Tag: activism

Luton Quakers At Carnival of Resistance

Three Friends from Luton Meeting attended the Carnival of Resistance in London on Friday protesting at the visit of Donald Trump to the UK.  It was right that we did so.  We were struck by the diversity of groups that joined the march.  Climate change activists, anti-racists, women’s rights campaigners, political parties, faith groups…

A person that we met and walked with for a time explained that this was her first ever demonstration, but she had been moved to act, encouraged by her daughter, to take part because Trump is terrifyingly wrong on so many fronts.  She had deliberately sought out Quakers to be with because they would act peacefully and appropriately on the demo, she said.

On Saturday at the Quaker Meeting House in Harpenden there was an inspiring talk for the United Nations Association by Tobi Wellner from Quaker Peace and Social Witness – about brave and talented activists for social justice, in East Africa, especially in communities in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.  Their work, based in non-violence, is difficult and sometimes very dangerous.  They operate according to the Seven Principles of the Quaker programme Turning the Tide, three of which are:

  • Being willing to take action for justice without giving into or mimicking violence
  • Respecting and caring for everyone involved in a conflict, including our opponent
  • Believing that everyone is capable of change and no-one has a monopoly of the truth.

Tens of thousands of people had come together in London to make a powerful statement to the most powerful person in the world.  Many of the slogans on the placards and banners rejected Trump utterly or were personally abusive.

“Build bridges not walls”, and the frequent “Love trumps Hate” if read as much more than a play on the name, were two that might be in tune with the thought that Donald Trump too is capable of change.  And that the tide of the world can be turned.

 

Quaker Colin from Luton Meeting

Take Action On Council Divestment Plans

Britain Yearly Meeting has submitted a response to the government’s public consultation outlining our concerns and we are asking Quakers and others to engage with the consultation before it closes on next week on February 19…

In short, please see here.

Write to your local councillors and MP via WriteToThem.

Respond to the government consultation by Feb 19th here.

Protesting For Climate Change Action – The People’s March

Climate change march photo

The People’s March was a really joyful and creative event, and big – 50,000 in London, hundreds of thousands around the world.  It was great that folk from Bedfordshire were there, including Quakers from Luton and Bedford (two holding the Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum banner), together with a group of students from the University.

On a note of simple kindness, thousands of wonderful apples from a farm in Warwickshire were given away as free gifts to the marchers.

What a mighty wind was blowing through Central London on Sunday!  The photos and film do not capture that.  It could have symbolised the power of change that we are calling for and represent – or the forces that are ranged against our just cause – or a warning of the power of nature and the destruction that might overtake the world…

A round of speakers on top of a Fire Engine drew our attention to the urgency of dealing with catastrophic climate change.  Finally Jeremy Corbyn  and Caroline Lucas dwelt on the responsibilities of the negotiators at the International Conference in Paris.

A huge diversity of groups, organisations and individuals participated, but all coming together with one great theme of saving people and planet.  Grandparents against Climate Change; the Socialist Workers Party with their resonant slogan of “system change, not climate change”; a Muslim Women’s organisation;  CAFOD and other Catholic groups; Christian Aid; FOE and WWF; many, many more. See this brief film clip for a sense of the occasion:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/29/protesters-gather-around-the-world-for-a-strong-climate-change-deal

“For the love of…THOSE WITHOUT,” read one Climate Coalition placard, and we thought most of all about countries and peoples in the developing world that are most exposed to devastation brought on by climate change for which they are not responsible.

Disruption

A trailer for this film was shown at the recent Climate Can’t Wait – It’s Time To Act event so here’s the full film:

Time To Act

This short UNTV film on climate change was shown at the Climate Can’t Wait- It’s time to act! event last night that was held at the University of Bedfordshire.

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