On 16th August 1819, 15 people were killed and up to 700 injured when troops waded into a demo calling for the vote at St Peter’s Field in Manchester. On the anniversary this year, there’s an event being held at the Radisson Hotel on Peter Street, featuring speakers, poets and bands, including Salford rap collective Class Actions, recently returned from a tour of Austria.

Amongst those events in history that are ingrained into consciousness from school or elsewhere is the Peterloo Massacre which happened almost around the corner in Manchester.

It’s now 194 years since around 80,000 people meeting at St Peter’s Field, to demand Parliamentary reform and the vote, were attacked by the cavalry, leaving 15 dead and up to 700 injured. The massacre was named after the Battle of Waterloo which had happened four years earlier.

The community and trade unions have been determined that this horrid event in working class history is never to be forgotten, and in recent years there’s been an annual event to show respect. This year’s Peterloo Massacre Anniversary Event looks set to be the biggest yet.

On stage at the Radisson Hotel on Peter Street in Manchester will be speakers plus ace radical singer songwriter, Claire Mooney, political poet Dave Puller and Salford rap collective Class Actions.

Class Actions have recently completed a debut European tour, which took in Austria and Germany, playing venues in Vienna, Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Graz, taking the Salford attitude to new audiences supported by radical publisher, Bahoe Books, and on stage by The Unknown Hip Hop Artist from Budapest.

In Munich, Class Actions’ Aslan AK and Mike F posed with an Anti-Fascist Action flag inside the very beer hall where Hitler attempted the Munich Putsch in 1923, and in Austria their shows featured a localised variation of their trade mark song Rip Up the Sun, which involved the audience burning copies of Austria’s two most infamous tabloids the Kronen Zeitung and the Österreich.

“It was an honour to be invited to tour such a beautiful country as well as play a bonus show in Munich” says frontman Aslan AK “I felt proud to export the radical socialist and anarchist tradition of Class Actions’ adopted city to a continental audience. I hope our legacy is that more people in Austria will show the red card to the tabloids we used as firewood, I wish more venues in England would let us burn the Sun!”

Mike F, Class Actions’ producer adds “It was a brilliant feeling to play in front of our first international audiences and the support from Bahoe Books was incredible. We’ve been lucky enough to meet some really great people and perform with some inspiring artists. It was an amazing experience.”

You can see Class Actions closer to home on August 16th, along with guests Andy Carrington and Freddie Engels, plus some other top artists, at the Peterloo Massacre Anniversary…

Peterloo Massacre Anniversary Event
Friday 16th August 7:30pm £3/£1
Radisson Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester