Sharing some more links – film event; Palestine COVID appeal; our future work

Sharing some more links – film event; Palestine COVID appeal; our future work

Dear friends and supporters,

A brief mini-update below on some of the issues we continue to work on with a few links we hope may be of interest.

WE ARE MANY FILM April 8th 

 

We’re excited to share news about Stop the War’s Mass Viewing of We Are Many and Q&A with director Amir Amirani on Wednesday 8 April.Stop the War are giving 5 days to try and watch this acclaimed film about the global anti-Iraq war movement, after which they will host a Q&A with Amir and two special guests, via Zoom.

You can watch the film here:
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/we-are-many/id1118498978
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Are-Many-Damon-Albarn/dp/B01IFW0WX4

Other outlets are also available and if you’ve seen it before or would just like to tune in anyway you can join in on Zoom from 7pm on April 8th. Register here
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Zv-2463wSxCd77PZ1juvzw
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In times of Coronavirus: UBI is an idea whose time has finally come

In times of Coronavirus: UBI is an idea whose time has finally come

The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. … We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.

Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1968)

We hope this email finds you, and all those you care for, safe and well.

Many of us also have family, friends and colleagues in many different parts of the world and, coupled with the ever rising number of cases here in the UK/Europe/USA, the news about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the global south, for many of us, will be even more worrying.

It is becoming more apparent with every passing day that the Coronavirus pandemic is holding a mirror up to every single aspect of human life and activity and that this scrutiny leaves much of humanity’s 21st century day to day behaviour sorely wanting. The ultimate damning evidence of this is the millions upon millions of our fellow sisters and brothers in the global south who don’t even have access to the basic protective shield of soap and water as this pandemic rages across the globe.

It’s not as if we didn’t know the system was long broken. We did. The evidence has been piling up for years and years. However, global inequality and the unstoppable ascendency of the tax evading greedy 1%; the harm of agribusiness and factory farming at one end and illegal poaching at the other; big pharma’s monopolies and the erosion of the primacy of publicly funded healthcare and research; and finally, ultimately, climate catastrophe; none of this was enough to force the hands of the political class, financial and corporate sectors to change course and ‘do the right thing’.
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We did it before, we can do it again, and this time, better

We did it before, we can do it again, and this time, better

   

“We did it before, we can do it again, and this time, better” – Ken Loach

This week, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in all its glorious economic orthodoxy, has proclaimed that Labour’s 2019 manifesto can’t be afforded. Meantime, former Bank of England and other economists have rejected this analysis.

We have been here before. This exact same value-judgement was made about Labour’s 1945 Manifesto pledges. And had Churchill won in 1945, there would have been no NHS as he said there was not the money for it.

Whether 1945 or 2019, the challenge is the same: ‘affordable’ will not save us, it will not enable the transformation we need. For Attlee and Keynes, Corbyn and McDonnell, there is one core economic and value-based truth: public investment in people and society is not ‘debt’ – it’s the exact opposite.

1945 is being referenced throughout this election. We need all voters to realise how much they still benefit from the 1945 administration and we need to channel that collective courage now.
The video below is a summary of the huge achievements of the 1945Labour government – Labour at its very best: ‘paying it forward’ like no other party can do.

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Autumn – Winter Newsletter : Politics, Campaigns, Films…

Autumn – Winter Newsletter : Politics, Campaigns, Films…

Dear friends, supporters and colleagues,

It seems too much to hope that a General Election might actually bring a positive and progressive resolution to past three wasted years on Brexit – but hope we must.

Over the past couple of years we have periodically mounted events with a focus on the contemporary relevance of Clement Attlee and for one reason: Attlee is an object lesson in applying political will for the greater good, no matter how great your detractors – and he had many, both internally in the Labour Party and externally, notably the hostile right wing press.

Attlee was a shy (stammering in fact) man, slight in stature, considered by many too weak to lead devastated post-war Britain. So much for the criticisms – he proved a transformational leader, on his own terms.

He set the ‘terms of reference’ for progressive domestic policy for the next 70 years. How do we ensure that the next 70 years are just as ambitious and therefore effective at pushing back those economic interests intent on trashing this precious legacy? How do we prize and protect the notion of ‘generosity to the future’ so powerfully embodied in the Attlee administration? Attlee’s story and his political journey is as relevant now as it ever was.
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Breast Cancer Prevention Month: A 38 Degrees Petition To Ban Toxic Till Receipts

Breast Cancer Prevention Month: A 38 Degrees Petition To Ban Toxic Till Receipts

Marking October Breast Cancer Prevention Month, From Pink to Prevention has launched a 38 Degrees petition entitled No more poison in our hands – Time for a ban on all paper till receipts.

Did you know that every time you shop the chances are you end up with poison on your hands? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to coat till and other types of receipts. It can be readily absorbed through the skin, interfering with our hormones and is linked to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, and reproductive and neurological disorders.

Elevated levels of BPA have been found in the urine of cashiers who are the most intensively exposed of all. Indeed, we all have levels of this chemical in our bodies. And now similar health concerns are being raised for a BPA substitute Bisphenol S.

Not only are till receipts toxic, they are yet another source of wastepaper, ending up in the bottom of your bag or filling your purse or wallet. The vast majority of the UK’s 11.2 billion printed daily are increasingly unnecessary given the various electronic alternatives.

It’s time to ban the paper receipt in the UK, following the lead of several countries which have banned or severely restricted the use of BPA in receipts.

The petition will be sent to all major UK retailers, the Health and Safety Executive, Secretary of State for Health, the British Retail Consortium and leading breast cancer charities.

PLEASE SIGN HERE   https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-more-poison-in-our-hands-time-for-a-ban-on-all-paper-till-receipts

And please share
Facebook      Twitter

Thank-you.

Helen, Deb & Ho-Chih
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Green New Deal Plus

Green New Deal Plus

MILITARY SPENDING: A HIDDEN DRIVER OF CLIMATE CHANGE

The global military is a major driver of climate change. It is exempt from reporting its carbon emissions despite some countries’ militaries being among the largest consumers of fossil fuels in the world. It is a scandal that needs exposing.

Runaway global military spending fuels this state of affairs and impedes development in myriad ways: as a matter of urgency it must be put centre-stage as an international development, environment and human security concern.

Moreover, all current Green New Deal economic thinking (in the UK, Europe, the USA and elsewhere) must take account of the links between these two very closely linked issues: military spending and climate change.


Green New Deal Plus and the Five Percent Proposal

Two new and inter-related proposals that connect global military spending and Green New Deal thinking.

Green New Deal Plus (GND Plus) is a five-point plan that gives shape to an essential, additional dimension to all existing Green New Deal discussions and plans – that of not just green prosperity, but peaceful green prosperity.

Green New Deal Plus argues that we cannot exempt the world’s militaries from all current and future plans for Green New Deals, wherever they may be advocated. We cannot ask major areas of economic activity (energy, mining, construction, transport, agriculture, manufacturing, commercial businesses and residential housing) to go green, cut greenhouse gas emissions and play their part in getting nations and the planet to net zero by 2050 (IPCC, 2018)[1] while conveniently permitting some of the world’s worst emissions offenders to carry on their carbon-intensive business as normal.

It is therefore, inevitably, an urgent –if challenging– call to rebalance the relationship between governments & defence industries on one hand and citizens, economy & environment on the other

The Five Percent Proposal offers a practical roadmap to progressively cut runaway global military spending, cut greenhouse gas emissions and fund human security, international development and the global green economy needs. It can be an integral part of any GND Plus thinking.

The Five Percent Proposal and Green New Deal Plus are intended for NGOs working in international development and/or environment and/or human rights and/or peace; also for national and international organizations and political leaders developing various types of GND policies.

The Five Percent series of reports and briefings on runaway global military spending are listed below. The Green New Deal Plus concept came about as a result of our Five Percent report Indefensible: The true cost of the global military on climate change and human security

  1. A Brief Introduction to Green New Deal Plus
  2. The Five Percent Campaign FULL REPORT (2013)
  3. Why Runaway Global Military Spending Is An International Development Issue
  4. Indefensible: The true cost of the global military on climate change and human security (to be co-published with Christian Aid November 2019)
  5. Through the Looking Glass: BAE Systems, Corporate Social Responsibility and war, insecurity and climate change
  6. Weapons, Walls and Oppression: The EU/UK/Israel Military Relationship
  7. Approaching the $2 trillion redline
  8. The $1 trillion yellow line that we need to return to
  9. Solidarity Campaigning: Don’t Buy Don’t Sell UK – Saudi Arabia
  10. Solidarity Campaigning : Don’t Buy Don’t Sell Germany – Turkey
  11. Hearts and minds: the military, movies & gaming
  12. Climate Change & EU Foreign, Security And Defence Policy

Current Green New Deal Thinking

Across the UK/Europe and USA there is a growing call for a ‘Green New Deal’, taking the term from President Roosevelt’s successful 1930s New Deal where investment in public works was key to reinvigorating the USA economy during the Great Depression. It was a concept revisited with the New Economics Foundation’s ‘Green New Deal’ in 2008[2] and the later formation of the Green New Deal Group[3]. Today, a Green New Deal is a central plank in the Democratic Party’s election offer to the American people; here in the UK it is coming to the fore of both Labour Party and Green Party policy-thinking and there is also now a call for a progressive EU-wide Green New Deal.

The 21st century Green New Deal comprises primarily a set of government funded social and economic reforms and public work projects with renewable energy, resource efficiency and decarbonisation at its heart, and deliverable through a massive programme of investment in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure.

As time rapidly runs out for humanity to raise its collective game on addressing global warming and climate change, the long overlooked ‘war economy’ & runaway global military spending must now be part of the equation.

Notably absent in present day Green New Deal thinking is an awareness about the role of the world’s militaries and their significant (and profoundly under-reported) contribution to climate change. All forms and versions of current Green New Deal policy-making could be extended further by addressing runaway military spending. An ambitious strategy to address it would ensure all Green New Deal thinking is not missing this vital element.

What is Green New Deal Plus?

Green New Deal Plus comes at time of climate breakdown, global inequality and the rising extreme right. It is an urgent call to rebalance the relationship between governments & defence industries on one hand and citizens, economy & environment on the other.

Through its Five Percent Proposal, Tipping Point North South (https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/) has been building the case that global runaway spending is of profound relevance to international development and, increasingly, mitigation of climate catastrophe. It argues that runaway military spending should therefore be of much more serious concern than at present to those working in these sectors, both NGOs and politicians alike, and advocates that they make a much greater effort to engage with it.

Green New Deal Plus argues that we cannot exempt the world’s militaries from all current and future plans for Green New Deals, wherever they may be advocated.

The military-oil industry relationship is intertwined and interlinked with climate change.  We must quantify, expose and act upon the climate burden put upon people and planet by the world’s big military spenders.

Until now, we have collectively and consistently ignored the massive yet unaccounted for responsibility of the world’s militaries to climate change, from their day-to-day operational activities to the wars and conflicts of which they are part. We must start to factor both into climate calculations because we have been ignoring them at our peril.

We cannot ask major areas of economic activity (energy, mining, construction, transport, agriculture, manufacturing, commercial businesses and residential housing) to go green, cut greenhouse gas emissions and play their part in getting nations and the planet to net zero by 2050 at the latest while conveniently permitting some of the world’s worst emissions offenders to carry on their carbon-intensive business as normal.

While this may raise serious issues about the nature of our global defence systems and security thinking,  this is no more or less a challenge than those required of transforming our production and consumption of energy, food, water and other natural resources and our infrastructure and usage of transport fit for a green future. Indeed, aside from nuclear war (by accident or design) there is no greater threat to human survival than man-made climate change. We are in a global emergency, we need paradigm-shifting thinking on every aspect of human activity and every culpable sector must not only play its part in massive reduction of carbon emissions, but also in redefining new ways of being in this new carbon-neutral era.

Green New Deal Plus therefore believes that addressing the role of the world’s militaries in reducing climate change will bring an essential dimension to all current GND economic thinking: that of peaceful green prosperity. Why exclude carbon culprits such as defence contractors and national militaries from GND thinking that is otherwise intending to deliver economic, social and environmental justice?

Green New Deal Plus is designed to complement any and all variations on current Green New Deal policies, in the UK and internationally as well as offer up an international development and environment framing for runway military spending.


Key Stats:

Carbon emissions of F35 fighter jet per mission (28 Tonnes CO2e) = One person’s emissions (living in the West) over 2 years

USA military and defence industry combined carbon footprint: 339m tonnes CO2e. (6% of national total emissions)

If the Pentagon (which oversees the US military) was a country, it would the world’s 55th largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, more than industrialised countries such as Sweden and Portugal.

US defence industry emissions for 2017 = 280m tonnes CO2e, higher than Egypt

UK military and defence industry combined carbon footprint: 13m tonnes CO2e. (3% of national total emissions)

Global carbon footprint estimate of the military-industrial complex (i.e. global militaries and defence industries) = around 5%

This is higher than carbon emissions from global Civil Aviation = 3%

Transport (including cars, trucks, airplanes, ships and other vehicles) account for 25% of global carbon emissions

Agriculture = 10%

In other words, the global military-industrial complex carbon footprint is one half  and one fifth respectively of the global emissions from the everyday activities of food production and transport.


(Slides from a presentation by Dr Stuart Parkinson of Scientists for Global Responsibility)

References:

https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/ClimateChangeandCostofWar
https://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/carbon-boot-print-military
https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/aviation_en
https://www.iea.org/statistics/co2emissions/
https://www.agrighg-2018.org/
https://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/a-tale-of-two-puzzles-accounting-for-military-and-climate-change-expenditures

What Would a Green New Deal Plus Want to Achieve?

The five points below are a guide to how we can realise the potential benefits to any and all current GND plans that see the important of the GND Plus concept.

  1. The break-up of the military-oil industry relationship and complete decarbonising of the world’s militaries
    • The world’s militaries are the biggest institutional users of oil in the world and are therefore a major driver for climate change, both in terms of day-to-day operations as well as wars, many of which are conducted for oil. Runaway global military spending enables all this. A carbon-neutral world demands we fully decarbonise our militaries.
    • Green New Deal Plus applauds the ongoing efforts by all those advocating the diversification of the defence and security industries – they must also decarbonise so that they are fit for the green new world.

A decarbonised military, defence and security sector is not about delivering ‘greener ways to conduct war’: weaponry and war will always kill living beings, will always destroy and pollute environments. Rather, this idea is the starting point for much needed if challenging discussion, one that can lead us to a paradigm shift in national and international defence and security policy-making for a carbon-neutral world.

  1. Open up debate: What kind of ‘defence’ policy is fit for the 21st century- and beyond?

Green New Deal Plus calls for a decarbonised sustainable global military with a transformed and transformative doctrine fit for purpose in this century of climate breakdown – one based on revisiting and updating earlier work on the concept of non-offensive defence[4] and prioritising global human security through social, economic and environmental justice. Primarily, national self-interest should be replaced with global human security. Much greater investment in conflict prevention and international peacekeeping will reap significant reward[5] – it is cheap in comparison to arms-race spending between countries, driven by self-interests, profits and domination and we need much greater investment for on the ground, local peace-building. As for security threats, we need the definitions to go much wider – we need far greater investment in early warning and disaster risk reduction, as well as post disaster reconstruction.

    • Linked to this, we need a transformation on the UN Security Council, notably the well past its sell by date current P5 arrangement. The UN P5+1 nations[6] charged with keeping the world’s peace account for 80% arms sales, the majority of which to the developing world.[7] Many developing countries spend more on defence than either education or health and often buy from developed nations.
    • Climate change is a social, economic and environmental issue but it is currently a pretext for some governments to expand their military/security reach. Refugees fleeing their homes because of climate change should be free to move if they must and then welcomed by other nations – not left to drown in the seas and oceans.
  1. Implementation of The Five Percent Formula to progressively cut runaway global military spending (and emissions) in order to fund human security; international development and climate change impact; global green economy needs.

Tipping Point North South’s Five Percent Proposal makes the case that runaway military spending is a long overdue international development issue.[8] We need to implement an ambitious, fair, practical formula that can start to pull back the scandalous sums spent individually and collectively on global military spending; to redirect those savings to urgent human need and long term development; this in addition to funds to clean up our shamefully polluted planet; and to properly fund peacekeeping and peace-building.

As we creep ever closer to a $2 trillion ‘redline’ of global annual military spending, we are about to enter another arms spending race.[9] Should governments and multi-lateral agencies adopt the two-part Five Percent Formula, global military spending would be gradually and decisively decreased, halving over 10 years, followed by a 5% threshold formula designed to rein military spending back thereafter.

This would open up $700 billion funding over the first decade and can be allocated to address:

    • International: immediate and urgent poverty reduction; sustainable development reflecting civil society activism on climate & economic justice; peace/conflict prevention & human rights; investing in the global green economy.
    • Domestic: counteracting effects of austerity on public services; investing in clean, green jobs.

NOTE: These savings can offer smarter ways of spending finite resources (also helping reduce root causes of conflict and violence) and can be applied to developing new ideas such as funding universal basic (health and education) services or help developing countries to set up universal basic income to eliminate extreme poverty. Free (or affordable) public services and cash-based programmes are superior to aid-based programmes for development.

  1. Encourage international country to country solidarity campaigning across development, human rights & peace movements : Don’t Buy Don’t Sell

“Out of a global population of 7.4bn, two billion people live in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. By 2030, at least half of the world’s poor people will be living in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Conflicts drive 80% of all humanitarian needs.” (The World Bank)[10] The arms trade fuels conflict and enables the oppression of civilians by states and when linked to government contracts, it means sales of everything from bullets and weapons to tanks and planes. The suffering of Yemenis is a result of UK government and others arming Saudi Arabia.

For bi-lateral arms deals that harm the public good we say don’t buy, don’t sell.[11],[12]

Moreover, many developing countries spend more on defence than either education or health and often buy from developed nations – the UN P5+1 members account for 80% of global arms sales, the majority of which to the developing world. At the same time, there is ample evidence that indicates defence spending impedes development whereas education and health spending has significant multiplying effect on raising living standard (across economies, developed and developing). Don’t buy, don’t sell.

  1. Transformation of the relationship between government departments

We need (i) international development to become global social justice; (ii) foreign policy-making to be ethical and (iii) a progressive defence & security policy-making that leads on fresh thinking on how taxes directed to military spending should reflect a different type of security policy-making that delivers equity, human security, green jobs and minimisation and mitigation of climate breakdown.

In the UK for example, contrary to the current Conservative Party calls to shift money from the development budget to the MOD, the UK – indeed all nations who follow this call – may have a far better security outcome if policies supporting international social justice secured more funding, not less.

*******************

Historically, military spending has been central to re-enforcing power, poverty, unjust distribution of resources, economic and environmental collapse. The Green New Deal Plus argues that unless or until we place military spending in the Green New Deal ‘frame’, the economic, social and environmental GND gains will only ever be partial. Surely we need peace to accompany – indeed enable – green prosperity.

And the longstanding destructive role of western militaries is matched by the historic harm caused by those same nations’ corporate interests across the global south, notably through the extraction of resources. These commercial interests have been and remain a major cause of instability and armed conflict while developed nations grew rich on those resources. Today, although climate change is a global social, economic and environmental issue, history must not repeat itself. The solutions for climate change cannot be with the sacrifice of those same nations and peoples – the developed world must not adapt to the reality of climate breakdown at the expense of the poor.[13] Moreover, it must not become an excuse for the global north to further militarise and exploit the global south.

Peace and green prosperity will remain elusive as long as the military-oil industry relationship remains intact and all powerful. We need a very different starting point to consider and address the annual almost $2trillion global military spend and it should be global human security. Only if we can lay that as the foundation stone, can the human family create and sustain peaceful prosperity in a green economy working in harmony with the natural world.

References

[1] The Guardian view of UK’s climate responsibility: zero emission target needed, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/26/the-guardian-view-of-uks-climate-responsibility-zero-emission-target-needed

[2] A Green New Deal, New Economics Foundation, 2008. https://neweconomics.org/2008/07/green-new-deal

[3] 2013 Press Release, The Green New Deal Group. http://www.greennewdealgroup.org/?page_id=200

[4] Non-offensive defence for the twenty-first century, edited by Bjørn Møller and Håkan Wiberg, 1994. https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/2855683

[5] Evaluating the Conflict-Reducing Effect of UN Peacekeeping Operations, Håvard Hegre, Lisa Hultman and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, 2018. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/700203

[6] Permanent members of the security council, USA, Russia, China, UK, France, plus Germany

[7] Trends In International Arms Transfers, SIPRI, 2017. https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2018-03/fssipri_at2017_0.pdf

[8] https://thefivepercentcampaign.org/the-five-percent-campaign/military-spend-is-a-development-issue/

[9] The $2 Trillion Redline, The Five Percent Campaign. https://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2016/01/25/the-2-trillion-redline/

[10] Helping Countries Navigate a Volatile Environment, World Bank, 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20190509170355/https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/fragilityconflictviolence/overview

[11] Don’t Buy Don’t Sell: Germany – Turkey, The Five Percent Campaign. https://thefivepercentcampaign.org/2018/04/26/dont-buy-dont-sell-germany-turkey/

[12] Don’t Buy Don’t Sell: UK – Saudi Arabia, The Five Percent Campaign. https://thefivepercentcampaign.org/articles/

[13] The ‘green new deal’ supported by Ocasio-Cortez and Corbyn is just a new form of colonialism, Asad Rehman, 2019. https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/green-new-deal-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-corbyn-colonialism-climate-change-a8899876.html

 

 

 

Grenfell Tower: Lessons from the Ashes. A Tipping Point Funding Appeal

Grenfell Tower: Lessons from the Ashes. A Tipping Point Funding Appeal

June 14th marks the 2nd anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire. Below is our funding appeal for GRENFELL TOWER: Lessons From The Ashes.

We are part of a wider ongoing funding effort supporting an important project comprising short films, long-form documentary and associated social justice campaign.

We want to raise £10,000 towards the current production phase – the making of ‘stand alone’ short films that will also, later, be material for the long form cinema documentary that is made at the same time.
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WitchHunt: A film by Jon Pullman

WitchHunt: A film by Jon Pullman

Even though I’m just a grassroots activist, I felt if the mainstream media or other production companies with a budget aren’t prepared to take this on, then someone has to, and that appears to have been me.   Jon Pullman

REVIEWS

“Everyone who opposes antisemitism should see this film. Everyone who opposes all racism should see it – and every Labour party member and trade unionist must see it.” Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)

“This impeccably-executed film exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy, and the depressing intractability of the Israel-Palestine situation.” Mike Leigh (Peterloo, Mr Turner)

“(WitchHunt) packs a powerful punch, telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.” Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise)

“(WitchHunt) raises questions about how antisemitism is defined, important for the Labour Party, the media and all of us.” Caryl Churchill (Escaped Alone, Serious Money)

“Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.” Avi Shlaim, historian

THE FILM

In 2015, while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets.

WitchHunt sets out to investigate the stories and the people behind the headlines, examining the nature of the accusations. Is this a witch hunt, as some claim? If so, who is behind it, and what is the political purpose of such a campaign? Has the media failed in its duty to fairness and accuracy in reporting on such serious allegations?  Through a series of interviews, analysis and witness testimony, WitchHunt explores the connections between the attacks on Labour, the ongoing tragedy of Palestine and the wider struggle against race-based oppression. It argues that if it is to mean anything at all, the fight against racism must  be a shared one that includes all peoples.

PREMIERE May 2019

The film had its first public screening to a packed audience at the Regent Street cinema in central London, followed by a truly stimulating debate afterwards comprising a panel and Q&A with the audience.

You can watch the film and read press reviews here https://witchhuntfilm.org/

PANEL DISCUSSION

After the screening,  the film’s lead contributor Jackie Walker, academic Moshe Machover, media analyst and researcher Justin Schlosberg, human right lawyer Salma Karmi-Ayyoub and in the chair, Leah Levane (Jewish Voice for Peace) shared their thoughts about the film and the wider issue.Jon Pullman introduces the discussion.

Highlights:

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Now, ASDA & Pink Till Receipts.

Breast Cancer Now, ASDA & Pink Till Receipts.

We continue to put pressure on Breast Cancer Now (BCN) to acknowledge environmental and occupational risk factors for breast cancer. As the UK’s leading breast cancer research charity, we argue that it is incomprehensible that they continue to refute the body of evidence that makes just these links.

Just recently, we sent an open letter to both BCN and ASDA with regard to their ‘Tickled Pink’ and ‘Be Your Breast Friend’ campaign concerning breast awareness with pink till receipts as the communication tool. This campaign triggered a number of serious concerns about the use of certain ingredients in the ASDA pink and other till receipts and, linked to this, the various public ‘assurances’ from Breast Cancer Now about the science in relation to ‘chemicals in the environment” ie that there is no link to breast cancer risk.

Those expressing concern (in fact, disbelief) about the ASDA/BCN campaign included leading experts in the area of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Our open letter was co-signed with colleagues from Chemtrust, Breast Cancer Prevention Scotland (formerly Challenge Breast Cancer Scotland) and The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group (Derry)

You can read the full letter below:
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Breast Cancer: An Environmental Disease. In celebration of our dear friend and longstanding colleague Diana Ward, on Rachel Carson Day

Breast Cancer: An Environmental Disease. In celebration of our dear friend and longstanding colleague Diana Ward, on Rachel Carson Day

Marking the life and legacy of our dearest friend Diana Ward, on Rachel Carson Day.

Every year, at this time, we at From Pink to Prevention campaign take time to mark the life of the extraordinary, visionary Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964).  Carson wrote and lobbied the USA government about the impact of toxic chemicals on the environment and human health.

This will be the first year we mark Rachel Carson day without our own extraordinary, visionary friend and campaigner, Diana Ward.
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Season’s Greetings & 2018 Roundup

Season’s Greetings & 2018 Roundup

Season’s Greetings

As 2018 draws to a close we look back on a very busy year across our films, events and campaigns activity. We started production on a new documentary film; we purchased rights to screen an historic documentary from 1970; we had a busy year for our campaigns From to Pink to Prevention and Five Percent; finally, we produced a number of events for our Attlee Nation and MLK Global projects.

FILMS

We purchased public performance rights for FROM MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS – a rarely-seen documentary tracing Martin Luther King’s life and accomplishments from the 1955 bus boycott to his 1968 assassination. Throughout 2018 we hosted a number of public and educational screenings of this extraordinary film in London, Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester, in the 50th anniversary year of the assassination of Dr. King.

A highlight was our June 2018 event at Bloomsbury Baptist Church, where King himself preached in 1961, followed by first-class panel for the Q&A (video link) with theologian David Muir; Dionne Gravesande TPNS board member and co-leads on MLK Global; Richard Reddie  biographer of MLK; Neil Jameson CBE  Founder and Executive Director of Citizens UK; Selina Stone  Lecturer in Political Theology at St Mellitus College; Eleasah Louis  PhD Student at Canterbury Christ Church University

KING ASSASSINATION PROJECT (WORKING TITLE)

In June we began filming on our ‘King Assassination Project’. The film will look at more than 40 years of controversy surrounding the case. More importantly – and uniquely –offers an opportunity to put the case that King’s assassination was a direct result of the threat posed from his latter years activity (1965-68) as he led the civil rights movement into anti-Vietnam War and Economic Justice coalition building.

We are indebted to the support of our friends and colleagues at Sands Films Studios, our production partners on this film, along with a number of major donors who have underwritten the first phase of production.

OTHER FILM NEWS   We Are Many was screened in September as part of a Tipping Point film programme at The World Transformed, which runs parallel to Labour Party Conference. And our Christmas cinema documentary Open Bethlehem about life in Bethlehem over five Christmases now has an abridged version of 30 mins https://www.openbethlehem.org/ob_abridged. It remains one of the best Xmas films you will ever see. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/openbethlehem

   

CAMPAIGNS

FIVE PERCENT

Throughout 2018 we made a number of submissions on the subject of UK aid and policy-making through the prism of conflict and runaway global military spending; we took 5% materials for meetings at Labour Conference; we made headway with chapter writing on a book outlining our arguments; we made a short video on the links between EU and Israel on defence and security.

Iraq, Yemen and Syria – and the Jamal Khashoggi murder – illustrate the terrible conflict of interests in UK foreign policymaking. The UK is both a top arms manufacturer and seller, as well having one of the highest military spending budgets. At the same time, the UK sees itself as leading the way on international development and this includes the ‘mopping up’ in conflict/post conflict regions, where UK forces / arms sales have played a direct role in causing that same humanitarian need. War remains a highly profitable activity for arms companies such as BAE or Lockheed. We argue that runaway global military spending is an international development campaign waiting to happen.

Submissions. December 2017 Written Submission to Labour Party Expert Panel on Int’l Development led by Shadow Secretary Int’l Development Kate Osamor MP .   June 2018 Written Submission to Labour’s National Policy Forum on SDG 16 – peaceful societies needs to go much further than presently constituted. June 2018 Labour’s National Policy Forum Submission as a signatory with other organizations.

In September we attended Labour Party Conference in order to share our proposal with MPs and organizations and this winter we are finalizing text for a Five Percent ‘Beginners Guide’ book which we will publish in early 2019.

Israel /Palestine & 5%: While many UK development NGOs work in Palestine, they are unaware of the deep military ties that the UK and EU have with Israel. Jeff Halper (Israeli Committee against House Demolitions) is a 5% supporter and in  this video he speaks about this issue.

FROM PINK TO PREVENTION  

In 2018 we mounted an ambitious exhibition by our co-founder Diana Ward; we continued to lobby MPs and Ministers for the UK to stay within EU Chemical regulations after Brexit; we held our annual meeting with leading UK breast cancer research and fundraising charity Breast Cancer Now to argue the long overdue need for them to recognize and act on the scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational links to breast cancer. Finally, we took FPTP campaign materials to Labour Conference.

Every day of our lives, from pre-birth to death, we eat, drink, breathe and handle countless numbers of synthetic chemicals. We wear them, we rub them onto our skin and hair, we wash ourselves, our children, our pets, our cars and clothes in them. We sit, sleep, drive, walk and run both in and on them. We spray them on our gardens, our worktops, and into the air in our living and work spaces. We clean our cars, houses, teeth and tools with them. We decorate ourselves and our homes with them. We write, paint and play with them.  This lifelong low-level exposure to hormone disruptors and carcinogens has a health impact.

Throughout 2018, as part of the Brexit debate, we have been part of the lobby to ensure the UK stays inside the EU Chemical Regulatory regime known as REACH. Helen Hayes MP has been incredibly supportive of our work on this. She hosted our Westminster Portculllis House event ‘Brexit and Breast Cancer’, and submitted a Written Parliamentary Question on this same issue to Secretary of State for the environment Michael Gove on behalf of From Pink to Prevention .In February, we met again with senior staff at Breast Cancer Now to keep the pressure up for them to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that links environmental and occupational risk to breast cancer and to carry this information in all their public-facing information materials. In September, we took FPTP information packs to Labour Conference to share with some of the Labour Party members who sit on the APPG for Breast Cancer.

In October, UNISON hosted a new exhibition of 25 original cartoon works by our friend and colleague Diana Ward whose artwork is a unique way into the subject and it reflects on the decades of scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational risk factors to breast cancer. As a writer, artist and activist, Di’s main interest since 1993 has been the politics and prevention of breast cancer.   A number of exciting new potential partnerships were explored as a result of the exhibition. The full exhibition is here https://frompinktoprevention.org/resources/make-the-connection-exhibition/

MAKE APARTHEID HISTORY

In 2018 we marked the 70th anniversary of the NAKBA in May with our Brian Eno MAH video and filming a number of NAKBA events for MAH partners; in July we made a short video to commemorate Mandela 100; in November we re-shared our 2017 Balfour Declaration film.

Israel was founded 70 years ago on 14th May 1948.  Palestinians commemorate the next day, 15th May, as their ‘Nakba’ – day of catastrophe. This Arabic term refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine during Israel’s creation (1947-49) when between 750,000 and one million Palestinians were expelled and made refugees by Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, during Israel’s creation in 1947-49. As Israel marked its 70 years, the violence continues.   As it ‘celebrated the Trump administration’s opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, IDF forces massacred 62 Palestinians in Gaza, bringing the death count since Israel began firing on the Great Return March to at least 110. More than 12,000 have been injured; many so severely that they will require the amputation of limbs.’ (PSC). 

In May our Make Apartheid History campaign marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel by sharing our video interview with MAH supporter (and Stop the War President) Brian Eno, where he talks about ‘being born on the same day as the founding of Israelin July we made a short video to mark Mandela 100 and the anniversaries of three inter-linked movements that spanned the 20th and into the 21st century: Civil Rights, Anti-Apartheid and Palestine Freedom Struggles. In November we re-shared our popular Balfour Declaration a short film made for November 2017 centenary and exploring Settler Colonialism to help understand more about why apartheid applies to Israel.

EVENTS

ATTLEE NATION

We took our theatre performance of ‘In Clem’s Own Words’ to a packed audience at the The World Transformed Festival, held in Liverpool in September. Readers: Adjoa Andoh, Francis Beckett, Paul Mason, Richard Attlee, Kika Markham and Owen Jones.

“Attlee’s political genius was to give people a sense of hope, a clear route map out of depression, war and austerity towards the social and economic justice they craved. His government rebuilt Britain, and the next government needs the political courage to do the same – including giving working people a voice so we can help build a more equal, more democratic country. We must not miss the chance again.”  Frances O’Grady, Gen Sec TUC

“Charity is a cold grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim” Clement Attlee

Our theatre performance in September breathed life into a man to whom we all owe so much – Attlee was a quiet revolutionary, in politics to ‘do’ something, not ‘be’ something. To know Attlee better is to know what can be achieved today. It played to a full theatre space (300) and both cast and audience reactions were very positive. This event came in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS – the jewel in the crown of the Attlee administration. https://attleenation.org/2018/10/01/in-clems-own-words-at-twt-2018-highlights/

Our first Attlee Nation event ‘Attlee Remembered’ was a mini-festival hosted in October 2017 marking 50 years since Attlee’s death on 8 October 1967.  Attlee Nation argues that if we know what was achieved in the recent past, it might help build confidence to ensure that the next 70 years are just as ambitious. We need to prize and protect the notion of ‘generosity to the future’ so powerfully embodied in the Attlee administration.Here is one of our festival speakers Ken Loach on the importance of Attlee and knowing our history​ .

MLK GLOBAL

To mark the 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination in April 2018, our MLK Global project held screenings; produced several foundational articles; launched in the USA and founded a UK working group.

Alongside our work with the 1970 film From Montgomery to Memphis and the production of an in-house King documentary, we continue to develop and widen interest in our MLK Global project which aims to take MLK’s analysis on the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism and convert them into a 21st century int’l campaign with King’s own Economic Bill of Rights as the ‘manifesto’ underpinning the call.

In January we launched our Solidarity Statement; in April, our partners in the United States, KINETICS, produced our first video action. ‘Where do we go from here?’  was launched on April 4th for both USA and international audiences alike,  with a focus on reaching out to leading progressive African American faith leaders. Full video gallery here https://btpbase.org/mlkglobal/

Two long read articles were written for the April commemoration

https://mlkglobal.org/2018/04/03/if-you-think-you-know-martin-luther-king-think-again/

https://mlkglobal.org/2018/04/21/dr-king-an-early-advocate-of-global-solidarity/

We organised 50th anniversary screenings in February, April, June and September – all with Q&A’s and as we end the year, we are formulating a working group to take the work forward, building on those signatories to our Solidarity Statement. This work will look especially at for a campaign to end poverty, racism and militarism in our lifetime, and to do this through an updated version of Dr. King’s  Economic Bill of Rights.

WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO….

All our work is made possible through restricted grants and unrestricted donations.

On behalf of our management committee and workers, our thanks to all our project funders: The Ratcliff Foundation, Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation, Amiel and Melburn Trust.

And to our dedicated major donors and all our individual regular givers – you also sustain our work for which we offer our special thanks.

To find out more about how you can help our work, please email

Deborah@tippingpointnorthsouth.org

Find us at

www.tippingpointnorthsouth.org

Facebook and Twitter

 

MLK Global: An end to poverty, racism & militarism

MLK Global: An end to poverty, racism & militarism

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”

Rev Martin Luther King Jnr (1963)

The Quest for Peace and Justice were the first words uttered by Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jnr as part of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech given on 11th December 1964. Dr King’s lifelong quest has become our unfinished business agenda. The task of seeking justice, exposing poverty and confronting war and conflict is still a quest worth pursuing as part of our common humanity and shared future together. It is not true that things cannot change, they can! If we have a collective conviction of action and hope, then together we can transform the political environment to bring about the change needed to ensure peace and justice is secured for all people.

A shared vision of justice embodies a sustained hope that poverty eradication is possible and is an achievement worth striving for. Hope is not just a time bound concept, it’s also a love bound concept that requires an analysis of the realities, a definition of what is wrong, and clarity of what needs to be changed.  We cannot get away from the injustice, the inequalities, the poverty, the conflicts and wars by ignoring them, or delegating them to corporate or political institutions to play out power games. Dr King’s lifelong vision, work and campaigns pursued justice and equality for all.  His Christian faith compelled him to express and affirm a common humanity, which united all people on earth, irrespective of religion, race or culture that might separate us from each other in one human family. Every human struggle endured encourages us to change attitudes and behaviours, leading us towards transformation of ourselves and of the world.

Our world has never been more prosperous, and, at the same time, more inequitable than it is today. Inequality has reached a level that we can no longer afford to ignore. People who have been submerged into poverty, driven into overwhelming debt, marginalised, and displaced are crying out with a greater sense of urgency and clarity than before. The global community must recognise the need for all of us to join hands together to do justice in the face of unparalleled and catastrophic inequalities in the distribution of wealth.

Therefore, we call out the fatal intertwining of the global financial, socio-economic, climate and ecological crises accompanied in many places of the world by the suffering of people and their struggle for a decent life. We call out market deregulation and unrestrained privatisation of goods and services that exploit whole societies and dismantle social programs and services. We call out uncontrolled financial flows that destabilise the economies of an increasing number of countries all over the world. We will not accept this as a ‘norm’ in 2017, that is why through MLK Global we are renewing our call for Dr King’s vision embodied in the ‘Economic Bill of Rights’.

Find out more

#MLKGlobal website

From Pink to Prevention October Art Exhibition

From Pink to Prevention October Art Exhibition

An Exhibition of Original Work by Diana Ward, marking Breast Cancer ‘Prevention’ Month launched on Wednesday 17 October.

On Wednesday 17 October UNISON hosted with a reception a new exhibition of 23 original cartoon works by From Pink to Prevention co-founder Diana Ward. Diana’s art-work is a unique way into the subject of the politics of breast cancer and it reflects on the decades of scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational risk factors to breast cancer. Continue reading

Neoliberalism

In an effort to get away from the simply pejorative use of the term neoliberalism, which can be attached indiscriminately to various forms of anti-democratic or pro-corporate power, the more historicist approach to the concept highlights its fluidity and contingent development. However, this approach also risks lapsing into pure historical description, without critique or an account of how ideas translate into policies and strategies. Others apply a more sociological and critical method, which aims to examine which aspects of neoliberalism are at work amongst elites and governments today. This poses the question of precisely how much of neoliberalism has survived the global financial crisis, and through what means this survival has been achieved.

Definitions of neoliberalism across these literatures are various. But they tend to share four things:

  1. Victorian liberalism is viewed as an inspiration for neoliberalism, but not a model. Neoliberalism is an inventive, constructivist, modernizing force, which aims to produce a new social and political model, and not to recover an old one. Neoliberalism is not a conservative or nostalgic project.
  2. Following this, neoliberal policy targets institutions and activities which lie outside of the market, such as universities, households, public administrations and trade unions. This may be so as to bring them inside the market, through acts of privatization; or to reinvent them in a ‘market-like’ way; or simply to neutralize or disband them.
  3. To do this, the state must be an active force, and cannot simply rely on ‘market forces’. This is where the distinction from Victorian liberalism is greatest. Neoliberal states are required to produce and reproduce the rules of institutions and individual conduct, in ways that accord with a certain ethical and political vision.
  4. This ethical and political vision is dominated by an idea of competitive activity, that is, the production of inequality. Competition and inequality are valued positively under neoliberalism, as a non-socialist principle for society in general, through which value and scientific knowledge can best be pursued.

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In Clem’s Own Words at The World Transformed

In Clem’s Own Words at The World Transformed

THE WORLD TRANSFORMED
Monday 24TH September
Black-E Theatre Main Space
5.30pm-7pm

READERS
Francis Beckett, Richard Attlee, Owen Jones, Kika Markham & Paul Mason

For a man who led our greatest transformational government, we know next to nothing about Clem Attlee – who he was, what motivated him, where his passion for socialism originated and the myriad forces he faced down to deliver Labour’s phenomenal 1945 manifesto. This performance breathes life into a man to whom we all owe so much – Attlee was a quiet revolutionary, in politics to ‘do’ something, not ‘be’ something. To know Attlee better is to know what can be achieved today.

Video

Reactions

Autumn newsletter & Save the Date(s)!

Autumn newsletter & Save the Date(s)!

Hello friends, colleagues and supporters,

We hope you’re all well and that you were able to navigate your way through our sweltering summer… a taste of the changing nature of summers to come.

Below is a quick round-up of what we’ve been up to since our last early summer e-news and more importantly, events to look out for over the next couple of months!

Best wishes

Deb, Ho-Chih & our colleagues at From Pink to Prevention & MLK Global
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Open Bethlehem

Open Bethlehem

​Autumn/Winter 2017 USA Release​

Throughout 2017 our Open Bethlehem film continued to be screened in Europe and the Middle East. We had a special screening at Friends House in September, after which Leila  left to tour the USA with a special push between October and Christmas. In mid-December, screenings were held on Capitol Hill and it was great honour for Leila to give the OB Passport to Congresswoman Barbara Lee – the only elected USA representative to vote against the Iraq invasion post 9/11 attacks, making her a hero of the anti-war movement. The screenings came as Trump declared the USA would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. There is now a plan to develop a Congressional visit to Bethlehem. Open Bethlehem is now on Vimeo ​and the ​30 minute abridge​d​ version is here​.

The Film

Open Bethlehem was completed autumn 2014; released Christmas 2014 and its North America release was in 2016/2017.
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Make the Connection – From Pink to Prevention

Make the Connection – From Pink to Prevention

Tipping Point North South and the Alliance for Cancer Prevention is partnered on this campaign to increase the level of debate and public awareness concerning one issue – breast cancer and its links to the wider  (polluted) environment.

FIND OUT MORE

Dedicated Website & Social Media

https://frompinktoprevention.org/

https://www.facebook.com/FromPinktoPrevention/

https://twitter.com/@pink_prevention/

Sign our Petition

https://www.change.org/p/breast-cancer-charities-remove-the-pink-ribbon-blindfold-and-ask-the-big-question-3

Booklet: All the things you won’t know but should

https://frompinktoprevention.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fptp-booklet-environmental-and-occupational-risk-factors-for-breast-cancer-2017.pdf

Toolkit films, posters, reading

https://frompinktoprevention.org/resources/toolkit/

Scientific evidence

https://frompinktoprevention.org/resources/scientific-evidence/

Funding & Support

Huge thanks to our funders Ratcliff Foundation.

Also thank to UNISON for support of our annual BC Month work. You can support our work by visiting

https://frompinktoprevention.org/donate/

or email for more information

Deborah@tippingpointnorthsouth.org

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