Next month marks the 175th anniversary of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
They were a group of farm workers in Dorset who in 1834 were sentenced to be deported to Australia for forming a trades union, an illegal act in those days. A massive demonstration in support of the men set off from Islington’s Copenhagen Fields to Parliament, and led to them being pardoned – a huge milestone in the history of trades unions and other campaigning organisations. The event is commemorated in the name of Tolpuddle Street, and by the mural at Edward Square.
We have so many freedoms we take for granted (and others under attack) but we shouldn’t forget the struggles that won those freedoms for us.