1 Historical: During the English Civil War (c. 1649), one who favoured the abolition of all rank and privilege. Originally an insult, later embraced by radical anti-Royalists. (To learn more, see our feature on “The Levellers & the English Revolution“)
2 One who tells the truth, as in “I’m going to level with you.”
3 An instrument that knocks down things that are standing up or digs up things that are buried or hidden.
Les Sans-culottes étaient les révolutionnaires radicaux pendant la Révolution française (vers 1789). Leur nom émanait des pantalons qu’ils portaient au lieu de la culotte courte et des bas, portés par les nobles et les bourgeois.
The Leveller is a publication covering news, current events, and culture at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa/Gatineau region and, to a lesser extent, the wider world. It is intended to provide readers with a lively portrait of their campus and community and of the events that give it meaning. It is also intended to be a forum for provocative editorializing and lively debate on issues of concern to post-secondary students, staff, and faculty as well as Ottawa residents.
The Leveller leans left, meaning it challenges power and privilege and sides with people over private property. It is also democratic, meaning that it favours open discussion over silencing and secrecy. Within these very general boundaries, the Leveller is primarily interested in being interesting, in saying something worth saying and worth reading about. It doesn’t mind getting a few things wrong if it gets that part right.
The Leveller is mostly the work of a small group of volunteers, so far. In fact it is produced entirely by volunteers. To become a more permanent enterprise, it will require more volunteers to write, edit, and produce, to take the pictures, and to dig up the stories, and to make it a more truly democratic and representative paper.
The Leveller needs you. It needs you to read it, talk about it, discuss it with your friends, agree with it, disagree with it, write a letter, write a story (or send in a story idea), join in the producing of it, or just denounce it. Ultimately it needs you—or someone like you—to edit it, to guide it towards maturity, to give it financial security and someplace warm and safe to live.
The Leveller is an ambitious little rag. It wants to be simultaneously irreverent and important, to demand responsibility from others while it shakes it off itself, to be a fun-house mirror we can laugh at ourselves in and a map we can use to find ourselves and our city in. It wants to be your coolest, most in-the-know friend and your social conscience at the same time. It has its work cut out for it.
The Leveller is published every month or so. It is free.
The Leveller and its editors have no phone or office, but can be contacted with letters of love or hate at firstname.lastname@example.org