Humble petition or militant action?

There are two sides to Tolpuddle, argues Mike Macnair

Every year around this time there is a festival and march organised by the Trade Union Congress at Tolpuddle, Dorset, to commemorate the Tolpuddle Martyrs.[1] The martyrs were six men - George Loveless and his brother James, James Hammett, James Brine, Thomas Standfield and his son John - who were convicted in 1834 of “administering an unlawful oath” - ie, attempting to form a branch of an agricultural labourers’ union - and sentenced to transportation to Australia. Within two years a mass campaign had secured their pardon and their release. This year’s festival is taking place over the coming weekend, July 16-18, with the march on Sunday at 2pm.

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Letters

Drastic action; Singled out; Nine points; Predators; Charlatans; Studying Rita; Fear of fascists

Defections no answer

Peter Manson looks at the latest split from the Socialist Workers Party

Keep off our turf

James Turley critiques the SWP's proprietorial culture

Moat's paranoia and the community of women

Communists fight to reassert the power of women, writes Eddie Ford

Divided theocratic regime paralysed by sanctions

As the US steps up it efforts to provoke regime change from above, Yassamine Mather looks at the reasons for the failure of the working class to win leadership of the opposition movement

Philistinism of cuts

Jim Gilbert warns of increased corporate involvement in the arts

We don't make the laws. We do a job

Steve Gillan, new general secretary of the prison officers' union, the POA, wrote to the CPGB in response to Eddie Ford's article last week. Mark Fischer spoke to him

10k and counting

Things are looking good to Howard Roak

Weekly Worker 826 is also available in PDF format