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Final Day Of Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

7:01am 15th July 2012

Thousands of trade unionists are set to take part in a rally in Dorset today.

They'll speak out against the government's austerity agenda at the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival, which features speakers such as former Cabinet Minister Tony Benn.

There will also be a march commemorating the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

But it's not all politics, music from The Selecter will be on hand.

Other speakers include Chavs author Owen Jones, Mirror associate editor Kevin Maquire, NUJ general secretary Michelle Stainstreet, Unite AGS Gail Cartmail and feminist activist Finn Mackay.

The colourful rally through the village starts at 2pm so the road through Tolpuddle will be closed from 1pm to 4pm.

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were six farm workers in West Dorset who in 1834 were arrested for forming a trade union and charged with taking an illegal oath. They were transported to Australia and such was the public outcry that it resulted in probably the first trade union protest history.

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