Levellers Day commemorates a defining event of the English
Civil War - the execution in Burford churchyard of three Leveller
soldiers by Cromwell in May 1649. The Levellers were a radical
political movement of the period, with beliefs in democracy
and civil rights.
thirtieth annual Levellers Day, 15 May 2004, was a sell-out. The
garden of Warwick Hall, next to Burford church, was bathed in glorious
sunshine. From the moment that this year¹s chair BBC Radio
Oxford's Bill Heine, was interrupted by Leveller leader John Lilburne,
to the end of the afternoon, when Billy Bragg sang to a delighted
audience for over an hour, this was the best Levellers day yet.
theme for the morning speakers was "Democracy Now". Taking
the debate forward were Donna Velluti, from the World Development
Movement, Kathryn Tulip, from Corporate Watch, Billy Bragg (speaking
on parliamentary reform) and elder statesman Tony Benn. Lively comments
and questions came from the audience.
procession round Burford with banners, and pikemen in Civil War costume,
and the now traditional commemoration ceremony in Burford churchyard,
were followed by a sun-baked music session. After lunchtime performances
from the Red Rose Folk Band and the Sea Green Singers, the afternoon
entertainment came from Kath Tait singing her own songs, and more
songs and music from Robb Johnson and Amanda. The afternoon culminated
in the first ever performance at Levellers Day by Billy Bragg.
The next Levellers Day is on 14 May 2005 in Burford. See the website