Thursday, September 28, 2006

Peterloo massacre

As numerous delegates and speakers have been keen to point out to us all week, the GMEX conference centre is built on the site of St Peter's Fields where in 1819 mounted troops set about peaceful protesters which ended with the infamous Peterloo Massacre. Just to show the lessons have not been lost on the modern day constabulary and their masters, it seems that yesterday they decided to commemorate the event with a historical re-enactment. About 70 peaceful supporters of CND were taking part in a 'release a balloon' demonstration in protest at Trident renewal. Just before the balloons were due to be released three ranks of police, accompanied by mounted police and dogs, swooped on the demonstrators because they believed the group to be "intending to cause disruption". One of the most fierce and highly dangerous protesters... a 62 year-old woman... was arrested, together with a graphic designer who was passing by and who objected to the heavy handed policing. Whew! Do I feel safe now!