John McDonnell and Len McCluskey to attend rally at Burston Strike School

John McDonnell, left and Len McCluskey wil appear at this year's Burston Strike School rally. Pictur

John McDonnell, left and Len McCluskey wil appear at this year's Burston Strike School rally. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Labour Party stalwart John McDonnell and the country's top trade unionist Len McCluskey are the headline guests at an upcoming rally at Burston Strike School.

The annual Burston Strike School Rally takes place in the south Norfolk village where there were spe

The annual Burston Strike School Rally takes place in the south Norfolk village where there were speeches, bands and the traditional march around the village. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Simon Finlay

The rally, which is held yearly to remember the longest strike in British history, is expected to attract about 3,000 people to the south Norfolk village this Sunday (September 3) from 10.45am to 4pm.

This year also marks 100 years since the school - which is now a museum to the strike - officially opened in 1917.

Shaun Jeffery, one of the rally's organiser's and secretary to the museum's trustees, said the event would draw people from across the country.

Mr Jeffery said a surge in support for the Labour Party, as shown in the shock general election result of June 8, had also brought a renewed interest in the history of the strike and its significance.


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He said: 'Over the last two years the rally has really grown in size and public recognition, and that has brought a more family demographic to the event which is what we always wanted.

'It's linked to the broader political shift that we've been seeing - there is an energy in the air and people are looking forward with a greater optimism than ever before.'

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Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attended the rally last year.

MORE: So is protesting still worth it these days?The Burston strike began in 1914 when two teachers were sacked over a dispute with the school's committee.

Almost all of the pupils refused to attend classes in support of the pair and an alternative school was set up, which ran in protest of the sackings for 25 years.

The rally will also feature live music from bands The Red Flags, the RMT Brass Band and others, and there will also be a food and beer tent as well as campaign and community stalls.

Mr McCluskey, general secretary of Britain's biggest trade union Unite, is due to speak just before midday and Mr McDonnell, the shadow chancellor of the exchequer, will speak in the afternoon.

Other speakers will include Trades Union Congress (TUC) regional secretary Megan Dobney and Christine Blower of Workplace 2020.

Mr Jeffery said: 'The programme has more speakers and more bands than ever before.'

For more information, visit burstonstrikeschool.co.uk

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