Today In Fact, 16 August

The day of Peterloo and Marikana.

Peterloo was a massacre of organized workers seeking changes in the electoral system in England on this day in 1819. After the Napoleonic wars, the citizenry of England were restive and demobilized soldiers found themselves without decent work. The industrial revolution was in full swing in Lancashire and political moves were afoot for transformation. A large gathering was organized at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester. St. Peter’s

Field is a sort of commons at the crown of a hill to the north East of the city centre. Local magistrates in Manchester ordered the army into a crowd gathered at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester. The crowd was trapped on all sides by armed soldiery and the horsemen killed 19 people and injured over 200.

It seems we as a human race have learned little since Peterloo. On this day in 2012, police in the platinum mining town of Rustenburg, after weeks of killings and attacks by miners, fired into a crowd of antagonistic miners on a hill at Marikana.

Two hills, two massacres, almost 200 years apart. What is it about our civilization that makes us so uncivilized? When will we learn that the highest calling of our civilization is to cherish human dignity above political interests and the force of arms?

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer ( )