From Strike Mag - by Ruth Kinna
In 1819 at St. Peter’s Fields in Manchester, cavalry charged a crowd that had met to demand political reform, killing 15 and wounding hundreds. Fourteen years later Chartists met at Coldbath Fields in London to protest the inadequacy of the 1832 Great Reform Act, which left the majority of working people disenfranchised. This demonstration also met with violence, but the military were in plain clothes and crowd control was left to the newly established police force. Discussions about the reorganisation of policing had started some years before the Manchester Peterloo Massacre, resulting in the introduction of the Irish Constabulary in 1822 and the London Metropolitan Police force seven years later.