The Peterloo Memorial: A monument to discrimination Favorite 

Date: 

Jun 6 2019

Location: 

Manchester UK

Disabled people gathered to protest at the site where a memorial to the Peterloo massacre in 1819 is being built. We are keen to have a memorial to Peterloo, but we want one we can be proud of, rather than the one under construction, which will be inaccessible to many disabled people.

Peterloo was one of the definining moments in Britain becoming a democracy. At least 18 people died and many hundreds injured as sabre-wielding soldiers attacked unarmed protesters, who were calling for better political representation.

The memorial was designed by artist Jeremy Deller, renowned for his political and socially engaged art. He has expressed regret that accessibility wasn't taken account of from the outset in his plans for a memorial. Linking back to Peterloo, and similar to speakers corner and other public spaces, the monument is designed to be used by the public, to sit and stand on, to climb up and address crowds or demonstrations. However, being made up of concentric stepped circles, it is completely inaccessible to wheelchair users and others who can't climb steps. So disabled people are excluded from being able to fully take part in community and political life.

Manchester City Council are ploughing ahead with building this memorial to exclusion in the face of widespread opposition. It is a travesty that this memorial is going ahead in an inaccessible form, in 2019 and to commemorate those who fought and died for equality. The campaign is calling for a halt now, before construction goes any further.

This campaign is ongoing.

Posted by Gill Crawshaw on