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(en) UK, Manchester Anarchist News - MAN #3 - City for sale

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 3 Jun 2004 07:25:19 +0200 (CEST)


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Manchester City council is selling off the
family silver, the publicly owned facilities
and land to private developers. They are
preventing us from using what was ours or
are charging us through the nose to do so.
They'll probably only stop when they run
out of stuff to flog off!
The Free Trade Hall is a prime (site) ex-
ample. It was built by subscription in the
mid 19th century. The site was already
historically important as it is where the
Peterloo Massacre took place. People pro-
tested at their lack of rights, exploitation
by bosses and having no sort of a life. The
bosses used the local squaddies to murder
and maim them. The local people were
given the message "don't fuck with the
bosses."

Now it's slightly more subtle but their
message remains the same.

The Free Trade Hall was built to provide a
space to "accommodate meetings of politi-
cal, religious, literary and other associa-
tions and other meetings on public occa-
sions and for public lectures and concerts,
exhibitions and other objects of public
amusement or instruction." And to make a
couple of bob. It was, after all, one of the
few buildings in the world named after a
political and economic movement. Ironi-
cally it was sold to the Manchester Corpo-
ration by the Manchester Public Hall Com-
pany in 1921. The corporation bought it to
prevent it from being lost to the citizens of
Manchester.

Conveniently the deeds committing the
building to public use & ownership have
been mislaid.

So the council flogged it to private devel-
opers who have in turn turned a focus of
political and cultural significance world-
wide into another pathetic example of cul-
tural desertification.

Barbirolli opened it after it's post war re
birth, housing as it did the Halle Orchestra.
Dylan made it famous by going electric, it
opened punk to the north with the Sex Pis-
tols gigs (original D.I.Y. punk, they were
organised by The Buzzcocks) and so
on...until the council (in whose trust it was
left for all of us) sold it to make yet an-
other hotel in another second tier city for
another bunch of chancers who know the
cost of anything but the value of nowt.
Nearly 40 years ago they called Bob Dylan
Judas. Manchester City Council, where's
your 30 pieces of silver?

Next instalment : The Platt Fields Car Park.
People get busy!


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