Manchester City Council

Petition Display

ePetition details

Name area in front of Manchester Central Peterloo Square

We the undersigned petition the Council to name the area between Manchester Central Convention Complex (G-Mex), Windmill Street and Lower Mosley Street Peterloo Square in time for the bicentenary commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August 2019.

The history:

The Peterloo Massacre was a seminal event in the history of Manchester and the surrounding towns, as well as the history of British democracy. Around 60,000 people gathered on St Peter's Field to protest peacefully about their working conditions and to demand universal suffrage, which they knew was the key to improving those conditions. The magistrates sent in a local militia and then professional troops to arrest the speakers and disperse the crowd, with no regard for their safety; an estimated 18 people were killed. Although there was a public outcry at the violence, the only people prosecuted were the Radicals behind the meeting, some of whom were convicted and imprisoned for seditious intent.

The site:

The actual site of St Peter's Field lies either side of Peter Street, between Windmill Street and Bootle Street; the most famous building on the site is the Free Trade Hall (now a Radisson Hotel) which bears a red plaque commemorating the massacre. Although the field took its name from the nearby St Peter's Church, it did not include St Peter's Square. Nor did it include the paved area in front of Manchester Central, but it lay directly adjacent to this space, which has no generally recognised name.

It was announced in October 2018 that the Peterloo Memorial will be situated in this area in front of Manchester Central, which will reinforce the place's role in recent years as the focus of Peterloo commemorations.

It is a very political space, as the Manchester Central Complex is now used for the counting of votes at council and general elections - meaning that it is closely connected with the right to vote for which the Peterloo demonstrators campaigned and for which some lost their lives. The complex also hosts party conferences, so that members of the government and opposition regularly walk across the unnamed space.

This makes it the ideal place to commemorate Peterloo's significance to Greater Manchester and British democracy by adopting the name Peterloo Square.

Started by: Harriet Monkhouse

This ePetition runs from 20/11/2018 to 30/06/2019.

21 people have signed this ePetition.