Film revealing bloody fight for British democracy comes to Norwich

Film director Mike Leigh’s biting portrayal of a bloody landmark in Britain’s struggle for democracy will come to Norwich on Monday (30 September).

The Norfolk County branch of trade union UNISON has organised a screening of Peterloo at Norwich Arts Centre.

It tells the story of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, when mounted troops armed with sabres violently attacked a demonstration at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, calling for the extension of the vote to working-class people, killing 18 and injuring hundreds.

UNISON assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie, who will speak at the screening, said: “The brutal murder of 18 people at Peterloo is a defining moment in British history and the fight for a Parliament that actually represents ordinary working people.

“The past couple of weeks in Westminster show clearly that our struggle for democracy is far from over.

“Boris Johnson and his friends in power today have the same disdain for much of the country as Lord Liverpool and the Manchester yeomanry did for those asking peacefully for democratic reform in 1819.

“UNISON Norfolk County should be congratulated for ensuring Mike Leigh’s Peterloo gets the audience it deserves to remember our history and inspire us to fight for our future.”

Entry will be pay what you can afford, with donations going to support UNISON disputes. The screening starts at 8pm at the Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedicts Street.

Before the film, McKenzie and his colleagues will be visiting workplaces around Norwich, encouraging people to join UNISON, the UK’s largest trade union.

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