On the 16th of August 1819 in what's now St. Peters Square Manchester, an outrage against over 60,000 peaceful pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters occurred. An event which became known as The Peterloo Massacre.
At least 18 people (including a woman and a child), died from saber cuts and trampling. Over 700 men, women and children received extremely serious injuries. All in the name of liberty and freedom from poverty. Less than 2% of the population had the right to vote and hunger was rampant due to disastrous corn laws that made
On the morning of August 16th the crowd began to gather,the majority of them dressed in their Sunday best.
Local magistrates panicked at the sight of the crowd, and ordered the crowd to disperse.
A paramilitary force and over 2,000 military personnel and constables on horseback armed charged the crowd (they were armed with sabers, clubs and swords). They struck down hundreds of men, women and children.
By 2pm the carnage was over. The field was left full of wounded and dead bodies.
Journalists present at the event were arrested. Many others who went on to report the event were subsequently jailed. The businessman John Edwards Taylor went on to help set up the Guardian newspaper as a reaction to what he'd seen.
Historians acknowledge that Peterloo was hugely influential in ordinary people winning the right the vote. This led to the rise of the Chartist Movement, from which grew the Trade Unions.