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Modern Slavery Bill - Tweet Day

10 December 2014, Latest news

Twitter logo blueOn Monday 8th of December, as the modern slavery bill passes through the House of Lords, War on Want and others took to twitter to push the Prime Minister to ensure the bill drives companies to tackle forced labour in their supply chains.

War on Want has been working with the CORE (Corporate Responsibility Coalition) to ensure that the modern slavery bill addresses the UK’s impact on modern slavery around the world as well as in the UK.

 

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One million no TTIP signatures and counting

09 December 2014, Press releases

Press release, Stop TTIP, Thursday 04/12/2014

 Self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative against US and Canada trade deals tops a million signatures in record time  

Media alert ***Photo stunt, Brussels*** Jean-Claude Juncker to receive a special birthday present for his 60th.

More than a million people across Europe have signed a self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative in the last two months opposing trade deals between the European Union and North America. The campaign, run by the Stop TTIP coalition, is supported by more than 320 civil society organisations, trade unions and consumer watchdogs from 24 EU Member States.

Campaigners say that the controversial trade deals, known as TTIP and CETA, would give unprecedented power to international corporations and thus threaten to overrule democracy, the rule of law as well as environmental and consumer protection. The treaties would allow governments to be sued by corporations before private arbitration boards if their laws or policies damage the company's profits.

John Hilary, a member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee commented: “Stop TTIP has collected more than a million signatures in record time. This is especially embarrassing for the European Commission as it has tried repeatedly to block any citizens’ involvement in the way these treaties are being negotiated and what the outcome should be. Jean Claude Juncker should listen to the growing opposition and stop both treaties immediately.”

In mid-July, the Stop TTIP coalition had applied to register a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) demanding that the European Commission stop the negotiations on TTIP and not to conclude CETA. According to EU rules, an ECI of more than a million signatures can force the European Commission to review a policy and hold a hearing in the European Parliament. However, in early September the European Commission refused to register the ECI, claiming that it was not admissible. Stop TTIP then went ahead with a self-organised version of the ECI and is also challenging the European Commission’s decision in the European Court of Justice.

Susan George, a member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee: “The European Union is desperately trying to stifle citizens’ involvement and prevent a critical debate from taking place about these trade deals. We don’t accept this. TTIP and CETA threaten democracy, labour rights, environmental standards and vital public services. Citizens want to have a say in this and they should! One million have already said “No, thanks!” How many more need to speak out before Brussels will listen?”

Stop TTIP announced it would intensify protests in the months to come. The signature collection will be continued and will be accompanied by creative actions and marches. The first of these will take place in Brussels on December 9th, the 60th birthday of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

John Hilary added: “We will deliver a special gift to Jean-Claude Juncker on his 60th birthday: A giant birthday card signed by one million Europeans. Politicians are always calling for citizens to get actively involved in European politics, and here are more than a million people who have done just that. On his 60th birthday, Juncker should blow out the candles on these massively unpopular and undemocratic trade deals that are opposed by people across Europe. One million signatures is just the beginning. We will continue our protest until TTIP and CETA are history.”

NOTES

We cordially invite you to a photo stunt on Jean-Claude Juncker’s 60th birthday on 9 December 2014, 11am. Location: in front of “Le Barlaymont”, Rue de la Loi 200, 1000 Bruxelles (Brussels). Activists will prepare a birthday surprise party for President Juncker and symbolically present him one million + X signatures against TTIP and CETA. There will also be time for interviews.

More information about the Stop TTIP campaign: https://stop-ttip.org/about-the-eci-campaign/

Reaction to the European Commission’s refusal of the proposed European Citizens’ Initiative: http://stop-ttip.org/eu-commission-wants-to-wipe-out-citizens-involvement-in-ttip-and-ceta/

Free photos from Stop TTIP protests can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eci_ttip/

CONTACT

Press Team Stop TTIP, press@stop-ttip.org, Tel.: +49 30 420 823 79 (Germany), Mobil: +49 178 816 3017 (Germany). Please get in touch for questions about the campaign and to be put in contact with interviewees in various EU Member States.

Susan George, President of the Board of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam (TNI) and Honorary President of ATTAC-France, Tel: +33 1 4548 4801 (France)

John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, Tel: +44 7983 550727 (United Kingdom)

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Forced Labour in Supply Chains - Modern Slavery Bill

28 November 2014, Latest news

parliament (Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament )

The International Labour Organisation estimates that globally 21 million people are subject to forced labour, trafficking and modern slavery which generates annual profits of $150 billion.

The government introduced the modern slavery bill to tackle this in the UK by clarifying the law, and creating a Modern Slavery Commissioner. War on Want has been working with the CORE (The Corporate Responsibility Coalition) to ensure that the modern slavery bill addresses the UK’s impact on modern slavery around the world as well as in the UK.

War on Want’s work with partner trade unions and workers’ groups around the world shows how many UK companies profit from the modern slavery that takes place in their supply chains. It is important that the bill tackles not just those committing the crimes, but also those profiting and creating the conditions for modern slavery.

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Stop the killing of South African shack dwellers

24 November 2014, Latest news

chicagoThis weekend hundreds of international supporters gathered in London, New York, Chicago and Budapest to demonstrate against the killing of housing activists in South Africa. During the past 18 months, three housing activists from the shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, a long standing partner of the British anti-poverty charity War on Want, have been assassinated. To date not a single person has been held responsible for any of these deaths. In London, War on Want, together with the Abahlali baseMjondolo UK Collective, have initiated a series of solidarity actions, including a letter to the High Commissioner of South Africa (www.waronwant.org/stopthekilling) that call for the right of people to engage in activism that is free of repression, a formal inquiry into the murders, and peaceful dialogue between housing activists and local, national and provincial authorities. The signed petition will be handed in at South Africa House in London, later this month.

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Exposed: Political heavyweights undermining Bangladesh Safety Accord

14 November 2014, Latest news

Walmart Protest

With workers about to strike at thousands of Walmart stores across the US, the political heavy-weights behind Walmart and GAP’s attempts to discredit the Bangladesh Safety Accord have been revealed.

An American news source has revealed that the lobbyists Albright Stonebridge were behind efforts to push the much weaker Bangladesh Safety Alliance to US politicians. Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State, is chair of Albright Stonebridge Group which describes itself as “strategic advisory and commercial diplomacy firm”. The Accord and the Alliance were both a reaction to the Rana Plaza disaster where over 1100 garment workers died spurring hundreds of thousands of people to take action in outrage.

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War on Want Celebrates International Street Vendors Day

14 November 2014, Latest news

KENASVIT march for MSE Act

Across the globe, street vendors and their organisations will be marking International Street    Vendors Day with celebrations and calls for greater recognition and rights for informal traders. The day was first set aside in 2012 by international street vendor organisation, StreetNet, as a day of recognition for the contribution made by street vendors to national development and awareness raising.

War on Want has been supporting street vendor representative organisations in Zambia and Kenya for many years. Through its long standing partnership with the Alliance of Zambian Informal Economy Associations (AZIEA) and the Kenyan National Alliance of Street Vendors and International Traders (KENASVIT) there have been substantial gains made for informal traders in both countries.

 

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South African Shack Dwellers' movement protest against police brutality

11 November 2014, Latest news


This weekend shack dwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, a long standing partner of War of Want, held a march of over 2,000 people through the streets of Durban, South Africa. The march was held to highlight the violence faced by housing activists at the hands of police and local authorities as well as the corruption involved in the allocation of social housing in the city.

ABM march 81114

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European Commission taken to court for ‘stifling dissent’ over EU-US trade deal

10 November 2014, Press releases

Protest against TTIP and CETA in BerlinOn Monday morning the Stop TTIP coalition, consisting of over 300 civil society groups from across Europe, are filing a lawsuit against the European Commission at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The lawsuit relates to a decision that was made by the Commission to block a ‘European Citizen’s Initiative’ (ECI) on the controversial EU-USA trade deal known as TTIP and a similar deal with Canada (CETA).

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Tags: CETA | Europe | trade justice | TTIP

   

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Seed Caravan for Food Sovereignty

05 November 2014, Latest news

seedfoodcaravan-srilanka resizedAs Sri Lanka celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights - the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair - around 4,000 fisherfolks, agricultural and plantation workers and citizens joined hands with farmers to form the Seed Caravan for Food Sovereignty, organised by War on Want’s long-term partner MONLAR (the Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform) and other grassroots organisations. The Caravan toured the country for 6 days from North, East to South and culminated in a March of 600 people to bring demands for food sovereignty to the Government in the capital Colombo.

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Life or death over seeds – a worldwide seed war is now raging

23 October 2014, Latest news

GreatSeedFestival - credit Tom GrovesLast week hundreds of food lovers, food growers, food justice campaigners, artists, researchers gathered to participate in events and activities organised throughout the UK as part of the Food Sovereignty month. The focus this year was on the source that feeds us all: the seed.

Seed is life. Almost all the food we eat started as a seed. Control over seed is control over the first link in the food chain, but also beyond the whole food system to biodiversity and therefore life itself. 

For centuries farmers have selectively bred plants by seeking out the seeds of the plants with the most desirable characteristics. These natural seeds planted year on year become highly adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, and represent the great biodiversity our planet enjoyed until…..

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Tags: food crisis | food justice | food sovereignty | GMO | human rights | kenya | land reform | monlar | NGOMA | sri lanka | TTIP

   

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Solidarity from our partners and friends for the TUC Britain Needs A Pay Rise march 18 October

16 October 2014, Latest news

We have received a fantastic message of solidarity from Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of our partners FTZ-GSEU in Sri Lanka, to all those workers marching in London, Glasgow and Belfast on Saturday 18 October. Since 1982, the FTZ&GSEU has fought against violations of labour rights in the workplace and the government's attempts at suppressing workers' rights and freedom of association. With 16,000 members in 22 branches, the FTZ-GSEU is the largest trade union in Sri Lanka. 

We have also had this message from the Centre of United and Progressive Workers, a national labour centre in the Philippines composed of workers in the private, public, informal and migrant sectors. An organisation that is actively fighting for a genuine living wage.

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TTIP Day 1

15 October 2014, Latest news

This new video against TTIP, the EU-US treaty that threatens to undermine our democracy, our jobs and our public services, was simply too good not to share. Many thanks to our friends at Agir pour la Paix in Belgium for producing the English version too!

 

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Tags: campaigns | trade justice | TTIP

   

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No to MIPIM Yes to Right to the City

15 October 2014, Latest news

War on Want supports the call by housing and trade union activists to say “No to MIPIM”. MIPIM gathers the most influential international property players from all sectors for 4 days of networking, learning and transactions. MIPIM infringes on the people’s rights to the city as it takes away democratic access to the city by promoting housing and land use that is privatised and profit-driven for the benefit of the richest 1%, whilst destroying communities and keeping millions in poverty. MIPIM is targeted at around 20,000 bankers, investors, property developers, estate agents, landlords and politicians all of whom are seeking to promote private rents of up to 80% of the market rate. Their push towards global corporate hotel, tourism and leisure operations will see local businesses destroyed and jobs lost. MIPIM also has on its agenda the privatisation of health care in the UK.

War on Want supports the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City; the Radical Housing Network; housing activist groups and trade unions’ calls for housing justice. War on Want believes that all people have a right the city. This right includes people’s right to reclaim, use, shape and remake our urban surroundings. The right to the city is people’s rights to live and work in the city. It is about democratic control over the city, with the right to access, occupy and use urban space.

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Tags: housing

   

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Fury over trade deals rises

09 October 2014, Press releases

Many people will take to the streets around Britain on Saturday as the public speak out against the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in towns and cities across Europe.

The charity War on Want warns that TTIP would cost at least one million jobs between the EU and US and prevent any future UK government repealing the Health and Social Care Act and bringing the NHS back into public hands.

Campaigners from the charity will join a London demonstration, while many other anti-TTIP activists stage protests elsewhere in Britain, ranging far and wide, from Edinburgh north of the border to Brighton on England’s south coast.

Tens of thousands of people, with hundreds of organisations in 21 European countries, will oppose the deal.

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TTIP: the Al Jazeera debate

03 October 2014, Latest news

To mark this week's seventh round of negotiations towards TTIP, the EU-US treaty that threatens to undermine our democracy, our jobs and our public services for ever, Al Jazeera hosted a live debate in its Washington DC studio to explore exactly what is at risk. John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, delivered the case for the prosecution - and it was a lively one! Watch the programme and post-show here:

 

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Tags: campaigns | trade justice | TTIP

   

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