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Campaign updates

This page contains updates on the campaigns and events that H4BW has participated in, the most recent at the top. News of current campaigns and actions here.


20151129_143703Round-up of activities in 2015

The People’s Climate March, November 2015 – we were there (see left), as well as at one earlier in the year,  in March.

You can always read the latest news from three campaigns supported by Humanists UK and H4BW at:

New in 2015
By the end of the year we had 125 members of our Facebook page, set up in the summer, 177 followers on Twitter @humanists4bw + 498 members signed up for email updates (roughly once a month depending on what’s happening). Requests in 2015 included to write letters to MPs and sign petitions – on TTIP, climate change, slavery, debt, refugees, and agro-ecology… as well as to attend a climate lobby of Parliament in June.

Also in 2015
In June H4BW co-ordinator Richard Norman wrote a brief response for The Independent to a Tear Fund survey. Coordinator Marilyn Mason attended 2 Climate Coalition meetings, including their AGM, and both co-ordinators attended a meeting with Humanists UK staff in September.  Marilyn also attended a Jubilee Debt Campaign day conference in November, and spoke on H4BW to Dorset Humanists in July, at a “Climate Conversation” conference organised by the URC in September, and to Chiltern Humanists in December.


Climate Coalition update, July 2014: At the launch the For the Love Of campaign in Parliament dozens of MPs and peers from all parties turned up to show their support for the campaign and hear from a range of speakers including the WI and two schoolchildren about why it’s vital that we act on climate change. Take a look at some of the photos and tweets from the event at

The Jubilee Debt Campaign thanks Humanists UK for its continuing support which enable it to carry on with its work of exposing and campaigning against unjust debt. There will be a big new campaign soon to stop the UK government giving aid as loans. (May 2014)

The Climate Coalition: What will you miss if/when the climate changes? See and join in the on-going “For the love of…” campaign here.

Action Aid challenge Barclays, April 2014: “Together we did something brilliant last week at the Barclays AGM. Over 50,000 of us have taken action over the last few months, demanding the bank change its ways, and yesterday we really made them feel the heat. The giant billboard we drove right up to their London meeting looked amazing and got the message loud and clear to Barclays’ CEO and top execs that they can’t keep peddling tax dodging in developing countries. ActionAid campaigner Will Davis also went into the AGM to ask a direct question to Antony Jenkins, the bank’s CEO. Together we pushed Antony Jenkins to make a personal and public commitment to find a way forwards with us and agree what the company will do in response to our campaign. This is great progress, and we’ll work to make sure he keeps his word!

Climate inaction …”catastrophe” (BBC news headline on the day the IPCC releases its report on global warming, 31/3/14). “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change” says Rajendra Pachauri Chairman, IPCC. See the BBC summary of, and comments on, the report here.

Stop Climate Chaos changes its name to The Climate Coalition, and launches a new message “For the love of…. let’s do something about climate change” – how would humanists complete the sentence? (March 2014).

MCS Beachwatch 2013 results came out in March, and plastic pieces were once again a real issue – these are tiny bits of plastic that have broken off larger items or have been in the sea for possibly decades, becoming smaller and smaller and more dangerous to marine wildlife.

Jubilee Debt Campaign held a day conference on Life before Debt on 29 March and H4BW was there. There was some interesting discussions on the ethics of debt – when is it OK not to repay? – and though the ancient concept of ‘jubilee’ and the  JDC have religious foundations, the speakers and discussions were largely secular. The videos from the opening
and closing plenaries of the conference are now on the JDC YouTube channel at See for other recent news and campaigns.



Thank you from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, December 2013, for support, and a note about JDC’s key campaigns in 2014: debt cancellation for the Philippines, support for Grenada’s stand on debt justice, and stopping the Vulture Funds threat. We’ll keep you posted about these as and when actions are requested.

Check out humanist micro-lending via Kiva – interesting and heartening reading, but why so many more women than men lending?

IMG-20130907-00410Aurora came and we wereaurora parade there – on Sunday 15th September at the Greenpeace parade from Westminster to Shell headquarters to protest about drilling in the Arctic. On the left is Aurora, the huge polar bear that led the parade and on the right a collage including the H4BW banner. See more about the campaign at and

Stop Climate Chaos AGM, July 25, 2013 H4BW participated in and/or disseminated some of the year’s events and actions reported at the AGM, and all SCC members including Humanists UK were thanked for their support. You can sign up to receive occasional SCC e-newletters, including an account of the AGM, at

Looking ahead, the SCC coalition, which is already large and impressively diverse (see is keen to involve even more people and organisations in the next couple of years of campaigning, with the broad aim of getting climate change and sustainable energy back into the public consciousness and onto the political agenda – and to present the green options as positive alternatives to “business as usual”. There are some crucial decisions about energy coming up in the next couple of years (investment in fracking and nuclear versus genuinely sustainable energy sources), transport (rail versus airport expansion), and then the general election in 2015. There has been some comment lately that people are no longer interested in climate and energy issues and the current “greenest government ever” is proving something of a disappointment, so there’s much to do. The draft SCC strategy got some premature coverage in the Guardian – see, unauthorised as still subject to SCC members’ approval but likely to remain much as reported there. We hope that H4BW will participate actively and be able to involve more of our fellow-humanists in these crucial issues.

The main speaker at the SCC AGM, John Ashton made a very interesting call to action in his New Economics Foundation Alternative Mansion House Speech earlier this month “Our Choice Unchained: Climate Change, Growth and the Baleful Power of a Modern Cult”. Some newish organisations and campaigns represented at the meeting might also be of interest: Action for Rail (; Fracking UNSAFE ( 

The IF campaign concludes, July 2013… and thanks all its supporters at

Generous humanists Kiva Humanist Team reports: “We are only 213 loans away from 5000 loans! And today we topped $130,000 in lending.” (July 2013)

World Development Movement 2013 review here. Find out more about WDM campaigns and what was achieved in 2012 “a great year for our campaigns on food speculation, climate justice and aid”. (June 2012)

Jubilee Debt Campaign publishes its annual report here. And find out more about JDC’s current campaigns, on debt, food and hunger here.

Read the latest news and campaigns from Anti-Slavery here, on “Cotton Crimes”, child slavery, people-trafficking – can you be sure your shopping is slavery free (see here). And did you know that slave-owners, though not slaves, were compensated when slavery was abolished? See recent issues of Reporter here.


We were at the big IF rally (pictured above) in Hyde Park on June 8th 2013, along with 1000s of others. See and for more about the day.

See for what’s going on in this ever-growing coalition of charities and campaigns against climate change. You can also sign up for a newsletter or follow SCC on Facebook and Twitter.

Commemorating the peace-keepers:  in May 2013, a commemoration service for people who lost their lives in United Nations peacekeeping operations took place at the women’s memorial in Whitehall,  and included a humanist voice, a band from the Blues and Royals, and wreath-laying from the diplomatic missions of many of the countries whose nationals have served in UN Peace-keeping operations.

Jubilee for Justice Humanists UK and Richard Norman for H4BW recently signed a letter from “faith leaders” to the Prime Minister organised by the Jubilee Debt Campaign calling for a Jubilee for Justice, and Richard attended the reception in the Houses of Parliament to launch the letter and mark 15 years since the inaugural meeting of the Jubilee 2000 campaign. Humanists UK Vice-Chair Patricia Rogers also spoke at the reception. You can sign the Jubilee for Justice petition

SCC has a new website! The Stop Climate Chaos coalition website now has lots of new features: resources, events pages, member stories and descriptions, updates on campaigning in the UK.  SCC would welcome help – if you’ve got a climate change event, resource or story that’s not on the website, please send it over.

Humanists UK is one of over 100 organisations supporting the new Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign ” In 2013, the government has promised to provide 0.7% of national income for aid and to host a Hunger Summit. We must make sure they keep these promises. In June, the world’s most powerful leaders will meet in the UK at the G8. This is our best opportunity to tackle hunger. We must make IF happen,” say IF.

Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming, The Independent has learnt. 25/1/13. H4BW comments: “Environmentalists have known or suspected for a while where the money behind well resourced but unscientific climate change denial is coming from – but it’s good to see a national newspaper taking it up and giving it wider publicity.” January 2013


Top 10 green energy bright spots of 2012: From wind turbines to the US great green fleet, here are The Guardian’s top green energy stories of 2012.

Fracking not viable, say industry experts, December 2012 and what it’s like to have fracking in your neighbourhood (even Texans don’t like it!

“The spectre of resource insecurity has come back with a vengeance,” says Chatham House report. “The world is undergoing a period of intensified resource stress, driven in part by the scale and speed of demand growth from emerging economies and a decade of tight commodity markets. Poorly designed and short-sighted policies are also making things worse, not better. Whether or not resources are actually running out, the outlook is one of supply disruptions, volatile prices, accelerated environmental degradation and rising political tensions over resource access…”

H4BW “getting fractious” – below in Grosvenor Square, December 1, 2012, along with many others demonstrating for green energy and against fracking, here and in Canada.


Nov-Dec 2012, Stop Climate Chaos coalition action during Doha climate talks – a new web page set up to highlight this work is   Follow the embedded links in the selection of actions below to get involved: UNICEF-UK: Speak up for children! UNICEF are campaigning for the UK government to commit its fair share of new money to an international Green Climate Fund by supporting a levy on currently untaxed shipping fuels. Join their call by adding a leaf to their campaigning tree! UKYCC hotspot: The UK Youth Climate coalition will have representatives at the talks and will be feeding back what’s happening. You can sign up for updates and join in their #DohaDares Twitter actions at their communications hotspot. Healthy Planet UK linking climate change and health: The student health group, Medsin will also have a representative at the climate talks, they’ll be responding to developments and want you to get involved. Find out how the UK climate talks relate to health issues, and get involved 1st December: Get Fracktious! Campaign against Climate Change, Operation Noah and Christian Ecology Link are teaming up to hold a day of climate campaigning in the middle weekend of the climate talks: Starting with a climate church service, laying a “Grosvenor Keystone Pipeline”, then marching over to Westminster to build a Fracking Rig, it’ll be a busy day. Find out more and get involved.

Climate change: It’s even worse than we thought” “Five years ago, the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change painted a gloomy picture of our planet’s future. As climate scientists gather evidence for the next report, due in 2014, Michael Le Page gives seven reasons why things are looking even grimmer” in New Scientist, November 2012

Stop Climate Chaos unveils new website, November 2012

RSPB and others say burning wood isn’t all that good! November 2012

H4BW at “Green is Working” demo outside the Treasury on October 18, 2012. Photo below shows Richard Norman at the  demo organised by Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and Friends of the Earth (see for more info and photos).

Stop Climate Chaos AGM, Friday 20th July 2012 Summary of Annual Report at

As well as reports and updates, there was a very interesting discussion on the way forward, led by Colin Butfield of WWF and Tony Juniper, sustainability and environment adviser for international companies, chair of the 10:10 climate change campaign, editor of Green magazine, author. With a Government apparently back-pedalling on its green commitments,Rioproducing little new, and the general public more worried about jobs and income than what seem like a distant threats, it seems to be time for a new approach. The common wisdom is that doom and gloom about climate change only work on the “usual suspects”, and Tony Juniper’s suggestion was that campaigners adopt a more pragmatic approach, talking to businesses, corporations, the Conservatives, about the things that interest them and stressing the positive and the mainstream: the potential economic benefits of green jobs and green infrastructure, the importance of energy security, the health and wellbeing aspects of environmentalism… The discussion focused on whether this could be done without ditching core principles and ethics.

There was also a discussion later on how far the SCC should commit itself to the Enough Campaign, a joint campaign on food being led by the development charities. The final decision seems likely be to get involved only when there is a direct connection with climate change.

Population in the news As the population of the planet approaches 9 billion, overpopulation is becoming something we can talk about again – see the next 3 news items:

“Stephen Emmott: overpopulation is at the root of all the planet’s troubles Science has not shouted out about unchecked human expansion. Now, one professor will proclaim its dangers on stage…” (Observer, 15/7/12)

“This awful summer? We’ve only ourselves to blame…” says David Attenborough, in The Independent (14/7/12). He “views the future with pessimism. ‘I’m not optimistic,” he says. “The climate, the economic situation, rising birth rates; none of these things give me a lot of hope or reason to be optimistic.’ The one ray of hope and possible solution Sir David does offer is a global slowdown in birth rate.  At 86, he has become an unlikely poster boy for the population control movement…”

Melinda Gates takes on the religious right One of the world’s richest women makes it her life’s mission to provide contraception to women across the developing world.

Coming soon – an international Arms Trade Treaty? On 27th July negotiations begin in New York on an international treaty. There is still time to lobby your MP for support for a robust treaty that keeps weapons out of the wrong hands – see

“The Rio Summit: a failure of leadership,” say Stop Climate Chaos, June 2012 “Our expectations for the outcome of the Summit were never high, but we hoped to see some real commitment to building a green economy. What we got was a text with recycled commitments and an evasion of any binding agreements. In the end, there were more positive developments outside the negotiations, and we were pleased to see Nick Clegg announce on the eve of the summit that the UK will introduce Mandatory Carbon Reporting, which force the UK’s biggest businesses (1600 companies) to reveal their CO2 figures. The Rio Connection: Bringing it back to the UK And of course it was on action here in the UK that we focused our attention during the Rio Connection. Appreciating that the Rio Summit was unlikely to deliver, we encouraged supporters to put pressure on local politicians asking them to sign our Rio-UK Declaration and stand by the UK’s commitments on climate change. We’ve put together a Rio Connection thank you video about what we got up to in the lead up to the Rio Summit – check it out and see what you helped us achieve! So what happened? – Local events were organised by groups and networks across the UK in the lead up to the summit. Groups got into the Brazilian spirit and we saw lots of samba bands as well as more traditional meetings with politicians. These events were key to getting MPs – particularly those in government – to sign up to our Rio-UK Declaration, including Climate Minister Ed Davey at a public meeting in his constituency, Kingston. – The Rio-UK Declaration was signed by 91 MPs and Welsh Assembly members. Almost 5,000 people e-mailed their MPs asking them to sign up, and many followed up on vague responses ensuring MPs heard real constituent concerns. – Our ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ animation was seen by more that 11,000 people, reminding them that campaigning has achieved a lot – and is worth it. – We finished the Rio Connection with a Q&A on the Guardian. This replaced an online debate that we had originally planned to hold with Caroline Spelman and provided an interesting way for supporters to hear about what was happening in Rio. You can see photos from all the events and find out which MPs signed up to our Declaration at Of course we couldn’t have done all this without your support, so a huge thank you for getting on board!”

Campaign against Climate Change: Zero Carbon Britain Day 2012, Join other people all around the country in finding fun, imaginative ways to promote the goal of a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030. Find more information about the event here.

Sustrans: Free training available for Stop Climate Chaos members Sustrans is offering free training and support to volunteers who would like to champion cycling or walking in their local community, workplace, school or university. Active travel champions promote local cycling or walking options or decide to campaign for change locally and push for better provisions to make active travel options easier. Sustrans provides the training, resources and support free of charge, and can come to you to run the training. In return they ask you to keep them updated with your active travel activities and to try and do something every month or two. Now is a fantastic time to try and change the default transport choice as there’s lots of energy and enthusiasm for cycling because of the Games 2012. For more information here, or contact Kate Meakin on 0207 780 7201 or 

What have we achieved in the past 20 years? Find out in a new animation from @scccoalition

Royal Society People and the Planet report, 26 April 2012 “Rapid and widespread changes in the world’s human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption present profound challenges to human health and wellbeing, and the natural environment. This report gives an overview of how global population and consumption are linked, and the implications for a finite planet…” Read more at The report working group was chaired by  Sir John Sulston FRS, Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics & Innovation, University of Manchester, and Patron of Humanism.

2011 END OF YEAR ROUND-UP At the end of 2011 many of the causes we cover sent us their end-of-year reports and news of their latest campaigns.  Here follows a selection:

The Jubilee Debt Campaign is featuring Zimbabwe’s debts, and some upcoming events that may be of interest (further info will appear at Tues 31 Jan, 6.30pm, London, a film night at the Rich Mix arts centre, 34-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA; Sat 17 March, 10.00am – 6.30pm, Manchester, “An Economy for the 99%” – a joint event with the World Development Movement, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Building, M15 6BH.

Updates from the Stop Climate Change coalition can be read at

In denial If you’ve ever wondered who’s behind the loud minority who deny climate change, have a look at and Its worrying how many Republican candidates in the USA seem unaware that their own NASA is a key source of data on global warming and continue to deny it (Sarah Palin, “global warming studies… a bunch of snake oil science”; Dick Armey, “God wouldn’t allow Global Warming”; Michele Bachman, “It’s all voodoo nonsense, hokum, a hoax”; Ron Paul, “this whole global warming terrorism”…)

New friends in the North H4BW was delighted to be contacted by fellow-humanists from the Humanist Society of Scotland who want to set up an environmental campaigning group, and we hope to work further with them in 2012

British Humanist Association news Many humanists support H4BW because we favour positive action over just being negative about religion, and it’s good to see Humanists UK catching up with us. Humanists UK is now, alongside many other worthwhile organisations,  a “network member” of Crisis Action, an international NGO which “aims to help avert conflicts, prevent human rights abuses and ensure governments fulfil their obligations to protect civilians” – see

And in the latest Humanists UK news, Chair Robert Ashby suggests that humanists need to “examine questions of ethics, not just of individuals, but of the financial system” and tells us that the Board of Trustees is considering “how Humanists UK might take a lead in the key public ethical debates for the non-religious community.” As of course we should!

A happy campaigning 2012 to all!


Standing up for climate justice H4BW was there at the Climate Change rally on December 3rd , as were a few unaffiliated atheists and humanists who were pleased to see our banner, but it was a disappointingly small crowd – too insignificant and too peaceful to make much news or to change the minds of those in power. Though climate change is probably the most important global issue confronting us and the future does not look good (see New Scientist, 2/12/11,, it seems that people have become tired of thinking about global warming, depressed about the lack of progress and binding inter-governmental agreements, and preoccupied with economic woes, with our Government and others still placing all their hopes in economic growth, and not particularly green growth. If you couldn’t be at the demo, maybe you could write to your MP or a newspaper to show that climate change still matters to some voters.

Get ready for Climate Week 2012 – Climate Week 2012 will be 12-18 March, and humanists might like to join the hundreds of businesses, organisations from the voluntary and statutory sectors, religions, trade and professional associations that have signed up to do something that week: anything from keeping up the pressure on MPs so that they do not think that voters are unconcerned about climate issues, to turning the heating down or taking a quick shower instead of a bath. Humanist groups planning next year’s schedule could consider a meeting or event on the theme – lots of ideas for individuals and groups at

Resolution Revolution 2012 – join the revolution Do something for others this New Year – Resolution Revolution can help you to make and keep your good resolutions. See

It’s not all bad news – watch an inspiring video at for confirmation that just a little simple science and human ingenuity can achieve amazing things.


H4BW meets with Anti-Slavery International After meeting Iqtadar Hasnain and Gemma Wolfes of Anti-Slavery International in October, it seemed clear to Richard Norman and Marilyn Mason that humanist values such as universal human rights, working with others for the common good, and treating others as we would want to be treated, were well aligned with the concerns of  Anti-Slavery International. It is hard to imagine that any humanist would endorse slavery, and H4BW is happy to give whatever support it can to anti-slavery campaigns. We hope that our friends in Humanists UK and IHEU will also support.

Scientists confirm global warming “A climate sceptic has said that it is now time to end the debate over whether global warming is real after the most definitive study into temperature data gathered by weather stations over the past half-century.” The Independent, 22/10/11 – read the full story at and New Scientist, 22/10/11, on “Climate change, what we know… and what we don’t”: “…we can be certain about some things. For a start, the planet is warming, and human activity is largely responsible. But how much is Earth on course to warm by? What will the global and local effects be? How will it affect our lives?…” Read on at

Global Debt Week starts with two speaker tours Lidy Nacpil from the Philippines is coming to the UK for a Debt Justice Now tour. Lidy is the Asia-Pacific co-ordinator of Jubilee South, a network of anti-debt coalitions in more than 60 countries. She is a Filipino who campaigned against the Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s and is now vice-president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition in the Philippines. Don’t miss this chance to hear Lidy reflect on the European debt crisis and what debt justice means in 2011. Tour dates include:

In addition, the World Development Movement has a speaker tour already under way. In the run up to the climate talks in Durban, South Africa, this December, people across Africa and the world are demanding climate justice. Come and hear speakers from social movements on the front line in Durban. Further events taking place in Derby, Brighton, Bristol and Eastleigh in the coming days. Click here for full details >>

For a list of events happening in Debt Week 2011 and beyond, see our Events page.

H4BW supports Anti-Slavery International

Campaigns coming up include:

‘Slavery-Free London’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of human trafficking and forced labour and the potential increase 2012 Olympic Games may cause. Please urge members to join the campaign by signing the pledge at More letter-writing actions are to follow so by signing up supporters can stay involved.

 ‘Cotton Crimes’ campaign to end child slavery in cotton production. Hundreds of thousands of children are forced to pick cotton in Uzbekistan for the state-owned cotton industry. If they refuse they can suffer beatings and expulsion from school, and after months in the fields they are left exhausted and suffering from ill-health and malnutrition. Much of the cotton picked ends up in the European market so we are urging the EU to take greater steps to curtail the exploitation of children. Please ask supporters to sign the cotton crimes petition at which we will deliver to the EU later this year. We are also launching a new short film to highlight the issue:

 Anti-Slavery Day, 18th October. The day was established in 2010 to raise awareness about the many people in the UK and around the world trapped in modern slavery, and to promote the need for many individuals and organisations across society to play a part in ending it. You can get involved either by attending one of the many events taking place around the country, organising an event, or by writing to your local paper or MP. More information is at

Autumn Film Season against human trafficking in partnership with Anti-Slavery International

Oxfam focuses on land grabs Oxfam is moving on to the next stage of GROW – its campaign to help make sure everyone always has enough to eat. The focus is on the huge injustice of land grabs. Small-scale farmers are being forced to leave their land and are going hungry because of secretive land deals in poor countries. Share the video to spread the word about land grabs, and find out what else you can do to help.

Join the African Climate Connection! During the annual climate talks in Durban, South Africa this November and December, grassroots groups will connect with each other and with international climate politics at African-themed events around the UK. Why not join in, build connections in your area and show your MP the strength of local concern about climate change? Find out what’s happening near you and sign up at

Non-Prophet Week coming to a university near you AHS – The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Student Societies has just launched this year’s Non-Prophet Week, their annual charity drive, which will run 7th-13th November. There will be a variety of events at universities with AHS societies, raising money for charities with a humanitarian and secular ethos; the main beneficiary will be Children in Need, though the choice of charity is up to those raising the money – and students will welcome sponsorship or donations from the rest of us. See


H4BW has signed 4 letters from the Stop Climate Chaos coalition Two letters on the Warm Homes Amendment signed by most of the SCC supporter groups were sent to the Secretary of State for Climate Change at the Committee Stage of the Energy Bill, and to MPs expressing outstanding concerns from earlier stages in the Bill.  A  short letter outlining the four proposed solutions to remaining concerns will be sent shortly to the Prime Minister,  copied to Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander,  and via email to their advisers.  And another will be sent directly to the PM’s advisers to inform them of the changes agreed by the SCC to be necessary to the Green Deal policy. September 2011

H4BW at Secular Europe March on Sept 17, 2011 We were there with our banner – see  pictures below.

Above: C0-founder and patron of H4BW Richard Norman with banner and fellow-marchers at Temple Place. Below: H4BW with other marchers gathering at Temple Place.

For more pictures see tp://  and for more news and comment on the march see

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