Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

Archive for September 2010

Its going to be a whole new experience for us when on Thursday afternoon  30th September  the Jubilee Debt Campaign group  will welcome Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development and MP for Sutton Coldfield to the Nishkam Centre in Birmingham to put some of our concerns directly to a Minister of the crown.. I do hope he is in listening mode.
Birmingham has a proud history in the movement for debt cancellation as demonstrated  in 1998 as the leaders of the G8 countries met in Birmingham. Thousands of campaigners for debt relief linked arms around the City to raise awareness of the crippling debts afflicting some of the poorest countries in the world and as a symbolic gesture of solidarity.  We have achieved a great deal since then but must continue to press all governments to show compassion
The Minister will be welcomed by Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh  Chairman, Nishkam Centre and meet representatives from  Islamic Relief, The Methodist Relief and Development Fund, Oxfam, Christian Aid  and other local  faith groups.  The Secretary of Sate will speak first but then over an hour will be devoted to questions from activists.
Jubilee Debt Campaign is an example of “change makers” who have been successful in making a difference that has improved the life of millions across the planet. Perhaps we were the first example of the “BIG SOCIETY”?

Here are a few pictures taken at the event.


New pictures of our latest demonstration  – Stand up Against Povety are posted to day in the blog gallery below.

The regular Saturday church service at St Martin’s in the Bullring concluded with a very noisy demonstration by over a hundred campaigners of different faiths. The Faiths act fellows of Birmingham and many Jubilee Debt Campaign supporter from the city joined forces to stop shoppers in their tracks and make a big noise about the Millennium Development goals( MDG’s).

The aim was to draw attention to the fact that world leaders are about to meet in New York and we want them to deliver on the promises made  in the Millennium year of 2000 to end extreme poverty by 2015

Do watch the news this week and add your voice to the call for action against poverty

This was the first time I had attended a political party conference and found it very encouraging to hear MEP Jean Lambert say how much she had taken on board the JDC campaign and integrated it into Green party policy.
After attending the demonstration in 1999 on the banks of the Thames calling for debt cancellation, she had clearly kept informed about all our work in the intervening years. she said the Green party was against the principle of running up too much debt, whether  in the uk or internationally but she objected to the unfair way the rich countries took control of international debt negotiations. she thought that the money going to South Asian countries such as Pakistan suffering from climate change should go in the form of grants not loans and that there should be more transparency and local control.
The Co chair of JDC Stephen Rand, pointed out there are many links to show that policies forcing countries to repay debt actually exacerbate climate change.

John Nightingale the chair of JDC Birmingham group and the two speakers fielded questions on a wide range of development  issues such as grants rather than loans, reform of  world trade, mis-selling of projects, debt burden on future generations, power struggles of indebted countries, the current problem in Pakistan and the latest JDC postcard campaign on Dodgy deals.

It was quite inspiring to be present when a politician and a very crowded room of activists  agreed on so many key points.I am looking forward to attending ALL the political party rallies in Birmingham after this  experience.
Audrey Miller

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September 2010
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