two squares

I saw this on an Internet message board for a topic relating to events of Libya…

… and an argument against that there Intervention… after a brief that “I’m not really paying attention”, but  tending toward an Isolationist impulse, and a weariness of American military being in firing zones…

“The US didn’t do anything when Trafalgar Square happened.”

This amused me.  She meant Tiananmen Square, surely — of quickly developing Superpower China fame, but just for the sake of Trafalgar Square… what is it?

Trafalgar Square is a square in central London, England. With its position in the heart of London, it is a tourist attraction, and one of the most famous squares in the United Kingdom and the world. At its centre is Nelson’s Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. Statues and sculptures are on display in the square, including a fourth plinth displaying changing pieces of contemporary art. The square is also used as a location for political demonstrations and community gatherings, such as the celebration of New Year’s Eve in London.

Did she have a vague idea of a Square that begins with “T”, look it up on google and have Trafalgar Square pop up?  I think so.

The name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars. The original name was to have been “King William the Fourth’s Square”, but George Ledwell Taylor suggested the name “Trafalgar Square”.[1]

I agree.  It’s a good thing America didn’t intervene in the Battle of Trafagalar and the whole Napoleonic Wars.  Or is this referring to one of these incidents?

By March of the year Nelson’s column opened, the authorities had started banning Chartist meetings in the square. A general ban on political rallies remained in effect until the 1880s, when the emerging Labour movement, particularly the Social Democratic Federation, began holding protests there.

On “Black Monday” (8 February 1886), protesters rallied against unemployment; this led to a riot in Pall Mall. A larger riot (called “Bloody Sunday“) occurred in the square on 13 November 1887.

One of the first significant demonstrations of the modern era was held in the square on 19 September 1961 by the Committee of 100, which included the philosopher Bertrand Russell. The protesters rallied for peace and against war and nuclear weapons.

There are, of course, more current and relevant examples that would have made her point than… well, both the events at Tiananmen Square, and the events at Trafalgar square… no need to drap Bertrand Russell into this.

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