Salford’s Working Class Movement Library are holding a series of four free talks on state violence, Not just Peterloo, Wednesdays at 7pm starting this Wednesday, 26 June with historian Katrina Navickas reflecting on the history of suppression of political meetings in Manchester and Salford during the 19th century.

This talk reflects on the history of suppression of political meetings in Manchester and Salford during the 19th century. It examines the role of the authorities at the Peterloo Massacre, and places this within the longer context of how magistrates and then the Corporation sought to control and prohibit popular political protest in parks, squares and moors throughout the century.

There will be an opportunity to share histories and memories of contested spaces of protest after the talk.

Katrina Navickas is Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire.

Our other three topics are:

3 July 7pm Michael Sanders “How many shots were fired?”: the ‘Plug Plot Insurrection’ and Peterloo

In the late summer of 1842, Lancashire teetered on the brink of insurrection. Textile workers angry at the rejection of the second Chartist petition were further provoked by notice of a planned cut in wages. They responded with a strikewave – known as the ‘Plug Plot Riots’. At the height of the strike, Manchester was effectively under working class control. The Government restored ‘order’ only after opening fire on strikers in Preston and Halifax and arresting hundreds of trade unionists and Chartists. In this talk Mike Sanders, Senior Lecturer in 19th Century Writing at the University of Manchester examines the origins, development and significance of the ‘Plug Plot Insurrection’ and explores the role which the memory of Peterloo played throughout the strike.

10 July 7pm Jennifer Luff State surveillance of the 20th century left

This talk tells the history of Britain’s secret red purge and reflects on its implications for modern British history and contemporary politics.

17 July 7pm Joanna Gilmore Lessons from Orgreave: policing, protest and resistance

In this talk Joanna will challenge claims of a progressive shift in the state’s response to protest and dissent since the 1980s.

Full details at


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