Solidarity with Refugees – demonstration in London on 17th Sept
August 15th, 2016
Last September, the image of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi’s body on a Turkish beach horrified the world. 100,000 of us marched in London in response to tell our government that we want to welcome refugees in the UK, and to stop the drowning. Since then, thousands more terrified and desperate refugees, including hundreds of children, have lost their lives trying to reach safety in Europe.
This September, world leaders will meet to discuss the refugee crisis at two crucial summits. September 17th is biggest opportunity of 2016 to show our government and the world that Britain is ready to welcome more refugees. So save the day to help refugees by making your voice heard – starting at Park Lane at 12.30 and marching to Westminster.
See https://www.facebook.com/events/1563121147327378/ and http://swruk.org/refugees-welcome-here-2016/#logistics for more about plans for the day and the background to the march.
If you would like to be part of a humanist contingent, please contact Marilyn – or you may prefer to join one of the many other groups there or come with friends or you local humanist group as it can be difficult to find individuals or groups when there is a big crowd.
AGM report from The Climate Coalition
August 10th, 2016
The Climate Change AGM, 27/7/16
A summary from TCC below with lots of links; full notes from the AGM here
Summary of the day
The day began with an insightful Political Update from Ruth Davis, E3G including perspectives on the post Brexit climate and how to nurture reconciliation.
We reviewed TCC’s last year and looked at TCC Strategy and Plans for 2016/17. We announced that we’re adding an Advisory board to our structure at TCC, we’ll send out full details of what we’re looking for for this by the end of the month. Please see our full accounts here.
Jo Musker from Hope for the Future led us through a productive workshop on finding common ground with our MPs, and George Marshall from Climate Outreach gave a talk and workshop on Generating conversations about climate change and engaging small c conservatives. Georgia Potton from Restless Development gave a brilliant insight into the Speak Up week of action in October, we’ve now got over 100 events and there’s plenty of time to get involved, just let us know. Fiona Dear, TCC added that some groups are working together to get MP commitment for environmental legislation that is as strong as, or stronger that what we’ll lose post Brexit. We’ll keep you updated. Kim Matthews from RSPB offered a vibrant introduction to Show The Love 2017 and asked you for ideas, introductions and challenges as well as wanting to know what your big stunt or installation could be for next year – so do let us know. We had Oliver Hicks-Pattison, WI who told us about the amazing Show the Love community resources we’re working on. Thank you to those of you who let us know what you need at the AGM, if you haven’t let us know, please fill in this table by Friday 12th August (end of next week), as we’ll need to start producing them soon. We had an update on outreach avenues from TCC’s James Boyle. Please let James know if you have any outreach suggestions for our 5 key areas (sport, heritage, gardening, nature & science and food & farming). Thank you for the suggestions that we gathered at the AGM. I then gave an update on our 5 year schools strategy. Please let me know if you want to be involved in developing this.
Maiya – Islamic Relief – Update
Focusing on Improving climate resilience in diverse groups, bringing different/diaspora groups together and diversifying current groups. With COP 22 in marrakesh, they are putting together a concept note on civil society actions, Muslim Climate Action are also a part of this. Putting together how muslim communities can better communicate with other groups. Please contact if interested in being involved.
Emily Shirley – The Safe Alliance – Update and call out for groups
They are working on litigation RE the Fracking and gas storage Blackpool decision, watch this space. There’s a chance for groups to be involved. Check out the website http://www.safealliance.org.uk/ or Facebook for more info.
John – Faith in the climate network – Faith for the Climate Symposium
Weds 11th Sept for all concerned people, activists, NGOs and faith-based organisations. Join renowned speakers for an evening which covers: what next after Paris, working across faiths, divest/invest, building a political voice, eco church and sharing best practice. Sign up here.
Chris Church – Climate Action England – Conference
Nov 19th of people who are running and encouraging local activity check out their facebook group for updates.
Kimberly Matthews – RSPB – Update on report
RSPB produced an Energy Vision Report for 2050, click here to read a couple of months ago on how can we meet climate targets through situating renewables to exist in harmony with nature.
Sarah Deco – Climate Psychology Alliance – Conference and website update
The Psychology of Climate Action: New Perspectives on Leadership Nov 19th. Clarifying the key elements in climate leadership and discussing psychology which enables climate action. Speakers include Caroline Lucas MP. More info and booking here. Website update – check it out for resources about psychology on climate issues.
Tom Bragg – Cambridge carbon footprint – Update
Update and resources: Circularcambridge.org are developing & celebrating the circular economy in Cambridge. They have many resources like a challenge pack and are happy to share them.
Goodie Goodwin – PhD student at Imperial – Advice request
Question: how can we best get actions from academics? Please get in touch with Goodie if you have any advice insert email.
British association for sustainable sport (BASIS) – Conference
Annual BASIS Conference from 13-14th Sept in the Olympic Park, which will cover how to put messages to people around sustainability who wouldn’t conventionally be interested in the topic
Max 10:10 – Update
Onshore wind project coming up – check the website for further updates.
Harfiyah Haleem – IFEES – Update
Green mosques revival project – switching campaign is currently happening. See info on their projects here.
Helen Yuill – Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign – Update and speaker
Working on fairness, shared responsibility and fairtrade in one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of climate change effects, they produce info on what Nicaragua is doing in terms of fighting Climate Change – speaker coming in Nov. See their website.
Many thanks for a wonderful AGM!
All our best, Lorena and the TCC team
Join The Climate Coalition’s Week of Action, October 2016
July 4th, 2016
Join The Climate Coalition’s Week of Action from 8th to 16th October to celebrate the people, places and things we want to protect from climate change – and make sure MPs feel that love.
There will be nature walks, tea parties, classic lobbies, community energy visits and all sorts of other events to start those key conversations about climate change. All this will either involve MPs or be showcased to them, so that politicians see, feel and hear how much their constituents care about what we could lose to climate change.
People all over the UK are organising events in their local areas, and we’d love you to be involved. Join or organise (perhaps via your local humanist group) an event in your area at week of action.org.uk.
Teachers, governors, parents, students…
There is also a TCC resource for schools so please have a look and encourage your school to join in.
Hearts Turn Green to Show The Love in February 2016
April 25th, 2016
From The Climate Coalition:
A world powered by 100% clean energy within a generation is within our reach. The global climate negotiations in Paris in December 2015 underlined global appetite to tackle climate change: it is vital that this momentum is maintained, refocusing on the swift delivery of domestic policy needed to meet agreed global goals. Our challenge is to highlight the public concern about this issue.
In February 2016, hundreds of thousands of people the length and breadth of the UK rose to this challenge, showing their love for the people, places and life they want to protect from climate change. This was all part of The Climate Coalition’s #showthelove campaign calling for 100% clean energy within a generation. It was a climate campaign like no other; this time it was about love.
Premiership football clubs, designers, schoolchildren, celebrities, churches, ramblers and businesses crafted, shared and flaunted green hearts to kick start conversations about the things they love and don’t want to lose, helping the campaign to reach over 100 million people.
Best bits include:
- Over 5 million views of I wish for you... a specially-made short film from Ridley Scott’s team, scripted by Michael Morpurgo and starring Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake: tiny.cc/iwishforyou.
- 100 million reached through the campaign.
- Musicians, actors, comedians and top fashion designers such as Jessie J, Thandie Newton, Wayne Hemingway and Tamsin Greig donned green hearts in support.
- Over 100 community groups held Show The Love events, including a WI group knitting green hearts into blankets for flood victims, another craft bombing a village with upcycled hearts and heart making sessions in schools, churches and Oxfam shops across the UK.
- Managers of premier league football clubs Bournemouth and Stoke City donned green hearts during their league match, while Everton and Southampton promoted the campaign.
- The BT Tower turned green, Unilever held a tree-planting session and Aviva, IKEA and BT joined other companies on twitter to share how they’re already taking action to tackle climate change.
- Surfers floated a heart on the sea of St Ives, artists formed epic hearts in National Trust properties and the British Mountaineering Council mounted green flags on the peak of Ben Nevis.
- Astronaut Tim Peake tweeted his support from outer space!
The Show the Love campaign, organised by The Climate Coalition of over 100 organisations and spearheaded by charities such as WWF-UK, the RSPB, The WI, National Trust and Christian Aid, has been designed to inspire a generation to protect and care for our planet.
Visit www.showthelove.org.uk and join the conversation #showthelove.
Facts, facts, facts… on the EU debate
April 22nd, 2016
For humanists who would like a bit more light and a bit less heat on the EU referendum, two offers of fact-checking that might be of interest:
Full Fact’s fact-checking service at https://fullfact.org/
From 38 Degrees:
“The debate on the EU referendum right now is pretty depressing – from political point-scoring to mudslinging, it’s hard to tell the facts from the fiction. If we leave it up to the politicians, all we’ll hear about the EU referendum is spin – and we know how fast spin can travel. But there are millions of us. And between us we know millions more, from our close friends and family to neighbours and colleagues. If enough of us join a new team of 38 Degrees fact-sharers – all ready to pass on accurate, neutral facts about the EU debate – we can be a match for any newspaper or politician trying to tell us how to vote. Do you want to be part of the first ever fact-sharing team of 38 Degrees members, ready to pass on the facts about the EU referendum with everyone you know? Just click the button below if you’d like to get involved: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/join-fact-team“
H4BW update, April 2016
April 11th, 2016
H4BW now has 575 contacts who get these occasional updates via the BHA website and 150+ members of our Facebook page – do join in the discussions and news-sharing at https://www.facebook.com/groups/humanists4abetterworld/ – while those of you on Twitter can join our 180 followers at https://twitter.com/humanists4bw.
The H4BW banner was seen at the Climate Chaos march at the end of 2015, and a few of us made it to the Anti-Trident demo last month, though walking with other groups.
There are not many calls to action at the moment, you may be pleased to hear, but here are a couple, followed by some updates and info from campaigns supported by the BHA and H4BW.
From Oxfam, a very topical request on tax havens: “This May, David Cameron is hosting a global Anti Corruption Summit in London. It’s the perfect moment to get tough on tax dodging – and your MP can help. Contact your MP via https://act.oxfam.org/great-britain/tell-your-mp-to-end-the-era-of-tax-havens?sid=2016-03-17_fb_bounceback-share&utm_source=oxf.am&utm_medium=ZhV6&utm_content=redirect
And there’s a petition to “Tell David Cameron and EU leaders: We must support refugees seeking safety and a better life” that you can sign at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/takeaction/520/201/796/?taf_id=23563561&cid=fb_na#
For teachers from The Climate Coalition, there’s a free TCC resource pack and letter-writing competition (deadline 29 April) for KS2 pupils at http://fortheloveof.org.uk/wishes-for-our-world-free-teaching-resource/
And while thinking about climate change, on the left is an interesting info-graphic, aimed at countering some of the misinformation circulated by climate change deniers
Slavery was abolished in the UK in 1834 after a long and complicated struggle, with plenty of opposition from slave-owners, slave-traders and the House of Lords – there’s a fascinating time-line at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolition_of_slavery_timeline. But though globally condemned today, it still exists in various modern forms – see http://www.antislavery.org/english/slavery_today/default.aspx
The latest from the Jubilee Debt Campaign can be read at http://jubileedebt.org.uk/news.
And there’s news from the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust at http://www.ugandahumanistschoolstrust.org/latest-news/
Global Justice Now – you may also be interested in GJN’s various campaigns on trade, aid. refugees and migrants, agro-ecology… It’s worth finding out more at http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/
Actions on climate, energy and human rights, Feb – March 2016
January 22nd, 2016
Something for almost everyone in coming months:
- From Fossil Free UK – on divestment: “after the Paris climate deal, getting the solutions we need means building on our momentum and bringing the pressure home. It means building our power, demanding just climate solutions and breaking the ties between our public institutions and the fossil fuel companies hell-bent on continuing with business as usual. On 12-13th February people all around the country will be showing their love for the climate, and taking action in their communities to divest from fossil fuels”. Find out more and join in at http://gofossilfree.org/uk/show-the-love/
- Coming soon from The Climate Coalition … Show the Love this Valentine’s Day: 100% clean energy within a generation is 100% possible. Will you join in this Valentine’s Day and show the love? Find out what you can do at http://fortheloveof.org.uk/show-the-love-green-hearts/
- From The Climate Coalition – for schools (teachers, parents, governors…): Michael Morpurgo’s Wishes for our World: a free English teaching resource for ages 9-11 (KS2): Wishes For Our World. The resource includes a beautiful set of activities to help children understand the issue of climate change in a new way, building on a touching letter by Michael Morpurgo, and an accompanying film with Jeremy Irons. It also includes an exciting letter writing competition. The winning child will receive a trip to see Michael Morpurgo’s latest play, an excerpt of their letter will be published in First News and they will receive a set of books signed by Michael Morpurgo. The resource will be launched alongside the film on 5th Feb, you’ll be able to download it here http://fortheloveof.org.uk/schools/
- The Climate Coalition to make switching to a renewable energy supplier easier: TCC will be working in February and March with with The Big Switch, making it as easy as possible for supporters to finally make that switch to a renewables energy provider.
- From Amnesty UK: Ashraf Fayadh, a Palestinian poet and artist who lives in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to death for ‘apostasy’. The Saudi Arabian authorities claim that his poetry has questioned religion and spread atheism. Ashraf has committed no crime. He is a prisoner of conscience. Ask the Saudi Arabian authorities to free him now at https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-ashraf-fayadh-saudi-arabia-palestinian-poetry-apostasy-execution
Agro-ecology – find out more, and ask your MP to find out more
December 12th, 2015
Agro-ecology – the next issue to take up with your MP? Those of you interested in fairness, fair trade, and feeding the world without degrading the environment might find it interesting – you can find out more at http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/agroecology.
According to Zac Goldsmith MP and contacts at Global Justice Now, it’s worth asking your MP to find out why the EU annual review on the subject is delayed and to enquire why the UK isn’t initiating its own review. Apparently, most MPs don’t know much about it but if you ask them some pertinent questions they may feel obliged to learn more – and perhaps even to take up the cause of poor farmers in developing countries, who risk getting into debt and/or losing their land and main source of food and income and becoming employees of big landowners. Small-scale farmers who currently manage to feed themselves in a reasonably sustainable way could become the recipients of aid or the refugees of the future…
Is your council wasting public money on its loans?
November 22nd, 2015
At the Jubilee Debt Campaign conference last weekend there was the usual range of interesting talks on international debt, government debt v personal debt etc.
But equally interesting and closer to home than many JDC campaigns, was a workshop on Local Authority debt. Councils, it seems, borrowed money at ridiculously high rates of interest (6%+ in some cases, out of a mixture of incompetence, lack of proper scrutiny – most councillors probably don’t fully understand what is going on – and, possibly, corruption) – and so now councils are spending ridiculous amounts servicing those loans, while closing down libraries, care homes, delaying infrastructure projects etc. Anyone can see their Council’s audited end of year accounts and ask questions about them. See http://lada.debtresistance.uk/ for help if you are interested.
Lots of other things you could do on the Jubilee Debt Campaign website.
Join H4BW on The People’s Climate March, Sunday November 29
November 13th, 2015
In about a month’s time, world leaders will be gathering in Paris for a crucial climate summit. It’s a chance for them to reach a strong agreement on climate – one that could help protect all we love, and preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations. Events in support of an ambitious global deal will be taking place worldwide, and here in the UK Humanists for a Better World have already signed up to join the People’s Climate March in London on November 29th.
The route has been announced and marchers will start gathering on 29th at 12:00 on Park Lane, next to Hyde Park Corner, ready to move off at 13:00.
Marchers will be forming up from the south end of Park Lane (nearest tube stations are Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch). Blocs will form up under the separate banners of Climate, where H4BW will gather with the Transition bloc, Justice and Jobs, and then alphabetically within that.
The march will proceed through central London and finish with a star-studded rally on Millbank, outside West…minster, due to finish at 15:45. H4BW will be there with our banner and we hope you will join us. If you hear no more about where to meet, please head for the Transition bloc meeting place where if nothing more obvious comes to mind, H4BW can get together. It will be very crowded so look out for our banner (see left) – and if you miss us there will be plenty of friendly faces there anyway! Or persuade your local humanist group to come along, organise your own group, or join another one…
You can find out more (for example about buses coming to London from various parts of the UK), and register to be kept updated by The Climate Coalition at http://fortheloveof.org.uk/peoples-climate-march/
The Climate Coalition campaign PS
August 13th, 2015
The Climate Coalition “Speak Up” campaign
On August 17th it will be two months since 9000 of us gathered in glorious sunshine in Westminster to lobby our politicians to take important action on climate change. Did any H4BW manage to get to The Climate Change Speak Up mass lobby in June? Or write to your MP post-election about climate change? Please let Marilyn know so that she can update TCC.
News round-up, August 2015
August 8th, 2015
There are so many causes and campaigns, so this is just a selection of updates on issues that might interest humanists:
Climate and environment
Good news: Obama Sends ‘Memo To America’ On The Biggest Thing A President’s Ever Done On Climate Change
Bad news: National Geographic redraws its map to show melting Arctic
Population news from Population Matters “working to promote: • population concern • family planning • nature conservation • mindful consumption
And action news: Avaaz and The Climate Coalition plan the People’s Climate March on November 29th in time for the intergovernmental talks on climate in Paris – H4BW will be there so please save the date.
Amnesty International UK petition “Sudan, don’t flog women for ‘indecent dress'” (i e, wearing trousers!)
Some alternatives to the vilification and scaremongering in our media:
The Worldwide Tribe “Documenting the story of the people in the ‘Jungle,’ – a refugee camp in Calais, France. We are all the same. The world is our home.” (Sounds very humanist to us!)
Refugee Council The Council’s Head of Advocacy Dr. Lisa Doyle: “It’s sad and shameful to hear of another avoidable tragedy unfolding on Europe’s doorstep. Appallingly, Europe has responded to the greatest global refugee crisis since the Second World War by building its walls ever higher: leaving refugees with no choice other than to place their lives into the hands of people smugglers and take ever greater risks in their search for safety. Unless Britain and European governments act to offer refugees credible, alternative routes to safety, people will continue to take desperate, fatal risks as they try to access the protection they’re entitled to. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to respond to this humanitarian crisis compassionately, by offering thousands of additional resettlement places and by making it easier for refugees to reunite with their family members who are already living in safety in Britain.”
Ask your MP to contact the Prime Minister.