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Tony Benn to speak at Burston rally

PUBLISHED: 10:06 23 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 12 July 2010

Labour activist Tony Benn will be making a return visit to south Norfolk as one of the guest speakers at this year's Burston Strike School Rally.

The annual event commemorates what is believed to be the longest strike in history, lasting 25 years.

Labour activist Tony Benn will be making a return visit to south Norfolk as one of the guest speakers at this year's Burston Strike School Rally.

The annual event commemorates what is believed to be the longest strike in history, lasting 25 years. It started when local children boycotted the village school, in April 1914, in support of teachers Kitty and Tom Higdon who were sacked for their socialist and trade union views.

A rival school was set up on the village green where the Higdons provided an education for local children until 1939.

Now a museum, the strike school has become a focus for an annual rally, to be held on Sunday, September 6 from 11am to 4.30pm. This year's theme is the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, and Mr Benn will be addressing the gathering during the morning.

The other guest speakers are Luis Marron, a political counsellor at the Cuban Embassy; MEP Richard Howitt, Diane Holland, Unite assistant general secretary, and poet John Hegley.

There will be a traditional parade of union banners around the village recreating the protest march by the schoolchildren in 1914. It will be led by the Paseo Malanga Carnival Band. The rally, at Church Green, includes a live music salsa and folk session, children's fun area, food and beer tent, and campaign and community stalls.

Mr Benn has been a key speaker on previous occasions.


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