Don’t close our library….save our NHS… no to war….they say cut back we say fight back… low pay no way… fair pensions for all… say no to racism… equal pay for equal work… no ifs no buts no education cuts…

Campaigning for change in Manchester and Salford? – this is your chance to go down in history!

Renowned photographer Simon Roberts (official artist of the 2010 General Election) is coming to Salford to record the thoughts and images of local campaigners and activists.

Salford is home to the Working Class Movement Library – a unique collection that captures over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women who’ve wanted to improve their world.

We want to add to our collection by recording what YOU are doing now, as we suffer the biggest public spending cuts in a generation

And we’d like to show you a little bit about the history you’ll be joining.

Saturday 19 May 2012, 1pm to 4pm
Come and talk to us about what you care about and bring along an object that sums up what you do or is important to your cause.

Simon will photograph or video you (it’ll be short and painless, we promise) and you’ll have a chance to find out what you have in common with campaigners in the past. For example:

Speaking out – Twitter helps people to quickly connect and have their say. Two hundred years ago you had to have your own printing press. Campaigners set up presses secretly in cellars to print their ideas in their own words, then had to dismantle them and move on before the authorities caught up with them.

Songs and slogans – Summing up ideas and boiling down messages is vital – in 1819, cartoonists and writers produced savage satires on the horror of the Peterloo Massacre. They didn’t circulate quite as fast as protest songs on YouTube do today, but they had the same impassioned impact.

Show don’t tell – Stunts like Wikipedia going blank for a day to protest against heavy-handed legislation might seem new, but in the 1830s Chartists held mock funerals to highlight their demands for parliamentary reform.

And there’s more – we have a rich collection of mugs, t-shirts, badges, photos, banners, songs etc etc

If you’re a campaigner come along and be inspired by your history.

Got something you can share straightaway? Add a picture to our Flickr site

This event is part of Museums at Night (the annual festival that opens the doors of museums, galleries and libraries after hours). Simon Roberts is coming to the Working Class Movement Library to give a talk on the evening of Saturday 19th but has generously offered to use his skills to help us add new images and video to

our collection. This is a great chance to record what the people of Salford and Manchester are concerned about today.

The voting for Museums at Night 2012 is now open!

This is your chance to help send me to one of these three Museums:

Working Class Movement Library, Salford

From strikes and protests to tailors and the Spanish Civil War, the Working Class Movement Library tells 200 years of campaigning. Their books, pamphlets, leaflets and tape recordings date as far back as the mid-18th century, including the roots of British trade unions.

They say: “There are many stories in libraries. Usually they’re written down. We want Simon to help us celebrate the image. He will photograph modern dissenters, drawing inspiration from the stories of past campaigns archived in our library. We’ll use these, and the public’s photographic responses, to debate the power of pictures and writing to move and to persuade.   We are a hidden treasure. Vote for us so more people hear about our amazing building and its stunning collection.”

Quay Arts, Isle of Wight

Three galleries and a theatre are at the heart of the Isle of Wight’s main arts centre, acting as a space for families and some of the Island’s most talented artists in a former brewery warehouse complex. It was established in 1997.

They say: “We all know the Isle of Wight is a special place. Simon’s work, which captures the beauty of piers around the UK – four of which are on the Island – highlights this even further. By voting, you could secure a chance for this acclaimed artist to come to the Island. This isn’t just a talk – it’s about celebrating the nostalgic beauty of the Island, and a chance to get in involved, show off your talent and possibly even win.”

Guernsey Museum

Guernsey’s venue is surely one of the most impressive – an ancient harbour fortress which includes a Maritime Museum, Militia Museums and the expansive Hatton Gallery, filled with portraits.

They say: “Guernsey Museum’s event takes place in the beautiful setting of Castle Cornet. We are open to suggestions about what Simon would like to do, but the place is not short of inspiration, with narrow Medieval passageways and breathtaking views of the neighbouring islands and France beyond. The night is a collaboration and we will be sharing the Castle with the lovely folk from the Guernsey Photography Festival. Simon’s extensive travelling relates perfectly to the theme of this year’s Festival: Journey.”


You can VOTE here.

Voting closes at 5pm on March 5 2012.

Museums at Night is the annual after hours celebration when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. Friday May 18 – Sunday May 20 2012.