This book is a wide-ranging survey of the rise of mass movements for democracy and workers' rights in northern England from 1789 to 1848. It is a provocative narrative of the closing down of public space and dispossession from place. It offers historical parallels for contemporary debates about protests in public space and democracy and anti-globalisation movements. In response to fears of revolution from 1789 to 1848, the British government and local authorities prohibited mass working-class political meetings and societies. Protesters faced the privatisation of public space. The 'Peterloo Massacre' of 1819 marked a turning point. Radicals, trade unions and the Chartists fought back by challenging their exclusion from public spaces, creating their own sites and eventually constructing their own buildings or emigrating to America. New evidence of protest in rural areas of northern England, including rural Luddism, is also uncovered.