Trade unionists support Julian Assange at the Tolpuddle Festival 2022

Trade unionists support Julian Assange

Every year in July trade unionists gather in the small Dorset village of Tolpuddle to remember the six agricultural labourers who in 1834 tried to form a trade union to fight for higher wages, and were transported to Van Diemens Land by a cabal of local employers. The case turned into a major victory for the nascent British trade union movement, which mobilised to get the Tolpuddle six pardoned and restored to their families in England.

There are many parallels with the case of Julian Assange because in both the law was used to criminalise legitimate activities. Harsh punishments were meted out by a vengeful establishment and those whose interests were harmed. The media (and in 1834 its equivalent, the church) were complicit in smearing and condemning the men.

For this reason campaigners for Assange from the JADC were at Tolpuddle in 2019 and this year we had a stall.

The support from trade unionists was overwhelming and moving. Our stall buzzed with debate and discussion.

On the procession through the village on the Sunday afternoon bystanders clapped our banner and ‘Free Julian Assange’ sounded across the Dorset hills. David Rovics, the American singer-songwriter and ardent Assange supporter was with us at the stall and on the march.

To find out more about the parallels between the cases of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and Julian Assange you can download a digital copy of our pamphlet Tolpuddle, Julian Assange, and the long struggle for social justice. You can read an earlier and longer version of this here. You can also read David Rovics’ blog about the 2022 event.

A later historian wrote:

The Martyrs of Tolpuddle speak across the years of the price by which alone justice can be set up on the earth….. they take an honourable place in the long story of man’s struggle against the fear and greed of those who entrench themselves behind the privileges that property and class bestow upon the favoured minority.”

This is echoed by Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture in his recent, masterful book “The Trial of Julian Assange”:

Assange is not persecuted for his own crimes, but for the crimes of the powerful. Their impunity is what the trial of Assange is really about.”

This entry was posted in Assange, WikiLeaks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Trade unionists support Julian Assange at the Tolpuddle Festival 2022

  1. Ho hum. Another Brits-only tea party to amuse the officials at HMP Belmarsh. In the usa, two well-known activists get arrested for demanding the ´Department Of Justice´ DROP CHARGES against Julian Assange. UK should be demanding his RELEASE!

  2. Fornaciari says:

    Great-Great-Great..still my eyes open,my hears,my spirit and my soul aware..Peace,Love,Unity.

  3. Fornaciari says:

    Take Care Friends !!! Free Assange !!! Tchears From Paname…

  4. James says:

    So brilliant to see supporters for Julian Assange in Dorset on Sunday. Loads of respect to those who travelled there to represent our struggle for Julian’s freedom. I recognise some faces and see their stall with pamphlets, flyers and copies of the incredible book by UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer – The Trial of Julian Assange.

    It is also very inspiring to read about the strong support from the trade unionists and other people at the festival. Despite the media censoring and smears, people are becoming more and more aware of the campaign to free Julian Assange and the importance of the work he and Wikileaks have done.

Leave a Reply