Veterans for Peace revive the Putney Debates

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This month (October 2017) Veterans For Peace UK will be hosting the first of a series of debates on the concept of democracy, debate and dissent in the Armed Forces, and the impact on our society and history.

Keynote speakers include historians John Rees, author of a new biography of John Lilburne*, and Julian Putowski, author of ‘Shot at Dawn’.

The headline of the event will be a debate with modern day dissenters, former SAS soldier Ben Griffin, and renowned author of ‘The Soldier Box’ Joe Glenton. In each session audience feedback, questions, and debate will be encouraged.

At the end of the first English Civil War soldiers, civilians, and men of power came together to debate the future of England and their place in it. The debates started on 28th October 1647 at St Mary’s Church in Putney. Some of their ideas on democracy, representation, and land rights have still not been achieved, such as the abolition of the House of Lords. This was the beginning of the discussion about democracy and the rights of people in a modern society.

This is the first time in 370 years that veterans have come together to commemorate this event and discuss the big issues of the day. If successful, it could become an annual event.

The debate will  take place on Saturday 28 October 2017, from 12.30-1600 at the site of the original debates, St Mary’s Church, High Street, Putney, London SW15 1SN

Attendance is free. Register to attend here

* John Lilburne, also known as Freeborn John, was a prominent Leveller, who coined the term "freeborn rights", defining them as rights with which every human being is born, as opposed to rights bestowed by government or human law. 

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