On 24th February 1834, six farm labourers from Tolpuddle were arrest for taking part in an illegal oath ceremony. The belief was that the real offence was daring to form a trade union to defend their livelihoods.
They were sentenced to seven years' transportation to the penal colonies in Australia. There was a huge outcry and the first great mass trade union protest take place in London.
The campaign was successful and the Martyrs' returned to England.
On Saturday political debates will take place throughout the day. This year will reflect feelings about the government's cuts. Topics will include low pay, the media, women, schools and young people.
On Sunday, a rally will take place through the village at 2pm. There will be speeches from Tony Benn, TUC general Brendan Barber, TUC President Paul Kenny and Maria Eagle MP. Plus music from The Selecter.
For more details go to the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival website.