Act locally with the World Development Movement
Contents Welcome letter
Action checklist and new campaign update
Campaign update: Climate and energy justice
Campaign update: Food
New campaign launch: Carbon Capital Visitor from Colombia Climate change action in Scotland
Update on the European legislation (MiFID) Big news on Barclays Bankers Anonymous Food sovereignty in the south west Austerity is working... for the 1% Scottish WDM gathering WDM AGM for groups Not the G8: a real agenda for global justice (WDM conference) Groups’ round-up New food film New flags for groups Groups and local media Groups email list
Sarah Reader: email@example.com James O’Nions: firstname.lastname@example.org Ralph Allen: email@example.com
World Development Movement 66 Offley Road, London SW9 0LS 020 7820 4900 www.wdm.org.uk 2
Letter from the network team Dear friends, Last month we celebrated a campaign success: Barclays announced that they would no longer trade food commodities for speculative purposes. Although this wasn’t the main aim of the food campaign, it’s great news that our campaigning has made a difference and we have forced UK’s leading food speculator into a position where they’ve had to make changes. This wouldn’t have happened without the tireless campaigning by WDM groups and activists. Thank you for all your hard work. This month we are launching Carbon Capital, the next phase of the climate campaign (see page 5) We will launch the campaign with an action exposing the nexus between the government, the energy industry and the finance sector. The climate team are busy preparing a campaign pack for groups which will be ready later this month. We’re looking forward to starting a debate on what energy justice looks like and how we can make it happen. Finally, you can put 15 June in your diary for WDM’s conference and AGM, Not the G8: a real agenda for global justice. This year the conference will be in Leeds. For more information for groups about the AGM see page 9. Happy campaigning!
Sarah Reader Network team
News bites Food • Barclays have announced they are pulling out of food speculation. Well done to all groups for their hard work campaigning on Barclays! • We now need to continue to fight for regulation which will prevent all banks in Europe from distorting food prices - which will also ensure that Barclays do not u-turn on their decision later on. • On 10 February, WDM helped organise the first regional food sovereignty meeting in the south west. Climate and energy justice • We are launching Carbon Capital, the next phase of the climate campaign on 12 March. 3
Action checklist Groups
Food Collect signatures for the Bankers Anonymous action and encourage people to take other actions on the five-step programme. Hold a Bankers Anonymous stall or action in your local area. Write to your local paper about food speculation as part of our Bankers Anonymous programme. We have included a template letter with this issue of Think Global.
At your next meeting Plan a Bankers Anonymous action or stall.
Offline action of the month
This month, why not collect signatures for the new Bankers Anonymous action cards at your church, workplace or with your friends in the pub? You can order more action cards by calling 020 7820 4900 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
New campaign update Thanks again to all those who sent in comments, thoughts and suggestions on the nine options for a new campaign in 2013. We had feedback from more than 70 WDM supporters and local groups, six of our ally organisations in the UK, Europe and global south, as well as staff and WDM council members. So there was a lot of feedback to take into account! Based on that feedback, the three options which came out on top are: agribusiness, financialisation and protecting public services from privatisation. Those three issues will now be scoped in more detail before being sent out again for your comments and feedback. We have slightly extended the timetable for this in response to feedback from you that you’d like a bit more time to give comments. The three scoping papers will be sent out to you with the next edition of Think Global at the beginning of April and you’ll have six weeks from then to give your comments.
Inserts • • • •
Triodos leaflet Template letter about food for local papers (groups only) Updated Bankers Anonymous press release (groups only) Bankers Anonymous blog writing guide 4
Campaign update: Climate and energy justice New campaign launch
engage in a range of actions that aim to unfold and expose this web, increase the profile of this issue in the media and on the streets and toxify this dirty relationship between the government and the energy and finance industry.
We’re gearing up to launch the new climate and energy campaign: Carbon Capital. The next few weeks will see the climate campaign team speaking with communities resisting dirty energy projects, final fact checking, coordinating launch stunts and producing materials and campaign packs.
Taking action Our first campaign action will be about transparency. While all the UK’s biggest businesses will have to give a full account of their carbon emissions from April this year, the financial sector will not have to report on the carbon impact of their investments. So, for example, while Barclays will have to disclose the carbon footprint of the light bulbs it uses in its London office, it won’t have to report on the £9.9 billion it ploughed into coal between 2005 and 2011.
The campaign will be launched in stages with an early media exposé of the nexus between the government, the energy industry and the finance sector mid-March. This will show how a third of the government, along with some key politicians, are linked to these dirty industries. This means that instead of standing for the interests of people and planet, all too often the politicians are putting their own financial gain first, and leaving the city with free rein to finance destructive projects that wreck people’s lives and livelihoods without impunity. This media launch will lay the groundwork for the full campaign, including an email action and an action pack for groups.
We are calling on Vince Cable, who is the government minister in charge of company carbon reporting, to force the financial sector to disclose the carbon footprint of all of their investments, otherwise known as ‘financed emissions’. The action will be live on our website from 12 March.
About the campaign The UK finance sector, in collusion with the UK government, is fuelling destructive energy and extractive projects that are destroying people’s lives, failing to bring energy access to local communities, and pushing the planet to the brink of climate catastrophe.
But this is just a first step. In the longer term we need to find a transformative way to bring structural change that can help reign in the power of the UK finance sector. This is no easy task! We are still working on what our longer term policy objective will be, and developing this includes taking input from many places. Part of the next phase of the campaign will be initiating conversations and debates about how to bring about long term change to the finance sector.
WDM’s new climate and energy justice campaign will initially focus on exposing this web of power. We will show how the City of London and the UK finance sector perpetuates a fossil fuel intensive, high consumption model that benefits elites whilst failing to tackle poverty or increasing energy access. The campaign will work in solidarity with groups in the south resisting corporate-led energy and fossil fuel extractive projects, focusing on the role of the UK finance sector.
Together with allies in the global south, we are also asking the question of what real energy justice would look like, and how we can increase access to southern-led, people-friendly energy. We are producing a campaign pack for WDM groups which should be available later in the month. If you would like to order a campaign pack please contact Sam at 020 7820 4900 or by emailing email@example.com
The first stage of the campaign will focus on demystifying the UK finance sector, an area that often appears to be overwhelmingly powerful, complicated and impenetrable. We will also 5
Visitor from Colombia
attend the AGM of Anglo American on Friday 19 April where there will be a demonstration.
In early March our campaign launch will coincide with a visit from Tatiana Roa from CENSAT in Colombia. Tatiana is campaigning on the impacts of mining in Colombia and the British connection, focusing particularly on the Cerrejón coal mine in La Guajira. Three huge mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange own the Colombian company Cerrejón Coal, operator of the Cerrejón opencast coal mine in the department of La Guajira in Colombia. Mine expansion over the years has caused displacement of agricultural communities, and more communities face displacement for further expansion. Cerrejón Coal also wants to divert the River Rancheria, the only river of any significant size in La Guajira which is Colombia’s driest district, in order to get at coal underneath its bed. Local communities fear an ecological disaster.
Dates for the diary:
Tuesday 12 March: media launch of the new campaign. Monday 15 April: Public meeting with Julio Gomez, representative of communities affected by Cerrejón at Amnesty offices. Friday 19 April: Demonstration at AGM of Anglo American, the London listed multinational company responsible for the Cerrejón mine.
Action on climate in Scotland
Without deep emissions cuts in rich countries, climate justice will never be achieved. It’s with this in mind that we’ve been scrutinising and lobbying the Scottish government to improve its policies in order to meet the emissions reduction targets that WDM supporters and others lobbied so hard for in the climate change act of 2009. The Scottish government failed to meet its first target to reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. In February, it published ‘Low carbon Scotland’ – its second climate action plan, setting out how it aims to meet its emissions target between now and 2027. The plan is disappointing. As it stands, it will mean the government is likely to miss its future emissions target.
The Cerrejón mine, which is based in La Guajira, already includes an open pit mine which produces over 32 million tonnes of coal a year, a 150km railway line, and a maritime shipping terminal servicing vessels of up to 180,000 tonnes. As a result of the Cerrejón mine, agricultural communities have been, and continue to be, displaced in a brutal manner, often without compensation. Most recently mine workers have gone on strike to demand better conditions for subcontracted workers and reclassification of mining work as ‘hazardous’. Interestingly, there is a high level of mutual support between workers and displaced communities which are both impacted by the irresponsible way this London stock exchange-listed project is being run.
Many WDM supporters, along with supporters of other organisations that make up Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, have written to their MSPs on this issue. Thank you very much for doing this. It’s really important that MSPs know that the Scottish public still care about climate change and expect the government to take strong action to reduce emissions in Scotland. Your letters will help do that. If you live in Scotland, there is still time to write to your MSP and demand that the action plan is strengthened: www.tinyurl.com/get-act-together-scotland
Whilst Tatiana is visiting London, WDM will host a meeting to coordinate work between different organisations focusing on this damaging project, and ensure we are effectively coordinating our efforts to resist it within the UK. The Anglo-American AGM A month after Tatiana’s visit, Julio Gomez, a representative of communities affected by the Cerrejón mine, is coming to London in April. Julio is here to speak at a public meeting at Amnesty International UK on Monday 15 April, and also to 6
Campaign update: Food • Barclays have announced they are pulling out of food speculation. Well done to all groups for their hard work campaigning on Barclays! • Please let us know how your Bankers Anonymous stunts and stalls go and if you want any stunt packs. • Current action: send a Bankers Anonymous letter to local newspaper (template enclosed for groups).
Update on MiFID
However we think that they will continue to broker deals for the big grain traders like Cargill and Glencore who use derivatives to hedge price risk but also often speculate in the markets. It also looks like they will continue to offer commodity index funds (which is the main investment vehicle for pension funds to gain exposure to food speculation).
There has not been much progress on MiFID (the legislation containing proposals to regulate food speculation) with the EU finance ministers. We are still waiting for the finance ministers to vote and this is likely to take place between May and July. Once the finance ministers have agreed their position, they will enter negotiations (called ‘trialogues’) with the European commission and European parliament. The trialogue stage will take a few months and the three institutions will need to come to an agreement over a compromise text which will then be taken back to a plenary vote in the European parliament, probably around the end of 2013. We will keep you updated if there are any developments in Europe.
It’s great news that our campaigning has made a difference and we have forced the UK’s leading food speculator into a position where they’ve had to make changes. Well done! There is more that Barclays could have done but the analysis of their announcement is very technical for a wider public audience or the media. Our strategy was always about using Barclays as a corporate ‘baddie’ for the campaign to gain media coverage and they have provided ample media stories over the past two years which has significantly helped us keep food speculation in the news.
Big news on Barclays
During February, Barclays revealed their new strategic plan to turn around the culture of the company. This included the news that they would no longer trade food commodities for speculative purposes. We have written to Barclays to ask them for clarification about what exactly they are pulling out of and are still waiting for their response.
We now need to continue to fight for regulation which will prevent all banks in Europe from
From various media reports, our understanding is that: • They will no longer trade food derivatives using their own money (proprietary trading) which they are not supposed to do anyway. • They will no longer trade with or on behalf of investors like hedge funds who are purely speculative players. WDM protest outside the Barclays AGM in April 2012
Online We launched the Bankers Anonymous microsite last week: www.wdm.org.uk/bankersanonymous which will hopefully reach a wide audience. People can sign up to take the first step of the Bankers Anonymous programme (which is to email their MP) and will then receive information on the subsequent steps by email.
distorting food prices - which will also ensure that Barclays do not u-turn on their decision later on.
Stunts and stalls Thank you to all groups who have organised or are in the process of organising a Bankers Anonymous stunt or stall. Do get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how it went. You can also get in touch with Dan if you need a stunt pack which includes all the materials you’ll need to hold a stunt or stall on the Bankers Anonymous theme.
Writing to local press This month we are including a template press letter so that you can write a letter to your local newspapers and try and get some media coverage on Bankers Anonymous. The template letter also includes some tips on sending the letter in.
If you have any good ideas of how you used the stunt materials please let us know so we can share them with other groups. One group in London found that:
For anyone who has signed up to Bankers Anonymous online, writing to the press is step three so this means that you will have completed this step offline.
• It was helpful to use other props that they already had such as bowler hats, poker mats, Barclays eagle masks etc. Having a visually engaging and interesting stall made passers by naturally slow down to have a look. • One of the group members used a cycling map of the local area to draw in the constituency boundaries with the respective MPs so that people passing by could find out easily who their MP is to take the action. We’ve asked groups to hold Bankers Anonymous stunts/ stalls outside their local Barclays’ branch, but after the Barclays’ withdrawal it now makes sense to use a different location. The concept of Bankers Anonymous isn’t tied to any one particular bank and so the stunt/ stall would work equally well in a town square, city centre, high street or anywhere with a good footfall in your local area. The key to the stunt is to raise public awareness and generate local media interest and we think this can still happen in a place where there are a lot of people passing through.
Food sovereignty in the south-west WDM helped organise the first regional food sovereignty meeting in the south-west of England. This was the first big meeting since the national gathering at OrganicLea in July, and it aimed to strengthen regional networks of the food sovereignty movement and make national planning more accessible to people outside of London.
The meeting attracted over 40 people from across the south-west, which is testament to the vibrant community food networks alive in the region. There was a lot of energy to coordinate actions, public education materials and events in the south-west, including a festival in the summer of 2014 (either in the south-west or nationally). It was also agreed to plan an action for 17 April to tie in with the international day of peasant struggle. This regional meeting was the first of a tour of similar meetings to engage local food sovereignty networks across the UK. If you want to help organise one in your region please get in touch by emailing email@example.com
For groups who have already received their stunt packs, we have revised the template press release and this should have been emailed to you already. If you haven’t done your stunt/stall yet, then the revised template will be included in requested stunt packs (and is also available online in the groups’ resources section of the website). 8
Events Austerity is working... for the 1%
WDM AGM 2013 details for groups
When: Saturday 16 March, 11am- 5.30pm Where: Faraday House, 48-51 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AE
WDM’s AGM will take place at 10am on Saturday 15 June at Leeds University Student Union, Lifton Place, Leeds LS2 9JZ. It will be followed by our public conference, Not the G8: A real agenda for global justice.
Speakers will include: • Emma Avilés, PACD (Citizen’s Debt Audit Platform), Spain • Alfamir Castillo, Women Sugar Cane Cutters Committee, Colombia • Adam Hanieh, SOAS • Hannah Griffiths, head of campaigns and policy, World Development Movement, • Andy Greene, Disabled People Against Cuts • Christina Laskaridis, Greece Debt Audit Commission • Hugh Lanning, deputy general secretary, PCS • Nick Dearden, director, Jubilee Debt Campaign • John Hilary, executive director, War on Want • Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Unite the Union’s community membership project Workshops will include: ‘what’s so wrong with the banking sector?’; ‘the G8 and what to do about it’; and ‘the Arab Spring: A revolt against the free market?’ as well as plenary sessions with our international speakers.
All national members will receive a letter nearer the time with a draft agenda, plus details of how to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf should they not be able to attend in person. Any group wishing to exercise a proxy vote should contact Sarah Reader by the end of May. The deadline for submitting policy motions to the AGM is 26 April. However, to allow us time to circulate any such motions with the agenda, we would prefer to receive them by 15 April. If this is not possible, please at least let us know you intend to submit a motion by 15 April. The contact for this is James O’Nions: firstname.lastname@example.org Further details about the AGM will be available at www.wdm.org.uk/agm-2013
Free event, with lunch included for a small donation. More at: www.wdm.org.uk/austerity-is-working
Scottish WDM gathering in Paisley
Not the G8 (WDM conference)
Where: Paisley, venue tbc When: Saturday 20 April, half day (time tbc) Scotland’s first active supporter gathering of the year will take place in Paisley. The event is designed to give lots of detail about WDM’s campaigns, and to meet staff and other WDM local group members and supporters. We will be focusing on the new climate campaign, and holding a workshop on communicating WDM campaigns. More information in next month’s Think Global.
When: Saturday 15 June Where: Leeds University Student Union As leaders of the Group of Eight wealthiest countries meet in the UK for the first time since 2005, we’ll be assembling international speakers and activists to talk about what changes to the global economy we really need for a fairer and more sustainable world. From shrinking the power of the City of London to growing the movement for food sovereignty, it’s a chance to think about, discuss and organise for a world where the wealth of a handful of nations is no longer a cause of the poverty of others. 9
Groups Groups roundup
Oxford WDM held a really successful screening of Growing Change with Glyn Thomas, WDM’s web officer. About 60 people attended the event, most of whom were new to WDM. Christine, WDM’s food campaigner, did a talk at the Brighton and Arundel Diocese Peace and Justice event. Members of Bexhill and Hastings WDM attended the event and held a stall. The London WDM groups plan a joint Bankers Anonymous action at their teach-in, ‘Get informed, get active’
North and East London WDM held a film night and showed ‘Seeds of Change’ at Firebox followed by a talk by James O’Nions from WDM.
Stephen from Manchester WDM had a letter in the Manchester Evening News published which mentioned food speculation.
South West London WDM held their first Bankers Anonymous stall outside a Barclays branch. The stall went really well and they got lots of cards signed. They even had a banker approach them and admit that what the banks are doing is disgusting!
Reading WDM held a successful stall at Reading College’s environment day. The group have also been busy with Fairtrade fortnight. They held a food sovereignty event, ‘Transforming our food system’, with Sarah Reader from WDM. Jackie from the Reading WDM group also gave a talk about the root causes of poverty and the need to go beyond Fairtrade a local church.
Members of Cambridge WDM held a Growing Change film screening at a Transition Café Evening and led a discussion on food sovereignty. Leeds WDM organised a seminar on ‘climate justice for all: accessing energy in the global south‘ with Sarah Reader from WDM. This was part of a workshop series being organised by the group at Leeds university on different global justice issues.
Sheffield WDM have been preparing the ground for an inner-city neighbourhood initiative for Fairtrade Fortnight. Bradford WDM have been busy with Fairtrade Fortnight. Highlights include: a visit from Palestinian olive oil producers and a Fairtrade stall on Shipley Market . The group also held a social evening.
Worthing WDM is planning a Barclays food stunt and are getting action cards signed by members of Lancing Methodist Church. The London WDM groups organised a joint teachin: ‘Get informed, get active’, at WDM’s office in London. About 25 people attended, many of whom were new to WDM. It was a great way of finding out more about WDM’s campaigns and planning a joint London action. Edinburgh and Lothians WDM held a Bankers Anonymous stall at a farmers’ market. 10
Reading WDM promote their food sovereignty event: Transforming our food system
Kathleen from Merseyside WDM with their new banner
Christine Haigh, WDM’s food campaigner with the Bexhill and Hastings group
Leicester WDM organised a talk with Dan Iles, WDM food campaigner.
New food film
Groups and local media
Following the success of Growing Change screenings we have a new film to lend to groups called ‘Seeds of Freedom’. The 30 minute documentary focuses on the corporate control of seeds and how the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified seeds have impacted on farming communities and biodiversity around the world. To order a copy of the film please contact Ralph at email@example.com or call 020 7820 4900.
WDM groups have been great at getting local press coverage of actions and events, and more recently, writing to their local papers on WDM’s campaigns. This is a really effective way of raising the issues we’re campaigning on and putting pressure on local MPs through the media. We have included a template letter about the food campaign which you can adapt and send to your local papers. To ensure we keep a record of local groups’ press coverage (so we can help share it through social media and report on it to our supporters), please email a copy of any press coverage or letters in the local papers to WDM’s press officer Miriam at Miriam.firstname.lastname@example.org
New flags for groups
We have produced WDM flags for group members to use on marches, actions or at events. If you would like to order one please contact Ralph at email@example.com or call 020 7820 4900.
Groups email list
A reminder that we have a WDM groups’ email list which any member can join. This email list is hosted by ‘riseup’ and can be used for discussion among group members and as a way of sharing ideas and problem-solving. WDM also emails the list regularly with campaign and media updates, and urgent actions. To join the list, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org or let Sarah know at email@example.com
Our new flags for WDM groups. You can order one by getting in touch with Ralph at firstname.lastname@example.org
Partner updates 15 April: Global day of action on military spending
In 2011, global military spending surged to US $1.74 trillion. In the UK, we are facing severe cuts to vital services such as health and education, and yet £80 billion over the next forty years is being spent on renewing Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons programme. Military spending prevents the money being spent on tackling real challenges such as relieving poverty, improving health, and protecting the environment. On 15 April for the global day of action on military spending (GDAMS), people across the world will take action to focus public, political, and media attention on the costs of military spending and the need for new priorities. People will be calling for a new approach to our common security that will tackle the real problems facing the world; an approach which addresses the root causes of conflict, including environmental problems, inequality and access to resources. The global day of action on military spending coincides with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual figures on world military expenditures. See www.demilitarize.org.uk to find out more and to take part in an action near you.
Banking for justice
Thinking of changing bank or ISA? Want your savings to be invested ethically? Triodos is one of the leading ethical banks whose mission is to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change. Open an account with Triodos and deposit £100 and WDM will receive a donation of £40 to help us fight the root causes of poverty. For more information please see the leaflet enclosed with this edition of Think Global, visit www.triodos.co.uk/wdm or call 0800 328 2181 and quote ‘WDM’.
Diary dates 16 March: Austerity is working... for the 1%, London. 15 April: Public meeting with Julio Gomez, London. 19 April: Demonstration at AGM of Anglo American, London. 20 April: Scottish WDM gathering, Paisley. 15 June: Not the G8: a real agenda for global justice (WDM AGM and conference), Leeds.