Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

Greenbelt 2009 Jottings

Posted on: September 4, 2009

Jubilee Debt Campaign once again had a small stall at the Greenbelt Festival over the Bank holiday. I volunteered for a short spell and had some amusing experiences to share with other campaigners.

My main task was to engage with members of the public who were browsing the dozens of charity stalls in the marquee, and persuade them to sign a postcard to their MP about Vulture funds.

It was really encouraging that no one actually refused to sign! In fact one Anglican clergy signed two cards –

One for the MP she lobbies on behalf of her parish community in which the church is situated and a second MP in whose constituency she actually lives. The two MP’s are members of different parties, which again provides for interesting opportunity to play off one political party against the other.

I wonder how many other clergy with several churches to care for might have the same interesting campaigning opportunity. Any advance of two MP’s?

I was also encouraged to see that so many people actually knew their MP. Those who didn’t were able to give their postcode so that I could use the web

and add the name of their MP to the postcard  at a latter stage.

Everyone was keen to take advantage of our free postal service and offer to deliver them by hand to the House of Commons. This set me thinking that we should be given free postal service when we write to our MP. Given the high cost of stamps it is yet another way that the poor are denied democratic rights to let their views be known.

Greenbelt is very much a Christian Festival and many of the festival goers have been committed to the debt campaign for over a decade. It was certainly not surprising to see so many Jubilee rainbow scarves amongst the twenty one thousand  attending. There was a huge range of music, talks, workshops and programme activities.

One new idea, which is taking hold, is the idea of using facebook to promote the campaign and sale of scarves to supporters.

John who is a new JDC worker changed his Facebook profile picture to one wearing his Rainbow JDC scarf and changed his status to recommend his friends to buy one and directed them to me to make a purchase: –

In one week five new sales! It will be fun to see how many rainbow scarves we can get onto Facebook?

Duncan with scarfJohnianjdc

The experience of collecting hundreds of postcards over the weekend was really encouraging to all the volunteers. To speak with the supporters face to face and have that feeling of solidarity is very helpful. Campaigners do need to be nurtured and encouraged in their endeavours either by talking to each other or via comments on the blog so do make your comments now!

It is clear  that we all need to share our passion and anger so that we can be re energergised to fight the injustices we have exposed in Vulture funds.

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This is the blog of the local group of the UK campaign calling for cancellation of international Debt.

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