Take back Manchester

President_Donald_Trump_and_PM_Theresa_May_Joint_Press_Conference,_January_27,_2017

We will be at the demonstration and counter-festival outside the Conservative Party conference next month, doing stunts and collecting signatures on our trade democracy petition.

Help us Take Back Manchester on Sunday 1 October, outside the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central Conference Centre.  We’d love for activists from outside Manchester to join us too.  If you’re interested in getting involved, email us.

Photo: public domain

Dangerous Deals Protest

We were out doing street tableaux with Greater Manchester Trade Action Network this month, highlighting Dangerous Deals in the Dark.  Our puppet show illustrated the power of both the US and corporate capital over our government.  Look out for further appearances on the streets of Manchester in the coming weeks and months.

KPMGTrumpFox

Donald Trump pulls Liam Fox’s strings outside the offices of KPMG, a major lobbyist of the UK Government

More photos at the GMTAN blog and our Facebook page, plus full report in The Meteor.

 

Stop Funding Hate

Global Justice Manchester’s stall at the ‘Another Europe is Possible’ conference at the Museum of Science and Industry on April 1st was a great success.

OwenJonesSFH (2)

Owen Jones, Journalist & Activist Shows Support

Many delegates, including journalist Owen Jones and NW MEP Julie Ward, demonstrated support for GJN’s ‘Stop Funding Hate Campaign’ by posing with placards calling for Marks and Spencer’s CEO Stephen Rowe, to withdraw advertising from the Daily Mail.

JulieWardSFHDir1

Julie Ward MEP  Shows support for the Campaign

 

 

 

But perhaps the most appropriate comment came from Mark Wiseman, who spared no effort to demonstrate his Disgust

MarkWiseman

We challenge Afzal Khan to oppose CETA

Ceta Petition to MEP

Manchester’s Afzal Khan, former Lord Mayor of the city and current MEP for the NW of England, has received thousands of messages asking him to reject the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Khan told local campaigners last Friday he was still undecided on whether to vote for or against CETA, the controversial Canada/EU trade deal, when its fate will be decided on the 15 February in the European Parliament.

The full story on The Meteor:

http://www.themeteor.org/2017/02/13/mep-afzal-khan-challenged-on-eve-of-controversial-trade-deal-vote/

Stop The Fat Cats Getting Rich by Supporting Environmental Destruction

The fat cats get rich on Environmental destruction

The Carbon Capital stunt in St Ann’s Square was attended by  Chris, Debbie, Stephen, Ann, Matthew, we achieved 112 signatures and a number of  photos.

A number of people were attracted to our table with ‘oily’  drinks on offer, and coal sweeties!

Will the grim Reaper help HSBC Destroy this child's Future?  

HSBC Fund Climate Change.

The grim reaper explains the benefits of this profit seeking, whilst WDM Manchester collect cards in St Ann’s Square to send to HSBC CEO saying that this is disastrous for this child’s future. Use legislation to stop bankers addiction

Bankers addicted to gambling

The Mule Newspaper Highlighted our recent action to save the poor Bankers

Follow link to the newspaper and join us outside The Unicon Supermarket in Chorlton at mid day Saturday 4th May.  We recently did something similar on Grand National Saturday – we collected a sack full of signatures but did not save any gamblers on the horse.  Let’s work to make sure the story is different for the addicted bankers.

D12- a red line in Knutsford

Knutsford- believed by some to be named after Cnut/Canute- might not be Paris but did provide GJ Manchester and supporters with a significant venue for a solidarity demonstration at the end of the COP21. It seemed our social media announcement had been picked up by the Police as we were met by a modest presence of PCSO and constable who just happened to be standing around in the rain for no obvious reason.

Difficulties finding an iconic and relevant target where there would be significant foot-fall on the right day in Manchester led us to decide to invite others to come out of town with us to where George Osborne has his constituency office with a message asking him to recognise as Canute did that you can’t ignore or boss nature- though you can mess it up with fracking, subsidies to fossil fuel companies, and irresponsible corporate exploitation.

Some participants dressed in red and had produced their own placards whilst others dressed as businessmen to oppose them and turned up in continuous rain which put a damper on deploying our giant prop, the “grim reaper”.

George wasn’t in when we called- though a couple of eastern European cleaners were getting the Conservative Club ready for a letting that evening so we focused on being seen by passing traffic. We were also seen by enthusiasts for high-performance sports cars who were gathered across the street at the McLaren showrooms where some rather expensive machines were being shown off. We resisted the temptation to pick a squabble and stayed on message- being rewarded by Stavros Lynch from Ireland who had come to see the cars.

He shot a spontaneous film and interviewed three of us, subsequently posting it on his facebook page (Stavros969) and letting us know where to find it. (It can be seen on facebook.com/GlobalJusticeManchester/.) This was great as the expected photographic support hadn’t shown up and we were scratching to get materials with a couple of us having to come out of the protest line-up to take snaps.

There were few pedestrians near us so we offered copies of the COP21 Times to drivers stopping at the roundabout and after a couple of hours packed up to go home, dropping a copy of the paper through the Constituency Office letterbox.

 +’s:

  • We worked with several folk from other organisations (only 3 GJM were there!) who may become involved in GJN.
  • We took the concerns outside the safety of anti-Tory Manchester to a safe Tory seat.
  • We got picked up by a non-campaigner blogger who published a vid that will be seen by those not involved.

-’s:

  • Lack of preparation for being filmed and editing means the message was sub-optimal.
  • Lack of pick-up into mainstream media- though we had a letter about “Red Lines” published that day in the Manchester Evening News.
  • Not clear if any particular message got through to anyone with influence over the government.

 

Moral: If you don’t get it right, do what you can, and have another go afterwards, learning from the experience!

Making Food Production Fair. Report by Rebecca Mallows

 

Kindling Conference examining how to Make food production met the needs of eveeryone

Kindling Conference on Solving Inequities in the Food Production

The ‘Making Food Fair’ conference, hosted by the Kindling Trust, took place on Saturday 22nd November, bringing together a fantastic range of speakers with over 70 people to explore the inequities of the current food system.

The event provided an opportunity to explore how we can make our food system fairer and more sustainable across the whole food supply chain.

This broader perspective opened up the discussion to consider how our food system is perpetuating poverty for UK farmers as they struggle to make a living, whilst at the opposite end of the food chain, many families are unable to afford healthy food.

With our food system continuing to fail so many, it is essential that we continue to discuss ways in which we can work towards a more equitable system.

Making Food Fair provided a brilliant platform on which to do just that. The broad range of perspectives covered by the speakers, alongside the diversity of those attending the event, made for an exciting and inspiring exchange of ideas in the afternoon group discussions.

The presentations from all of speakers were filmed on the day, and will be posted online soon.

In the meantime, to get a snapshot of the day check out #makingfoodfair on twitter, or to find out more about how The Kindling Trust are working to make food fairer in Manchester, visit www.kindling.org.uk.

Stop Carving up Africa (Manchester WDM with friends)

  Organisations from across Manchester call for an end to land grabs in Africa
Organisations from across Manchester call for an end to land grabs in Africa

Photo: Ali Abbas of Manchester Friends of the Earth

Manchester being the place it is, you can find all sorts of causes and campaign groups through the internet and networks, but fail to interact with them in the integrated way some fondly enjoin groups to do.  So, whilst putting out feelers and finding our inboxes and facebook pages flooded with postings from worthy groups you don’t like to cut out, we ended up using personal contacts and experiences to help us launch the new Agribusiness campaign on a wet Saturday morning in suburban Manchester.   Our photographer and webmaster being kept in by the domestic priorities we turned to our friends in SPEAK and FoE (with whom we have built relationships through the Climate Act and RBS Tar Sands campaign) and they bolstered numbers and took photos. (Thanks Ali for the photos!). 

In his first campaign action with us Eric Mulvihill explained his motivation: “This campaign is important to me because I support small farmers everywhere, for two reasons: firstly my own ancestors were small farmers in the West of Ireland and secondly, we need an antidote to capitalism and small farms are the perfect answer.”

Another member who had spent years living in Africa, and who regularly goes back to Uganda could give personal testimony to reinforce the findings in the report we gave John Leech MP On the Carve up of Africa by large Corporations (see the new campaign at http://www.wdm.org.uk/food).   John Leech gave the commitment: “I’m very happy to support this campaign.  Taxpayers’ money should be going to help the poorest people in Africa support themselves sustainably rather than lining the pockets of rich corporations.  I support the principle that people should be able to grow the food they want.” 

Warm and useful words, for which we thanked him.  Yet we also warned him that we would be behind him (looking over his shoulder) to call on him to convert his words them into more specific action relating to food sovereignty- an issue of interest to his constituents as well as people facing predations from multinationals in Africa.

Stephen Pennells