Why do we email or call government officials?

War on Want understands the root causes of poverty to be political, the result of choices made by government and corporate elites. Our 65+ year history has taught us that collective action by ordinary people is the most effective way to bring about the type of change that can challenge the structures of poverty and injustice in the long term.

We take different kinds of action to hold those who make decisions to account and to push for positive change, and each action has a purpose and function that we have thought through carefully, often together with campaign partners. Each action is only a single part of a larger campaign strategy.

Some types of actions we take:

  • Conduct research necessary for action (check out our reports and briefings)
  • Participate in public meetings to affect discussions and/or get critical feedback
  • Hold briefing sessions for MPs and other government officials
  • Protest to make our voices heard, especially when critical voices have been ignored or excluded from decision making

We often invite our members and supporters to participate in a campaign by emailing a government official, maybe an MP, MEP or a government minister, asking them to take action in a specific way on a campaign issue. This is a way to:

  • Inform government officials of important issues and provide them with evidence based research to help them make informed decisions
  • Shape discussions that government officials are having about issues important to us
  • Make clear that constituents/the public are paying attention to issues and to what MPs are doing
  • Elicit responses from government officials that can help in campaign planning and strategizing (even if the response is negative, it’s useful for us to know so we can get a feel for the ‘temperature’ in government on certain issues)

We don’t ever want to limit our campaigning power to what could come from lobbying politicians, that way nothing would ever change. At the same time, engaging those in positions of power is an important part of making change, even if it is only one element of a broader campaign.

Latest news

St Barts Strikers Up the Ante

20 July 2017 - 4:30pm

On Saturday 15 July 2017, Barts strikers organised a demonstration and rally. Local community groups came out to support the strikers who had been striking for fair pay. 

The largely black and migrant workers are striking for a 30p per hour pay rise. They are employed by Serco, a multinational that profits from the privatisation of the NHS.

Serco also runs for-profit immigration detention centres, such as Yarlswood, where there have been numerous allegations of abuse and poor treatment. Detention centres effectively imprison people who have committed no crime.

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North African Food Sovereignty Network launched

17 July 2017 - 11:15am

War on Want's Senior Programme Officer for the North Africa and West Asia region, Hamza Hamouchene, was actively involved in supporting the development of and launch of the North African Network for Food Sovereignty. Pambazuka covered the launch of the network and its charter.

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