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A name etched into the collective consciousness of the labour and trade union movement is that of the 'Tolpuddle Martyrs', a case which clearly demonstrated that the State is not a neutral instrument, but the means by which the ruling class will use peaceful means by preference and violence if necessary in order to maintain its power. So who were the Tolpuddle Martyrs, what did they do and what lessons do they have for socialists in the twenty-first century?