Monday, 18 May 2015

The Spirit of the Levellers': The Antidote to Austerity


Just a short piece to report on a truly amazing day on Saturday accompanying the students of the MA ILTUS at Ruskin who have worked tremendously hard to gain a day off to attend the annual Levellers' Day event in nearby Burford.

I had come to know of the Leveller's through the writing of Fenner Brockway (particularly through his Britain's First Socialists), Tony Benn (where they appear in both Arguments For Socialism and Arguments For Democracy) and Christopher Hill in books like The Century of Revolution.

If you need some introduction background to The Levellers' try these: (website for the annual event) (a good introduction/overview) (a definitive insight)

As stated by the speakers at Saturday's event what is needed in the UK's post-election period is a constant, high-profile series of debates/events/marches articulating an alternative to austerity.

Prominent amongst the Leveller ideal was the notion of 'the commons'; of land purposed for the common good. As house prices and rents soar following the election result, basic Leveller tenets take on a new purpose and appeal.

Sadly, I haven't time for a lengthier piece about The Levellers' and austerity, but I did want to post some of the images from Saturday.

They reveal a solid sense of the good times had by the hard working activist-scholars of Ruskin College; women and men who will play a leading part in re-imagining the Leveller tradition in the days and years to come.

Colm proudly sings The Internationale

Comrades together! Amina, Chilayi, myself and Kalvinder

Very proud of Byron (and Bryan) for agreeing to be dressed as Levellers
Thanks to Simon for acting as custodian of the Ruskin banner during
the Levellers' day events at Burford church.

Well done to Neil for bringing his PCS branch banner!

The plaque commemorating the three Levellers murdered in Burford churchyard

In Solidarity


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