Help mark 175 years of Union organising 18-25 April 2009
In 1834 some 100,000 people joined the Grand Demonstration that marched from Copenhagen Fields to Parliament and on to Kennington Common to demand the release of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Six Dorset farm workers had been sentenced to seven years transportation into slavery in Australia for forming a trade union. The attack on early unions had to be challenged.
A 200,00 strong petition was carried shoulder high and many more poured in from all over the country. The demonstration was just the start and the Government eventually backed down and gave the six men free pardons.
Join us to remember those who fought for our rights. A series of events is being planned including a recreation of the Martyrs’ oath, banner making, music, comedy, stalls and next to the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ mural at Edward Square, near King’s Cross.
The week of activities will include making links with local schools to teach students about the history of their area and a key episode in the advancement of democracy and workers’ rights. Debates and discussions with community groups to tell the story and consider the relevance today. Make the links between this historic event and campaigns today for social justice here and around the world. Theatre, comedy, music, poetry are some of the other ideas.
What we need
Ideas, volunteers, enthusiasm.We need unions to sponsor the activities and consider how they can support the events with stalls and engagement.
Saturday 25 April
We would like to organise a demonstration and re-enactment of the oath taken by the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1834. We want to arrange a programme of music, stalls, speeches and entertainment for children in and around Edward Square. The planning group are in discussions with the local
council and others and welcome as much local and trade union involvement as possible.
Supported by the South West TUC and Southern and Eastern Regional TUC
For more information contact David Renton