Think Global Extra August 2015
Welcome to the August issue of Think Global Extra, the bimonthly supplement to Think Global. Read it in conjunction with the last full Think Global from July.
I write as Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for the Labour leadership seems to be gaining more and more traction. Whatever you think of him or his chances, he does seem to be proving that politics-as-usual is not inevitable and that there’s a growing mood against economies structured in favour of corporate power and the elites who run them.
The TTIP Free Zones campaign, the national food sovereignty gathering and the mobilisations around the UN climate conference in December (see below for details) all fit well in terms of taking advantage of this mood. We live in interesting times – let’s seize the opportunities they bring!
- Organise members to go to Paris for the mobilisation around the COP
- Organise group members to attend the Food Sovereignty Gathering in October.
- Organise a stall using the new materials on agroecology and the New Alliance.
- Use the new MPs’ briefing to pressure your MP to support agroecology.
- Pressure your local council to become a TTIP Free Zone.
- Organise the distribution of No TTIP Times at local union branches and other places.
Skill Up! Stand Up!
A day of free training for activists
Saturday 17 October, 10am-6pm
MERCi, Manchester M4 7HR
We’ve teamed up with War on Want and other partners in the Economic Justice Project to organise a full day of skills workshops at a sustainable conference centre in Manchester. Expect to choose from a wide range of workshops such as how to get local press coverage, using social media effectively, making an impact with a street stall, creative actions, strategies for influencing politicians, facilitating effective meetings and more. We will also have a few more cerebral workshops, such as an introduction to critical economics. Fantastic cheap food will be provided by Manchester Real Junk Food project.
You’ll be able to book your place soon via globaljustice.org.uk/skillup or email [email protected] straight away. Places will be limited, so you will need to book in advance. More workshop information will be available in Think Global September.
Campaign update: climate and energy justice
Paris climate mobilisations
The UN climate negotiations will happen in Paris in November, and show no sign of being less dominated by corporate interests than the last ones. However, a big coalition of French organisations is mobilising to challenge the corporate agenda and use the moment to build a stronger climate justice movement. They have called for a mass protest in Paris at the end of the talks, on 12 December, and there will be lots of other things going on in the two weeks prior to this. We think it is a priority to get as many people as possible to go to Paris
Paris protest option 1
We are working with Friends of the Earth and other allies to organise a train to Paris from London on 11 December, and coming back on 13 December, plus accommodation organised through the French coalition. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in this option. By block booking we hope to make this a relatively cheap journey, but we need an idea of numbers interested. You’re not committing to anything by expressing interest.
Paris protest option 2
Some Global Justice Now staff will be present in Paris throughout the talks, especially from the middle weekend (5 and 6 December) which will see a festival of alternatives and other events. There will be daily assemblies throughout the second week and protests to get involved in. If you want to really get stuck in, let us know and we can help you find accommodation. There may also be a collective transport organised. Again, email [email protected]
London and Edinburgh protests
There will be some protests at the beginning of the talks too in national capitals. In Edinburgh the demonstration will be on Saturday 28 November and in London on Sunday 29 November.
[NOTE: The date for the London protest has been corrected. In the Think Global Extra mailout, the date was said to be ’29 December’. This was incorrect. Apologies!]
Paris is just the start
We are currently in the early stages of planning movement building events with climate justice allies, to take place around the UK to take place in February or March 2016. The idea is to ensure Paris leads to something bigger and more rooted in many localities. More details when we have them.
Campaign update: food sovereignty
National food sovereignty gathering 23–26 October
The national food sovereignty gathering in October will be important for laying the basis for a stronger food sovereignty movement in the UK. The last one in 2012 led directly to the formation of the Landworkers Alliance, a progressive organisation of smallholder farmers. Global Justice Now activists can play a vital role in getting the word out to local food projects, community gardens and social justice groups working on food issues.
If you would like to order some more flyers and/or posters to spread the word of the gathering please contact [email protected] If you are thinking of coming to the gathering yourself, please also get in touch with Dan and he will send you the registration details when they’re ready.
Please note, there has been some confusion on the dates of the gathering being organised. It had originally been organised for October 2-5 but was subsequently rescheduled to 23-26 October.
Two weeks ago we co-ordinated an e-action asking supporters to write to their MPs about the irresponsible investment by the UK company Agrica in Tanzania. If you haven’t seen it yet – you can take action here.
Ghana and agroecology films
As mentioned in the last Think Global, we have made two films based on our recent trip to Ghana. If you would like to download these films for use at your events, please follow the links and the instructions. Here is the link to the Ghana seed film. And here is the link to the Agroecology film.
If you are still thinking of organising a summer stall around the food sovereignty campaign and want some advice about what to do, do feel free to get in touch with [email protected] who is happy to chat it over on phone or email.
Campaign update: trade justice
TTIP Free Zones
The TTIP Free Zones strategy is bearing fruit. Here’s a recent example of this:
On 13 July, North Somerset County Council passed a motion, tabled by one of the few Green councillors, expressing concern about TTIP. Given that 36 of the 50 councillors on the council are Conservatives, this should serve as an invitation for everyone to get on to their councillors to get a debate going in the chamber. We are finding the best issues to raise with Conservatives to bring them to oppose TTIP are the implications for national sovereignty, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), farming and public procurement.
There are still innumerable councils which should comfortably pass a motion critical of TTIP, though only one London Borough has passed policy thus far (Lewisham).
Order your free TTIP Free Zones campaign pack by emailing [email protected] or phoning 020 7820 4900.
NoTTIP Times #3
We still have a good number of bundles of NoTTIP Times, we can send you some for free if you let us have an address to send them to. Please email [email protected] if you would like some.
CETA speaking tour
We are currently finalising some of the venues, we will announce the full schedule by the end of August. The tour will take place between 1 and 8 November.
Lastly, please note that our trade campaigner Guy Taylor is away until 12 August.