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Anti-TTIP Robot Flashmob and Call-Out for More!


Posted by on 30 July 2014 at 2:42 pm | No Comments »

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July 12th 2014 was the national day of action against the biggest threat to democracy in recent years. The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a so-called ‘free trade’ deal currently being negotiated by the EU and US. This deal will give big business more power over our society, our environment, our public services, and our democracy.

Negotiations on TTIP between the EU and US began in July 2013 and are still ongoing. The sixth round of negotiations started on 14 July 2014 in Brussels, just two days after our national day of action.

In Edinburgh, activists decided to have a dancing robot flashmob on the day of action, to depict the ‘fight’ between corporations and people in the EU and US.

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We made over 30 robot costumes and had many brilliant robot dancers on the day, both people invited to the flashmob, but also passers-by who wanted to join in!

Behind the robots dancing, there was a massive banner saying ‘NO NHS PRIVATISATION, NO FRACKING, NO CORPORATIONS SUING GOVERNMENTS, NO TTIP!’

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Photo Credit: Ric Lander

The robots were a great way to attract attention and people came over to watch the performance, so we got lots of action cards signed.

Coverage of TTIP has been minimal,because the biggest bi-lateral trade deal ever negotiated is going on behind closed doors, but a photo of the robots got in The Herald on Sunday.

More robot action…

On Monday 14th July, an exclusive group of attendees convened for the sixth round of TTIP negotiations, intent on achieving ‘regulatory coherence’ between the US and EU. Alarmingly, the negotiating text has been hidden from the press and public, whilst hundreds of corporate lobbyists have access to both the text and the negotiators.

British American Business is organising a TTIP roadshow around the UK  to ‘highlight to companies across the UK how they can benefit from a successful trade agreement between the US and EU’. On 23rd September, the roadshow will be in Edinburgh, and the robots will be there to say no to TTIP!

More photos here, and here and here!!

If you want to get involved, please email activistsassemble@gmail.com!

And please write to your MP here  to demand full transparency on the TTIP negotiations and to protect democracy, public services and the environment by opposing this aggressive new trade deal.

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Photo Credit: Ric Lander

Star Wars Themed Coal Mine Protest!


Posted by on 2 July 2014 at 5:00 pm | No Comments »

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Edinburgh event – Corporate takeover of African land


Posted by on 26 March 2014 at 1:43 pm | No Comments »

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The UK government and the corporations trying to take control of Africa’s food

food sovreignty protest
During the original ‘scramble for Africa’ in the 1890s, Europeans justified their colonialism as a benevolent mission to bring civilisation to the continent. Today, these colonial tactics are being deployed once again by rich country governments and big business who are colluding to take control of African land and resources. Initiatives with benevolent-sounding names like ‘New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition’ are resulting in control of land and resources being taken away from small-scale African farmers and handed to multinational companies – all in the name of poverty alleviation.Come and find out how the UK government is using aid money to champion this corporate-led agenda and the harmful effects of these initiatives. Together we can join with African food producers to resist the corporate takeover of their land and livelihoods.

Thursday 1 May, 7pm – City of Edinburgh Methodist Church
25 Nicholson Square, Edinburgh EH8 9BX

 

Speakers: Janet Maro and Liz Murray

Janet Maro founded Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania in 2011, an umbrella organisation that acts as the leading centre for organic and sustainable agriculture in Tanzania. Janet is a practitioner and advocate of agroecological farming techniques, which are used to combat deforestation, crop disease and food shortages.
Liz Murray is head of campaigns and policy at WDM’s Scottish office. She works to strengthen WDM’s campaigns by adapting them to the Scottish context, lobbying Scottish MPs and MSPs and working with WDM’s local groups in Scotland.

 

This is a free event but please register here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-new-scramble-for-africa-tickets-11002748517

Join the WDM Scotland gathering!


Posted by on 12 August 2013 at 10:55 am | No Comments »

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WDM Scotland organise a great annual gathering for activists and campaigners. This year’s is in Stirling, very easy to get to from Edinburgh so there should be a strong showing from the E+L group.

Brief details below and a link to the event page for booking information. Oh yes, and it’s free but please book!

Saturday 7 September, Stirling

Get stuck in to the detail of WDM’s food campaign, meet others campaigning locally in Scotland and share your ideas and enthusiasm for campaigning for global justice.

When:        Saturday 7 September, 12 – 4.45 (registration and coffee from 11.30)
Where:      Stirling Methodist Church, Queen St, Stirling FK8 1HL

MORE INFO and BOOKING

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Food sovereignty film showing and discussion


Posted by on 5 July 2013 at 3:45 pm | No Comments »

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best before

Creating a pop-up community garden in Edinburgh to protest the corporate takeover of the world food system


Posted by on 12 June 2013 at 12:20 pm | No Comments »

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On Saturday 8 June, the Edinburgh and Lothians WDM group had a really fun day creating a pop-up community garden in central Edinburgh to demonstrate that food is a right for everyone not a commodity to make profit from. We had recruited lots of people to come along and bring their plants, tools, compost, seeds and banners, which made a very eye-catching display and brought lots of people over to have a look! We noticed quite a few tourists taking photos of what we were doing! So it was easy to chat to people and give them a leaflet to explain what we were doing and why, although a few people just thought we were selling plants, so maybe our banners should have been bigger… We had a corner of the community garden for ‘plant your own vegetable for free’, with a selection of seeds. This brought a few children, and we chatted to their parents while we were helping the children plant their seeds.

We took action to show that Scotland was in solidarity with other actions around the UK, and with African farmers, in rejecting the New Alliance, which was being discussed at David Cameron’s Hunger Summit in London. Cameron was meeting with massive corporations including Monsanto, Cargil, Vodafone and Unilever, to pledge £395 million to “stop” world hunger. However, the New Alliance is going to spread land grabbing and GM across the Africa, where civil society has not been consulted but demand putting power in the hands of small producers not large corporations. In Edinburgh, and at actions across the UK, we wanted the public and politicians to be aware of the African farmers’ views, and also see the New Alliance as Cameron feeding big business, rather than solving world hunger.

The Hunger Summit was set up to give Cameron his ‘make poverty history’ moment while signing away African people’s rights and wrecking their livelihoods. Our banners on Saturday called for real solutions to the food system set out in food sovereignty. As 70% of the world’s food is produced by small-scale farmers, these are the people who UK aid money should go to, to support food production, not large-scale agricultural corporations.  African countries joining the New Alliance must implement policies which will exacerbate hunger, such as making it easier for foreign investors to acquire land. A statement from African civil society rejects the New Alliance as part of a “new wave of colonialism” targeting their food systems for corporate profit.  When we explained this to members of the public they seemed to understand why we were protesting and were surprised about what UK aid money was going towards.

One of our protesters, Anna Mayfield, was quoted on the front page of the Morning Star newspaper: “We are standing in support of African civil society to tell the G8 leaders to stop privatising agriculture and destroying the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. We are also opposing the takeover of the food system by multinationals and unaccountable G8 leaders. Whatever decision is taken by the G8 will affect adversely African farmers and consequently everyone else in the global food system.”

You can see more of our very sunny photos from the event here  and read about the outcomes of the Hunger Summit in London here.

If you’re interested in finding out more on food sovereignty, WDM is having an event on 5 July in Edinburgh called Food security or food sovereignty: What direction for Europe? which will debate the principles of food sovereignty and food security, and examine some of the policies that the EU, UK and Scotland need in order to tackle the root causes of hunger. Deborah Doane, director of WDM and Pete Ritchie, director of Nourish Scotland will be on the panel. You can find out more here.

We had such a fun time creating a pop-up garden in the middle of Edinburgh where no-one would expect it! It made it a much more interesting and appealing protest, and really engaged the public. Watch this space for more unexpected, fun pop-up events around Edinburgh soon!

 

April Meeting


Posted by on 18 March 2013 at 9:37 pm | 1 Comment »

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Our next meeting will be on April 8th 7pm at the Quaker Meeting House in Edinburgh, with Helen Hood from Church Action on Poverty speaking at 8pm.

http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/

Edinburgh Transition and Climate Justice


Posted by on 26 February 2013 at 10:45 am | No Comments »

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The next meeting of the group will be on Monday 11th March from 7pm to 9pm.

There will be a talk from Johnanna Carrie and Pat Abel on “Edinburgh Transition Towns, Sustainability and Climate Justice.” All are welcome!

Watch the video below to find out more about Transition and please share the event with friends!

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Curry had, time to plan!


Posted by on 3 February 2013 at 8:06 pm | No Comments »

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Last month WDM Edinburgh and Lothian members celebrated our Christmas dinner. In January?! Yup, everyone is so busy in the lead up to Christmas that we have our January meeting in a restaurant, and following last year’s form this was the tasty Cafe India!

This is a quick blog before out first proper meeting of 2013 on 11th February, as normal at 7pm in Quaker Meeting House. No talks planned this week but following the food theme we are planning for our Farmers’ Market stall later in the month, looking at how we can support WDM campaigns in 2013 and having a discussion on the new IF campaign by a broad coalition of UK aid agencies.

Two men set up trays with food in Al Tijane School in El Fasher for iftar, the evening meal that breaks the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadan.

Inside the global climate summit


Posted by on 14 November 2012 at 10:57 pm | No Comments »

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Inside of conference centre

The inside story on international climate negotiations!  What happens at global meetings on climate and sustainability?  Do they produce results? What role do NGOs play?  What’s it like to be there?

Marcus Gustafsson (Y-Climate Action, YMCA-YWCA of Sweden, World Alliance of YMCAs) will be speaking at our December meeting (10th Dec). Marcus was an accredited delegate at the recent Rio+20 summit and Doha Climate Change Conference. He will be at WDM’s next meeting to discuss our questions on these global meetings.

Marcus’ bio is here: http://scenetwork.co.uk/research-assistants

(P.S. if this sounds familiar this event was planned for October but had to be cancelled at the last minute.)

Event details
Monday 10th December 2012
Quaker Meeting House, Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2JL – directions
Marcus’ talk and discussion 8-9pm
(come at 7pm to be part of the normal WDM campaign planning)
Free, everyone welcome, no need to book

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