Leicester Secular Society Events

Most LSS meetings are at Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 1WB All Welcome (exceptions are shown in the detailed listings). Contact details are on our Home Page. Hire a room.


Conscientious Objectors' Day (for info)

Description: Today we think of 'Conscientious Objectors' as those who resist military conscription, often courageously facing severe and certain punishment for doing so. A stone placed on Peace Walk by members of Leicester Secular Society and others commemorates them.

Many events are held around the world on 15 April commemorating the conscientious objectors to enlistment to fight and kill people with whom they had no quarrel. For example, on this day in 2014 we carried a link to a London event.

The first use of the term in the UK was however for conscientious refusal of mandatory smallpox vaccination, and the mid-1870s Leicester was a centre of this movement, as Jonathan Freedland mentioned in his BBC Radio 4 'The Long View - anti-vaccination' programme broadcast during the second national lockdown in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19 or SARS COVID 2) pandemic on 17 November 2020 [at 16:25]: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000pffk

Leicester, was indeed a hotbed of this particular 19th century radicalism, as told in this extract from a biography of our past president FJ Gould:

"In May, 1876, Charles Eagle and Frank Palmer, after ten days in jail for disobedience to the vaccination law, went in a procession to the market place, and received the homage of fifteen thousand cheering fellow-townsmen; and Michael Wright and others denounced medical tyranny." - http://www.leicestersecularsociety.org.uk/PHP_redirected/gould_life.php

Gould tells us that all three men were associated with Leicester Secular Society, but gives no indication of the society's stance on the subject, or whether it had one. These days, most secularists probably regard anti-vaccination movements (antivax or anti-vaxx in USA) as dangerous anti-science cranks.

Location: Various
Date: Saturday, 15 May 2021
Access: Public
Category: (i) For Information*
Created by: LSS editor
Updated: Saturday, 10 April 2021 16:38 GMT
Attachments: None

In the interest of freethought and free speech we also list other selected events of interest - no endorsement or responsibility is implied. Always check details with the organisers.

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