Find out how marathon cycling fits with promoting peace & justice
All Aboard The Bardic Bike Tour
Shane Claiborne On Peace and Prophetic Action
It may have been the summer, but it’s been a busy few months in the life of SPEAK. You may have run into us at one of the summer festivals – Soul Survivor, Momentum, Greenbelt, Forum, where hundreds of people signed up to receive this very newsletter. So if you’re new to Volumize, welcome! Make yourself at home. Summer 2012 will be remembered as a great summer of sport; SPEAK, however, will remember summer 2012 for the launch of another sporting extravaganza – namely, the Bardic Bike Tour, our SPEAK-athon campaign (which you can read more about on pages 8 and 9). We’ve also got reflections in SPEAK Voices, along with some wonderful stories from across the network.
God Bless! The Network Support Team
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Friends of SPEAK: Shane Claiborne SPEAK Voices: Debt and Inequality
Stories from the Network
Prayer and Faith
SPEAK Success Stories SPEAK Voices: Becoming Low- Carbon Faith Communities
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8-9 The Bardic Bike Tour
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SPEAK partners for justice with: Christian Aid, Tearfund and 24-7 Prayer, and in the student world SPEAK is cooperating with UCCF and working together with Fusion.
Reflections: Vocal Training 12
f you’re a supporter of SPEAK or have a great passion for social justice, Shane Claiborne probably needs little introduction. Shane is an activist, author and a founding member of The Simple Way in Philadelphia; he is also a good friend of SPEAK having taken part in Soundcheck#12. Shane describes a recent article he read where activists performed a prayerful service, hung “crimescene” tape and poured human blood as a symbol of the violence of nuclear weapons. One of the intruders was an 82-yearold nun...
The rest of Shane’s article, Big Beasts and Little Prophets: Activists Cooling Down the War Machine With Holy Water, and many others, can be found on the Huffington Post at http://www. huffingtonpost.com/ shane-claiborne/
Shane Claiborne ...one of the most important things the author did was relate the peculiar and courageous act of these three folks in July with the tradition of prophetic resistance to injustice that is thousands of years old. These activists are part of the “Plowshares” movement, which has been performing similar acts of peaceful, prophetic imagination for decades, drawing on the prophetic tradition of old. Their name is derived from the Scriptures in Micah and Isaiah which speak of God’s people “beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks ... and studying war no more.” It is an image of turning things
that have brought death into things that bring life -- hence, swords to plowshares, or as we say in Philly, “turning guns into farm tools.” Certainly not all of us will imitate their actions, or even agree with these wild nuns and sassy seniors (and some young uns, too) -- but hopefully they raise the questions, like the prophets of old did: What are we doing to interrupt injustice? What are we doing to get in the way of violence and death and war? What are we doing to transform weapons into farm tools? May they inspire us to do something beautiful to disarm the world. 3
charged each villager an annual fee of 10%. Every December each villager simply needed to have an extra coin available to pay the banker’s It is clear that the gap between the rich interest. Those who kept up the payments and the poor is growing ever wider; it incurred no further charges, but for every appears too, that our current debt-based success story there was a failure: With only a money system is exacerbating this gross limited number of coins in circulation, every inequality. The system is unsustainable, villager with more coins than he’d started with it exploits the poor and it encourages meant there was another villager with less. governments into debt. The following Those who couldn’t pay soon incurred huge story demonstrates this. compound interest charges and many ended up handing the Banker all their assets. A Simple Debt-based Currency Within ten years what had been a happy A group of shipwrecked survivors were once community was now competing miserably with washed up on a deserted island. The island was each other for money. Only the Banker was bountiful, and the survivors discovered happy: He was now the richest person they had a good range of skills on the island... without producing between them. As they each a thing! Villagers deeply in debt took on roles, they started to lost all hope and the destitute swap their skills and labour took to stealing to stay alive. as needs arose. The Knitter Some villagers blamed them would make the Fisher a for the whole problem, jumper in exchange for while others saw the poor fish, the Farmer rewarded as business opportunities the Poet with parsnips and and started lending coins to soon they had a thriving and them at high interest rates. healthy community. What a mess! After a few years, another shipwrecked survivor was washed This simple story illustrates how upon their shores - with nothing but a bag a debt-based currency, like of coins. He told them he was a Banker, a pyramid scheme creates d and soon proposed a financial plan To fin huge benefits for the he promised would improve their re thought debt creators, but puts o m life no end: He lent each villager s like le ic the rest into life-long rt a g in k 10 coins each, which they could provo rs slavery. But awareness e b m e m y b exchange for each other’s goods is growing, and this, written and services. The villagers the SPEAK there’s never been a f o found the new currency a great it better time to call for Network, vis success: The Doctor could now ! monetary reform, an g lo k/b have potatoes from the Farmer speak.org.u end to this debt-based even though the Farmer never got system and the beginnings ill, promises were less easily forgotten of a more equal society. and the exchange process became a lot easier. For the use of his coins, the Banker Ash Ghinn 4 (August 2012)
Since the last Volumize there have been loads of exciting developments across the network. Here are just a handful of examples... PHOTO:
Norwich Speak with Simon Wright
Norwich SPEAK recently met with Simon Wright MP to lobby him on the issues of Corporate Accountability and Tax Justice. We were keen to find out what Simon’s personal view and the Liberal Democrat parties and the Coalition’s stance were on these issues. Simon told us about his support for the Tax Justice campaign and his role on the Environmental Audit Select Committee and that if we could raise the profile of the campaigns he would support further action. We were also keen to know how Simon’s faith affects his politics and if he enjoys being an MP. He told us that the best part of his job was being able to help people. Lizzie Baker
Stories from THE Network NOTTINGHAM SPEAK
Members of Nottingham SPEAK recently rode a leg of the Bardic Bike Tour up to RAF Waddington, Lincoln, to protest at the use of the airbase to fly drones. The gang was accompanied by Jesca, from Holland, who has given us some of her thoughts from the tour. Turn to page 9 for more info! The Drones Campaign Network (of which SPEAK is a member) has just launched a new petition to challenge Parliamentary Secrecy here: http://tinyurl.com/ct8767k
EXETER SPEAK Since the graduation last summer of the majority of Exeter University SPEAK group’s members, the past year has presented the challenge of how to retain in some way the sense of community built through spending several years together. Nonetheless, a group of at least half a dozen exExeter SPEAKers have been able to meet on a couple of occasions since graduating. In July, we managed to arrange a meet up back in Exeter; a welcome chance to revisit old and well-loved haunts and explore the museum that had been under refurbishment for the whole of our time at university!
SPEAK have been invited to run a campaigns seminar and promote a campaign at Gweini’s Wales Against Human Trafficking on the 3rd November. There are many groups in Cardiff that share a heart for those enslaved in human trafficking and from this, a heart for a SPEAK group has emerged. ‘I have met with a few people and there’s a lot of excitement about setting up a SPEAK group in Cardiff with a particular focus on antitrafficking campaigning. The group is taking shape among students from the city and I really hope this will give access to people from lots of different standpoints who all share a heart for justice and fairness’
CARDIFF If you are in the South Wales area and want to get involved with the formation of the SPEAK group in Cardiff,email firstname.lastname@example.org
ups o r G K A E SP
Every year, members of SPEAK up and down the country roll up their sleeves and get involved in fundraising for SPEAK. This year is no exception! From November the 5th to the 11th, SPEAK-ers will be hosting cabaret evenings, and taking part in sponsored actions.
SPEAK WEEK is coming!
With the help of the Oxford Hub – a university wide charity that supports students involved in social, ethical and environmental issues – the SPEAK group is being born in Oxford! Amy Anderson, Hub Manager, introduces our shared vision:‘Here in Oxford, it’s been really exciting to witness the growing number of Christians becoming passionate about social justice and campaigning on all sorts of issues. In Oxford there’s a really vibrant scene of social action and campaigning and it’s great to see churches, chapel communities and Christian union groups expressing a growing interest in getting involved. A SPEAK group would be a great addition to the
Oxford landscape and would allow Christian students a new avenue to get involved with issues of global injustice. We’re hoping to get this growing community of people together at the start of term really looking forward to seeing how the many different passions can be encouraged and supported through community and fellowship!’
The first meeting will be on the 24th October @ The Hub. Contact email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
to get involved!
Thousands of pounds have been raised from people running, singing, baking, sewing, dancing… pretty much anything you can imagine. All we ask is that you have fun, raise some money and spread the word about SPEAK! Perhaps the easiest way you can get involved is to jump on your bike, and take part in the Bardic Bike Tour – see page 8 for more details. Just head to www.charitygiving.co.uk/fundraising, and create an online sponsorship form! (But if you’d like more help, get in touch with: email@example.com, and we’ll make sure you’ve got everything you need).
Countdown to Soundcheck FRI 22 ND
SUN F E B 24 TH 2012
Come join us at our Network annual gathering In our chaotic and muddled up world, we often feel cut adrift, tired from trying to change the course of our lives and of history. When we come to the end of ourselves, and find that there is no more we can give, we look to God to be our sustainer. Join us for Soundcheck13, where we will earn together what it means to drift into the perfect purposes of our Creator.
R A G
We are being joined by a host of speakers, including Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Trust and Stop the Traffik, and Elaine Storkey, the President of Tearfund. We will also have RY a wide range of workshops, live music, alongside chances FACTO to engage in conversation and community with other people who For more info and to are passionate about God and book a place, visit justice. k.soundcheck www.speak.org.u 7
Monday 10th September
All Aboard The Bardic Bike There are 3 Tour main ways you can be involved
saw the official launch of SPEAK’s Bardic Bike Tour; a marathon tour of journeys taken up by SPEAK people to raise money for the network and to pray and protest at sites of injustice. Here are the journeys taken so far:-
1.Get on your bike
As a network we are aiming to hit 1,103 miles on tour. This number represents the amount of times creation is mentioned in the bible. You can contribute one or one thousand miles, every little helps! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved!
8-11th Sep: Reading - RAF Waddington 10th Sep: Official launch round York 5-11th Nov: SPEAK week: Thameside Cycle Protest eld 3rd June: Reading - AWE Aldermaston - Birghfi on Comm 9th August: RAF Waddington - Heckler & Kock gham Nottin For more
We want cyclists to cycle to places that are symbolic of the struggle for justice; whether it be arms factories or sites of war. We also want to raise money for every mile cycled to fund future campaigns. We would love you to sponsor at http:// www.charitygiving. co.uk/fundraising/ charity_fundsearch. asp?charityid=426
How about hooking up with a cyclist to host an event? It could be a protest that someone is cycling to or a concert that a cyclist could speak at. Please email email@example.com to invite a cyclist to visit you.
information on the Bardic Bike Tour, visit http://www.speak.org.uk/bardicbiketour
As part of the tour, members of SPEAK Nottingham
stories f rom the to ur
cycled to protest outside RAF Waddington. Interning from Holland, Jesca, accompanied them and described the journey for us. On Friday evening we set up a small camp outside RAF Waddington in Lincoln. Acr oss the way from us police were watching. While we painted on our banners, writing slog ans like “Lincoln Drones Strikes Soo n” and “Civilians Deaths”, a bright yellow helicopter even flew above us. The Police had cam eras with enormous lenses and sturdy men in uniforms, yet we stood peacefully with our ban ners along the road. On Satu rday morning we set off from Linc oln to Nottingham. I borrow ed a mountain bike from Andy’s sister.
Shortly before our lunch at the river Trent in the town of Newark, we made a delibera te stop at a small industrial park along the road. Among these companies was a supplier of pressure vessels to BAE systems for use in Naval military equipment. And that’s not something we just accept within SPEAK. Alth ough we didn’t bang on doors or shout about sufferin g and injustice, we did put some wild flowers on the doo rstep, with a note explaining our statement, and signed - by me as well. When we left Lincoln around 9am, I didn’t expect that we would manage to arrive at by 6pm. We cycled 45 mile Nottingham s at a chilled tempo, and enjo yed the scenery and each oth actually done it - survived ano er. We had ther adventure! The day end s with a short bible study and at ten o’clock we wish each prayer, and other “Sweet dreams!”
Prayer power. Flower power. The Case of a Humble Basket Case.
Text & Reflect:
A few years ago I was working in the ‘murky but beautifully colourful world’ of the off licence trade. Often I would sit in the back store room waiting for customers to come in. Sometimes I would pray. Sound Scheck was approaching and so I was praying about that. My boss told me that various things from the shop display was to be thrown away...including some wicker baskets. So I phoned the Speak office and asked if they could be of use.
Vocal Training 2012 This year’s Vocal Training – a chance for SPEAK people to gather together and become more effective witnesses to God’s justice – was held in York. The weekend was one of the highlights of my year, but don’t take my word for it; here are some text message reflections from those who attended! and watering Harvesting, weeding s a highlight of anet allotment wa Pl & le op Pe e th at the us of our connection to the weekend, reminding joys the and d d foo earth, God’s provision of goo g’ enin gard ity mun com of Sarah
Just back from an awesome weekend at Vocal Training in Y ork with the lovely community of a ma zin g people that is SP EA K! A really beautiful mix of creat ivity, prayer, passion for justice, environmentalism and just a bit of silliness :) . I wish you were all here! :) Helen
Mean time, someone, somewhere else in the country - without me knowing of it - had come up with the wonderful idea of presenting daffodils to Downing Street as a creative petition. The Spirit of God, it seems to me had joined our prayers, had them meet in the ether of the Spirit and had baskets and daffs meet in time to be handed in to number 10. You see, as if you needed reminding... those random thoughts that we all too easily dismiss can be put to great use by God. I ‘meet up’ with one of these wicker baskets, 6 or so years on, at Vocal training this year...it is now happily redeemed from displaying bottles to alcoholics and now nestles amidst the Speak store room comfortably holding blankets and fitting in very well with the Speak yurt. Rob Elliot
Vocal Training was an incredible weekend to get tooled up and recommitted to bringing God’s justice to earth through prayer and action. The yurt was immense What I love mos and the variety of seminars on offer was t about VT is a very genuine sens outstanding! – Chris e of community, even though I/we don’t know each This was my first Vocal Training. It was a other great to experience SPEAK as a community. The overly well – location was beautiful, and there were loads of
opportunities to relax, be creative and share
skills and ideas” -
Psalm 9:18 proclaims that the ‘hope of the poor shall not perish forever’. In light of this hope, SPEAK want to celebrate some of the campaigns successes that have led to greater justice and fairness for the poor and needy over the past 14 years.
Debt Relief SPEAK were part of the Jubilee Debt relief coalition that has seen approximately $100bil worth of third world debt cancelled! Specifically, SPEAK campaigning aimed at the Japanese ambassador coincided with a dramatic rise in debt relief granted by the Japanese government! Campaigning in 2005 also led to the increase in
countries eligible for debt cancellation! There is, however, a long way to go, with Jubilee Debt Campaign estimating that third world debt is still worth $3.7trillion and debts are still subject to unfair criteria. Signs of hope, however, abound!
SUCCESS DESO Closure
Corporate Responsibility SPEAK campaigns from 2004 led to the formation of the Companies Act in 2006. The Act ensures that company directors cannot be sued for placing social and environmental issues above the financial interests of shareholders. The shakeup of company law also made it mandatory for companies to publish environmental and ethical records. SPEAK have also been campaigning, since 2009, to have an independent Groceries Code Adjudicator, which would have the power to fine supermarkets for breaking the Groceries Code. The GCA bill is now going through the Commons and so we need you to fill out the latest pray and postcard and send it out immediately. The sooner you send it, the greater chance it will affect the bills amendment! Let’s ensure that we have another campaigns success 12 to build on.
After years of campaigning – dating back to 2002 – the Defence Export Services Organisation (responsible for promoting UK arms sales abroad) was closed down by Gordon Brown in July 2007. The restructuring of arms exports to UKTI is a significant step; it means that the promotion of arms sales no longer has its own distinctive platform and is amalgamated with the 34 other sectors of UK exports. This, however, does not disguise the government’s ongoing support for arms exports.
The Shell building is just over the road from my church in Waterloo, it’s the first building I see when I step out of church on Sunday mornings. I started to wonder what the Church of England has to say about the oil industry and eventually I read the Church Commissioners annual report.
SPEAK Voices: Siobhan Grimes is a campaigner with the environmental action group Climate Rush and Good Steward. You can contact her by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org To read more on the climate change issue, visit www.speak.org.uk/blog
I was devastated to learn that Shell is the biggest single shareholding held by the Church of England with investments valued at £89.9m. The Church of England holds investments in Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil that together are valued at over £170m. These companies are responsible for human rights abuses and continued gas flaring in the Niger Delta, for the polluting tar sands project in Alberta Canada, for dangerous deep sea drilling in the Arctic and Shell is linked to propping up the repressive regime in Syria. It is really difficult to know that my Church, the community that gives me so much strength and inspires my activism is also profiting from the poverty of the world’s poorest people and the poverty of our natural environment. There are so many elements of our faith that bring hope to a climate changing world. Our faith story starts with God creating the first person out of the soil and naming that person Soil - Adam meaning person and Adam meaning earth. The story culminates in God becoming a human in the body of an unmarried teenage girl, as a refugee baby in first century Palestine and reminds us to love our neighbours as ourselves and to see God in the bodies of hungry, thirsty, poverty stricken people. The story goes that the Kingdom of God moves within us and the Spirit calls us to bear witness to a broken world with hopeful and faithful action. We have the gospel of the climate activist but we just haven’t got the investment portfolio of a church committed to environmental and social justice. I have found myself wondering how I can keep my membership to a church profiting from some of the least ethical companies on the planet but time spent with Christian friends remedies my dilemma. There are countless young Christians who make decisions to buy sustainably sourced clothing, to travel in trains instead of planes, or to eat vegetarian diets. As young people we get it, and we get it because we are inheriting an ecological debt that we just can’t pay and we fear how it will affect our future. While things move slowly in the fascinating and often bizarre world of belonging to a church, my Christian climate hope is in the very real ability of us everyday extraordinary Christians to create ways of living free from fossil fuel dependency both as individuals, and as churches, simply because our belief in a just God in the midst of climate chaos calls us to do so.
starts th story ing the first Our fai t od crea and with G ut of the soil o person naming that oil S person
Looking for an opportunity to made a difference and gain some valuable experience? Weâ€™re looking for committed, enthusiastic individuals to help us support a growing network of students and young people, praying and campaigning for justice. Youâ€™ll have opportunities to:
Visit groups try oun around the c Plan and deliver events such as Soundcheck Communicate the visionof SPEAK online & in print! If you think you might have what it takes, get in touch! speak.org.uk/work-with-us
get these dates
in your diary
SPEAK week & SPEAK-a-thon: 5th – 11th November
Flower Model: 17th-18th November (SPEAK’s participatory forum, visit www.speak.org. uk/network/flower-model for more info) Desmond Tutu House, Bradford (tbc) 1st Early Booking Deadline for Soundcheck13 (£45 ticket): 7th December 2nd Early Booking Deadline for Soundcheck13 (£51 ticket): 25th January
Soundcheck13: 22nd – 24th February 2013 Day of Action:
25th February 2013
Flower Model: April