Speakers including Paul Mason, Louise Raw and John Monks look at how working people have fought inequality through the ages


The growing protests against bankers’ bonuses and NHS reforms are the subject of discussion at this year’s Radical History School at Tolpuddle.

Entitled Paths of Protest – the changing nature of struggle by working people, the two-day event features sessions with BBC Newsnight economic editor Paul Mason, author Louise Raw and Lord John Monks, former general secretary of the TUC.

Event organiser Nigel Costley said: “At a time when we’re seeing growing public unrest about inequalities in our society, it’s appropriate this year’s school looks at how people have fought, and won, campaigns throughout the ages.

Tolpuddle is seen by many as the birthplace of the trade union movement yet would that have happened without the protests surrounding the Martyrs’ deportation and the campaign for their pardon?”

Paul Mason will talk about his new book about global protest Why It’s All Kicking Off, Louise Raw will discuss her book about the 1888 matchmakers’ strike , when 1,400 mainly women workers walked out of Bryant and May’s match factory in London, and Lord Monks will celebrate trade union achievements through the years.

There will also be sessions on the general strike, the rise of the shop steward, Captain Swing, unions and the law and organising migrant workers.

The event takes place in the rural village of Tolpuddle in Dorset and runs from 1pm on July 12th to finishes at 12noon on July 14th, just as the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival gets into full swing. Tickets are £25. You can apply on line here.  

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