Not just a tea lady

06 February 2014

My name’s Lauren and I have been working at WDM on work experience for the past 4 days. It has been a really great week and I have been able to compare my politics lessons at 6th form college to the real world of campaigning.

Every day I spoke with a member of each team, getting a low down on everything they do and allowing me to ask as many questions as possible. These overviews were with Dan from the food campaign, Sam on the Climate change campaign, Morten on social media, Angela about fundraising and Ralph on the activism team. The factor which was pretty obvious was how passionate everyone was for their work and the causes of the campaigns. These meetings were highly informative and allowed me to get a real understanding of the work that WDM do on a daily basis.

My other tasks involved actually doing some research for the food campaigns team who are about to launch a campaign to stop the corporate takeover of African food. This included photo research for Heidi plus some snooping on the huge corporations who are involved with the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and finding out controversies behind these companies. I absolutely loved these tasks, I really felt like I was getting involved in the campaign and helping out. I also did a lot of supporter services with Martyn, which basically involved opening lots of mail and sorting through it. This, I found, surprisingly rather therapeutic and I even discovered my english teacher mixed in the masses! Another task was to make badges for an upcoming protest against companies such as Unilever, Monsanto and Cargill; I hope the activists don’t mind having slightly wonky badges as my cutting skills aren’t too great!

I have had such a fantastic time at WDM and really enjoyed myself with everyone being so lovely and friendly. I was totally expecting to just be the tea lady for the week but the fact that I could actually help out and get involved was amazing. The week has really helped me to understand and get to grips with the politics that WDM stand for and the reasons why they do. It has also allowed me to develop my own opinions on society and the money fuelled agenda of big business; plus it has encouraged me to fight for real change in the UK and the world.



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It will be deeply ironic if climate activists from around the world are among the first to fall foul of France's emergency powers. Of course, those campaigners have nothing to do with the brutal attacks on Paris last Friday night. On the contrary, they will challenge the unequal, unsustainable and militaristic policies on which terrorism has thrived.

Food speculation rules face delay

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The financial press was buzzing last week with reports that the high profile EU legislation to tackle the financial crisis of 2007-8 is at risk of being delayed. This legislation was passed at the beginning of 2014 and thanks to public campaigning here in the UK and across Europe, includes provisions to tackle reckless betting on food prices.

The elephant in Paris – guns and greenhouse gases

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There is no shortage of words in the latest negotiating document for the UN climate negotiations taking place in Paris at the end of November – 32,731 words to be precise and counting. Yet strangely there is one word you won’t find: military. It’s a strange omission, given that the US military alone is the single largest user of petroleum in the world and has been the main enforcer of the global oil economy for decades.