The 2008 Tolpuddle festival will take place in Dorset from 18th to 20th July.
On February 24th, 1834, six farm labourers from the Dorset village of Tolpuddle were arrested on a charge of taking part in an 'illegal oath' ceremony. In the eyes of their masters, however, the real offence was that they had dared to form a trade union to defend their livelihood. For this they were sentenced to seven years' transportation to the penal colonies of Australia. The sentences provoked an immense outcry, leading to the first great mass trade union protest. The campaign won free pardons and the Martyrs' return to England. A historic episode in the struggle for trade unionists' rights in Great Britain
To commemorate the bravery of the martyrs' struggle against poverty and authority, this annual festival features music, speakers and family entertainment
Official Website: http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/index.cfm?mins=414&minors=75
Added by tomroper on January 31, 2008