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S4P&J at the Environmental Fair

Sutton for Peace & Justice and Sutton 4 Sanctuary will be at the Environmental Fair in Carshalton Park on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August 2019. Visit our stall K06 & K07 to speak to members and find out about us and the issues that we are campaigning on.

At our stall we will also be hosting ‘The Colloquium in Carshalton Park’ – a series of informal and open discussions on a range of peace and justice issues. Please come along and hear about these important issues, have your say and join the debate:

Refugees welcome here – at 11.30 and 14.30

Examining why people become refugees and making Sutton a community that welcomes refugees.  Presented by Sutton 4 Sanctuary.

Peace, not war – at 12.30 and 15.30

Working for peace and campaigning against the arms trade and armed drones. Presented by Sutton for Peace and Justice.

Plus information and discussions on a range of peace and justice issues including:

  • The plight of Palestinians today
  • The need for practical action to address the climate emergency
  • War and conflict across the world
  • The scourge of homelessness, poverty and debt.

Colloquium – an informal gathering for the exchange of views, from the latin ‘to talk together’; a seminar usually led by a different expert speaker at each meeting.

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Hiroshima Day

Sutton for Peace and Justice gathered supporters and campaigners and local residents at Carshalton Ponds at dusk on  6th August to commemorate Hiroshima Day.

The victims of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 and, three days later, on Nagasaki were remembered with readings, two minutes’ silence and floating petals on the pond, followed by a call to rid the world of  nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima 2019 1Hiroshima 2019 3

Hiroshima Day commemoration in Carshalton

6th August, Hiroshima Day, is an annual commemoration of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 and, three days later, on Nagasaki.

Sutton for Peace & Justice will be joined by campaigners and local residents at Carshalton Ponds to remember the victims of those the events and to reaffirm our call that nuclear weapons should never be used again.

The commemoration will take place at dusk on Tuesday 6 August, with readings, a minute’s silence and floating petals on the pond.

Please join us at 7.45 at the War Memorial, Carshalton Ponds, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton, SM5 2QJ.

(Short walk from Carshalton Station and Carshalton High Street.)

Peace, not war!

Sutton for Peace and Justice invite you to a public meeting:

Peace, not war!

Wednesday 10 July 2019, 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00
Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA
We need to work for peace, not plan for war.

We have recently marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day and last year the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, and the key message from both was that we should remember the horrors of war to prevent their recurrence. Yet people continue to die in military conflict across the World as money is invested to develop new ways of killing.

Come and hear from our speakers and take part in the debate:

Chris Cole on drones, the war machine and killing by remote control. Chris is founder of Drone Wars UK, a small, UK-based, NGO working towards a long-term goal of an international ban on the use of armed drones.

Amy Todd on the history of women working for peace. Amy works as a public engagement officer for the Institute of Historical Research on the Layers of London project and is a member of WILPF.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken.
Please confirm your attendance by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496.

 

Sutton Winter Shelter

In response to an increase in rough sleeping and homelessness in England, London and also in the borough of Sutton, Sutton Community Works are piloting a winter shelter for the homeless.

The aim is to help those who are rough sleeping or temporarily homeless with warm meal, a warm welcome, safe overnight accommodation in one of four participating church venues and signposting to relevant services.

The pilot is being run for 31 nights starting Friday 8th February and is aimed at those with low to medium needs and referrals are via Encompass and Spear.

The maximum capacity is 10 bed spaces [inflatable mattresses with sleeping bags]. However, the number of guests will most likely be 7 to 8 given it is a new project.

The 104 trained volunteers are primarily from churches in the borough, particularly those hosting with a venue. Funding from the GLA is providing a full time and part time post to run the pilot.

Looking ahead, Sutton Community Works may run a longer shelter next Winter or look at other ways of responding, informed by the pilot.

You can find out more about Sutton Community Works here.

UN envoy’s report on poverty in Britain

Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, London, 16 November 2018. Summary by Mike McLoughlin.

14 million people, a fifth of the UK population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line and 1.5 million are destitute and unable to afford basic essentials. This is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster.

Many charitable groups, think tanks, parliamentary committees and the National Audit Office have drawn attention to the dramatic decline in the fortunes of the least well off, but The Government has remained determinedly in a state of denial. However, many of the problems could be solved if the Government were to acknowledge them.

In the area of poverty-related policy the evidence shows that the driving force was not economic, but the achieving of radical social re-engineering. Key elements of the post-war Beveridge social contract are being overturned and great misery is being inflicted unnecessarily. The government is determined to focus more on individual responsibility, place limits on government support and pursue a single-minded, maybe simple-minded, focus on getting people into employment. Compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited and often callous approach.

A key feature of Universal Credit involves draconian sanctions even for minor infringements that cause harsh consequences for vulnerable people. Despite what Ministers say, there is no clear evidence that blunt and harsh sanctions encourage better compliance with conditionality.

As well as the introduction of Universal Credit, other benefit reductions, limits on legal aid and cuts to local authorities and other services have also impoverished people.

The government says work is the solution to poverty, but being employed does not magically overcome poverty. Almost 60% of those in poverty in the UK are in families where someone works, and families with two parents working full-time at the national minimum wage are still 11% short of the income needed to raise a child.

Conclusion and Recommendations

  • The experience of the United Kingdom, especially since 2010, shows that poverty is a political choice. Austerity could easily have spared the poor if the political will had existed. Resources were available at the last budget that could have transformed the situation of millions of people living in poverty, but a political choice was made to cut tax for the wealthy.
  • The compassion and mutual concern of the British tradition has been outsourced. At the same time, many of the public places and institutions that previously brought communities together such as libraries, community and recreation centres and public parks have been steadily dismantled or undermined. The Treasury and the Government constantly repeat the refrain that policy must “avoid burdening the next generation”. The problem is that the next generation’s prospects are already being grievously undermined by the systematic dismantling of social protection policies since 2010.
  • The UK should introduce a single measure of poverty and measure food security.
  • The government should initiate an expert assessment of the cumulative impact of tax and spending decisions since 2010 and prioritise the reversal of particularly regressive measures including the benefit freeze, the two-child limit, the benefit cap and the reduction of housing benefit for under-occupied social rented housing (the Bedroom Tax).
  • The Government should ensure that local government has the funds to tackle poverty at the community level.
  • The DWP should conduct an independent review of the effectiveness of welfare conditionality and sanctions introduced since 2012 and immediately instruct its staff to explore more constructive, less punitive, approaches to encouraging compliance.
  • The five-week delay in Universal Credit should be eliminated. Separate payments should be made to different household members and weekly or fortnightly payments made available.
  • Transport, especially in rural areas, should be considered an essential service equivalent to water and electricity, and the sector should be regulated to ensure that people in rural areas are adequately served. Abandoning people to the private market in this area affects every dimension of their basic well-being and is incompatible with human rights requirements.
  • As the country moves towards Brexit, the Government should adopt policies that ensure the brunt of the resulting economic burden is not borne by the most vulnerable.

The full statement can be seen on the UN website here

 

Philip G. Alston is an Australian international law scholar and human rights practitioner. In 2014, he was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. In autumn 2018, Alston did a two-week fact-finding tour of the United Kingdom where he met with people living in poverty and with civil society front line workers and politicians.

NEVER AGAIN? 1918 to 2018, 100 years of war

Sutton for Peace and Justice in association with Veterans For Peace UK invite you to a public meeting:

NEVER AGAIN? 1918 to 2018, 100 years of war

Wednesday 31 October 2018, 7.30–9.30pm (doors open at 7.00).
Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA.

11 November 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, when the slogan never again was a common rally cry – never again should the World see the suffering wrought by the ‘war to end war’. Yet a century later people continue to be killed in military conflict across the World.

This meeting will look at the military interventions of the UK since the First World War and explore the possibility for a non-aggressive defence policy in the 21st century. Come and hear from our speakers and take part in the debate as we seek to honour the true sentiment of Remembrance Day – NEVER AGAIN.

With:

Ben Griffin – former member of the SAS and National Coordinator of Veterans For Peace UK.

and

Phillip Clarke – former member of the Intelligence Corps and Chair of Veterans For Peace UK.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken.

Please confirm your attendance by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496.

Veterans For Peace UK, is a voluntary, open and democratic organisation of men and women who have served in the armed forces – from WW2 to Afghanistan. Veterans For Peace UK believes that “War is not the solution to the problems we face in the 21st century”. http://vfpuk.org/