Think Global Extra February 2017
Welcome to the February issue of Think Global Extra, the bimonthly supplement to Think Global. Read it in conjunction with the last full Think Global from January.
- Take action against CETA in the run-up to the crucial vote on 15 February. Pressure MEPs directly, phone them, use action cards and encourage local trade unions to take a stand against CETA
- Sign and share the pledge to demonstrate against Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK at www.stoptrump.org.uk
- Organise to participate in the 20 February day action against Trump and in solidarity with migrants
The European parliament vote is now set for Wednesday 15 February. The date of the vote has changed repeatedly, but with Justin Trudeau scheduled to visit Strasbourg on that day, we are now confident that this is when the vote will take place.
Above all, we have to continue pressurise the Labour MEPs to reject CETA. Labour MEPs are not deciding how to vote on CETA until 14 February, so we still have some time to exert pressure.
Continuing to use action cards and pressuring MEPs directly are crucial ways of doing this. In addition, working through local trade unions is a valuable route. Ask local Unison, NUT or GMB branches to write to their Labour MEPs outlining concerns about CETA.
In addition to emailing MEPs and using action cards, we also suggest phoning Labour MEPs in this final phase. Often you will get to speak to an assistant, but occasionally an MEP themselves. There is an excellent guide to calling them regarding CETA at this website: www.stop-ttip.org/blog/call-mep-ceta/.
To find your MEPs use this website: www.europarl.org.uk/en/your-meps/uk_meps
If we can influence the Labour vote, this will not only maximise our chances of beating CETA this February – it also means that if CETA does get voted through and comes to the Westminster parliament, a majority of UK MEPs will have voted against the deal. This will give us important leverage to challenge CETA in the Westminster, if it comes to that.
UN declaration on the rights of small-scale producers
A declaration of rights for small-scale food producers is currently under negotiation at the UN Human Rights Council. It is the result of over 15 years of international advocacy, led by La Via Campesina (world’s biggest social movement of small-scale food producers) and supported by FIAN International and others. If approved, the declaration would achieve international recognition of the rights of small-scale food producers.
Small-scale farmers feed the majority of the world's population, yet they are experiencing escalating levels of violence and oppression. The UN declaration will enshrine the rights of small-scale farmers and will be an important tool for civil society to resist further agribusiness expansion. The UN working group on this declaration will be meeting for its fourth session in Geneva on 15-19 May to continue to negotiate and develop the draft for the declaration.
The UK government has so far been outspoken about its opposition to this declaration. We need to build public pressure to mobilise them to support it instead. To support activists with public campaigning on this issue, we are producing a briefing and action card for the next Think Global.
UK farming subsidies and Brexit
In January we launched our new report on farming subsidies and Brexit, jointly with the New Economics Foundation. Brexit will involve withdrawing from the EU Common Agricultural Policy - the subsidy programme for farmers. However the CAP has been widely criticised for handing generous pay-outs to rich landowners and favouring large-scale agricultural production.
Our new report sets out a proposal for a progressive subsidy programme which supports small-scale farmers in the UK and works for the environment. If groups want to lobby MPs, we have produced a briefing which summarises the proposals. Download the briefing and report from the website or order hard copies of the briefing and report by calling the office.
Groups are continuing to organise training events with Hope Not Hate. These have had excellent feedback so far. If your group would like to book one, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Challenging the climate of hate in the media
Our Christmas appeal focused on challenging the hateful rhetoric around migration that has come from the Daily Mail. The response to this was extremely positive, and so we are developing campaign materials to help challenge Daily Mail at the local level, which will be ready for the next Think Global. These materials will help give activists a sense of what campaigning on migration at the local level is like – this will help inform the consultation on our entire campaign agenda which we will be launching in the May Think Global.
Since Donald Trump’s outrageous Muslim Ban at the end of January and the craven response of the UK government, there has been an incredible popular response. Spontaneous demonstrations have erupted across the US, UK and worldwide, alongside an enormously successful petition against Trump’s proposed state visit to the UK. Global Justice Now activists across the country have been involved in the demonstrations, and Global Justice Now has helped to set up a national coalition, Stop Trump, which will be at the heart of the major new protest movement that seems to be emerging.
Sign and share the pledge to protest against Trump’s state visit at www.stoptrump.org.uk.
A nationwide day of action has been called for 20 February, the day parliament debates Trump’s state visit. Details of the London event are on Facebook, but actions will be organised locally across the country.
A reminder that our anti-Trump posters can be ordered from the office.
Event: Power, Protest, and Politics (Glasgow)
Sunday 26 February, 1 – 5pm, Renfield St Stephens, 260 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JP.
Join us for the third in our series of Youth Network events, this time in Glasgow, for an afternoon of discussion, debate, action planning and creativity. This event is free and open to anyone under 28. Get more information and book your free place at globaljustice.org.uk/ppp-glasgow.