 07 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Tiananmen remembered
04 Jun 07 |  In Pictures
Mayor in Tiananmen 'comparison'
11 Apr 06 |  London

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