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LEVELLERS DAY 2017

This short film was shot at Levellers Day in Burford on Saturday 20 May 2017.

Levellers Day commemorates three soldiers who were executed on Oliver Cromwell’s orders in Burford churchyard, Oxfordshire, 17 May 1649. They belonged to a movement popularly known as the Levellers, with beliefs in civil rights and religious tolerance.

During the Civil War, the Levellers fought on Parliament’s side, they had at first seen Cromwell as a liberator, but now saw him as a dictator. They were prepared to fight against him for their ideals and he was determined to crush them. Over 300 of them were captured by Cromwell’s troops and locked up in Burford church. Three were led out into the churchyard to be shot as ringleaders.

(Aly, Gerry, Ben, Dale, Chris.)

  • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 07:31

    I am a Quaker and a supporter of VFP. The Levellers and Quakers suffered similar consequences for their religious tolerance and support of civil rights. Many Quakers were imprisoned and died too. Today Quakers continue to work, often unseen, for peace, human rights, equality and against austerity, for a fairer world. Thank you for remembering this event and walking with them, as we continue to walk alongside you.

    • Gus Hales 22/05/2017, 14:09

      My experience of Quakers after being an attender for over three years, are that they are middle-class white privileged individual. That run private fee paying schools, which has nothing to do with equality, they have their foundations deeply rooted in gross capitalism and they ran the worlds largest whaling fleets from Nantucket and Milford Haven. They were almost the sole players responsible for wiping out the great whale from the Atlantic Ocean. My take on the Levellers are that they would be modern day Brexiteers trying to escape the clutches of the fascist European Union.

      • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 14:23

        It saddens me that this is your experience. It is quite the opposite of mine. The British Quakers today, that I know and meet with, are certainly white, middle class folk, as am I. The other comparisons I do not recognise. Many of us are peace activists which is why we walk with VFP to the cenotaph each year. I cannot excuse, or deny, the actions of people in the past, but live in hope of a better future for all. As ex-service men and women, you must feel the same.

        • Gus Hales 22/05/2017, 16:43

          1) Are you denying that Quakers run private fee paying schools what about;
          a) Sidcot
          b) Bootham
          c) The Mount
          d) Walden
          e) Leighton Park
          f) Sibford
          e) Ackworth
          To name but a few, what’s that got to do with equality, more like education for the rich and privileged.
          Are you denying the huge Quaker whaling fleets and the massive slaughter that your organisation inflicted onto these wonderful creatures, the effects which are still with us to this day. Are you denying the likes of Lloyds and Barclays bank and their crushing usury. Huntley and Palmers, Cadburys, Fry’s, Clarkes and Rowntrees, et al all sold for huge profits and the sell out effects still with us to this day. Please, well done for marching with VFP, and well done for your piety, but lets get real here. It would appear that I know more about Quakers than you do.

  • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 17:49

    I only know Walden School, and that was not fee paying and has now closed. I stated that I deny, nor excuse anything. All those companies were run fairly and the employees treated well. Ask them, I have. They are no longer Quaker companies and have long since put the Quaker principals aside.
    You do not know me and I expect no thanks as I have no more piety than you do when you follow your banner. Your harsh comments have hurt me but I will continue to support the VFP as they work towards peace. I will no longer add to this email stream.

    • Gus Hales 22/05/2017, 21:47

      I only repeat what the Quakers advise in Quaker Advices and Queries 1.02 – 11. “Be honest with yourself. What unpalatable truths might you be evading?” Even one of your founders William Penn kept slaves and conned the native American Indians out of vast tracks of land. If you think me, repeating Quaker facts is harsh then you are in denial to the history of your society, I merely live in the truth and I am sorry if you find that harsh. But to repeat yet again one of your societies advices, 1.02- 38; If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Yes I am prepared to resist it as unpleasant as it may be to you, but the facts I have related are all true and can be easily found with the briefest of internet searches.

    • Gus Hales 22/05/2017, 21:51

      One last thing, I am not a member of VFP, for many reasons one being that it is difficult to have conversations like this and expose the true nature of organisations like the society of friends, while being restricted to membership of any organisation. In other words I am a free thinker.

  • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 22:02

    Once again, and hopefully for the final time ….. I do not deny or excuse the actions of those in the past. I know them to be true and have not said otherwise. I live in hope for the future. Please re- read what I have written. You have made huge and inaccurate assumptions about me. The Levellers and Quakers arose out of the turbulent times of the English Civil War. Some Levellers became Quakers too. I initially wrote to acknowledge the support given to the memory of the appalling treatment of the Levellers at Burford. Let us leave it there please.

  • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 22:05

    Quakers, as you know, are free thinkers too.

  • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 22:11

    As you state that you are not a member of VFP, why do you then wear their blue sweatshirt with logo?

    • Gus Hales 22/05/2017, 22:27

      I resigned my membership in order to speak freely. Maybe the Quakers could attempt to reconcile their despicable past actions, by making an unequivocal public apology regarding the inequalities, the devastating environmental impacts and their duplicitous treatment of native American Indians. Then maybe conversations like this wouldn’t happen.

      • Angela Kenny 22/05/2017, 22:39

        I apologise, unequivocally, for all the past actions against humankind, and the environment, that the Quakers have perpetrated in the past when men were ignorant of the far reaching results of their actions. I also celebrate the work of those Quakers, like Elizabeth Fry, who did try to right the wrongs of the past too. I am also proud to stand alongside Quakers in this century who work towards a peaceful world.

        • Gus Hales 22/05/2017, 22:57

          Maybe the Quakers should have the moral fortitude to do it as an organisation. Your diatribe is somewhat condescending considering the seriousness of the societies actions

          • Gus Hales 26/05/2017, 09:13

            With no ability to edit the post. My last post, please change ‘diatribe’ to ‘vicarious apology’

            Many thanks

  • Garry H 25/05/2017, 15:24

    The were a good band in their day!

  • Angela Kenny 28/05/2017, 20:39

    Thank you. That made me smile.

    • Garry H 01/06/2017, 15:21

      You`re very welcome, Angela. My wife tells me how very special I am every day, and that, despite the cruel things people say to me when they see me walking around with my special yellow helmet when I get on and off the Sunshine Bus, that I make her smile everyday day too! Garry H

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