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Showing posts from November, 2014

BBC2 series: Exploring the Past: Protest with me talking about Peterloo

I'm down in the vaults of the National Archives for this BBC2 schools' series: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04q12bj/exploring-the-past-protest

The first ten minutes is on the Peterloo Massacre. Matthew, a bright and politically passionate school student from Radcliffe, investigates the causes of the massacre. I'm showing him extracts from the Home Office disturbance papers.

It's available to watch on iplayer for the next three weeks.

what is public space? the freedom to protest

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This week controversy has re-arisen over the purpose and design of the proposed 'Garden Bridge' over the Thames in London.


According to Oliver Wainwright's report in the Guardian,

“All groups of eight or more visitors would be required to contact the Garden Bridge Trust to request a formal visit to the bridge,” states Lambeth council’s planning report to its committee, which recommends conditional planning. “This policy would not only assist visitor management but also would discourage protest groups from trying to access the bridge.”  Whether or not this gets enacted in practice is one matter, but the bigger issue is that planners think this way about what on the surface was marketed as a 'public' space open to all. And that their main reasons for limiting numbers was less 'assisting visitor management' and more about 'discouraging protest groups'.

How many people form a 'tumultuous' crowd?
The restriction on groups of eight visiting…