Joined: 30 May 2013
|Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:07 pm Post subject: Save the Chartist mural!
|I urge everyone who can to attend the projected insurrection to be organised by Peter Rawcliffe and others on 5 October in John Frost Square.
I often stop to look at the mural. It's great to see that someone cares about preserving the memory of the struggle for basic political rights.
Every one of the Chartist demands has been met except the one for annual general elections. That is why the banner demanding this is shown as fallen to the ground in the mural.
There is a nonsensical idea now that we shouldn't vote because it won't change anything .Oh yes, it will! Why would the rich thugs in power have resorted to violence in their efforts to prevent -say-women or African Americans from voting if it doesn't change anything? Why not just let them get on with it?
I think it's a great shame that almost everyone seems to think hat before the First World War, women couldn't vote but men could. This is a travesty of the truth. A lot of working class men could not vote before 1918. There was a property qualification.
It's instructive to see how the government treats people who can't vote, such as asylum seekers for instance. It's how they would treat the rest of us if they could. The government sent troops to fire on peaceful strikers in Liverpool and Llanelli before the First World War. They've never done it since.
Increasing numbers of misguided souls think they are being daring and rebellious by not voting! This is beyond ludicrous. All they're doing is literally disenfranchising themselves. An argument in favour of this is to quote Noam Chomsky on 'manufactured consent.'
It may be like that in Zimbabwe where you can vote but will be murdered immediately afterwards. It might have been like that in Germany in the late 1930s when dear old Adolf was the only candidate on the paper. But this is country is a liberal democracy still.
The Suffragettes are still remembered. The Chartists have been almost totally wiped from popular memory. This is greatly to be regretted.
I know a prize Silly Billy who rehearses some of the nonsensical arguments above. He used to go past the Peterloo memorial library in Manchester every day. But nothing about the significance of the Peterloo massacre penetrated his skull.
Let's start educating ourselves and our children. The mural reminds us that men as well as women had to fight for the right to vote. They didn't just fight. They gave their blood for freedom. They died for your right to vote. For God's sake, use it!