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The Colloquium in Carshalton Park

Throughout the day of the Environmental Fair, Sutton for Peace and Justice will be hosting a series of informal and open discussions on a range of peace and justice issues at the Sutton for Peace and Justice stall, M12 & M13:

11.00    The challenge of Climate Change: Action on climate change is essential for peace and justice across the world.

12.00      Equality – best for all: How a more equal society would be beneficial to rich and poor alike.

13.00     Sutton for Sanctuary: Campaigning to make Sutton a community that welcomes and supports refugees and migrants.

14.00     The plight of the Palestinians: Living with occupation, illegal settlements and house demolitions.

15.00     Equality – best for all: How a more equal society would be beneficial to rich and poor alike.

16.00     Sutton for Sanctuary: Campaigning to make Sutton a community that welcomes and supports refugees and migrants.

Please come along and find out more, have your say and join the debate.

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

S4P&J at the Environmental Fair

Sutton for Peace and Justice will once again be at the Environmental Fair in Carshalton Park on Bank Holiday Monday, 31 August 2015.

We will be at pitch K05&K06.

This year we will be hosting a series of informal and open discussions at our stall on a range of peace and justice issues, that we have billed as ‘The Colloquium in Carshalton Park’. The sessions are planned to be:

11.15    What is wrong with TTIP and ISDS
12.00    Trident – renew or scrap? (in association with Kingston Peace Council)
12.45    House demolitions in Palestine
13.30    The challenge of Climate Change
14.15    Trident – renew or scrap? (in association with Kingston Peace Council)
15.00    What is wrong with TTIP and ISDS
15.45    House demolitions in Palestine
Please come along and hear about these important issues – find out more, have your say and join the debate.

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

We will also have Zaytoun fair trade goods from Palestine for sale.

Packed meeting hears of threat posed by TTIP

Last Friday, 30 January, a crowded public meeting at Friends House, Cedar Road, Sutton, heard about the likely results of Europe signing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Three speakers, John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, Linda Kaucher, researcher in EU’s trade agreements, and Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London and campaigner on effects of TTIP, gave detailed information about TTIP and answered questions.

TTIP is a treaty being negotiated, largely in secret, between Europe and USA. Part of it, the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), will allow multi-national companies to sue a government for potential loss of profits if it decides on policies that the companies dislike. Already under similar agreements the Australian government is being sued by Philip Morris, the American tobacco company, for introducing plain cigarette packs and the German government is being sued by a Swedish company for giving up nuclear power.

If the agreement goes through we will be open to similar attacks, particularly to do with privatisation of health and other services. It is planned that under the agreement cases will be heard not by open national courts but by assemblies of corporate lawyers.

It was originally claimed that the agreement would increase the number of jobs in this country but a recent report has shown it will most likely reduce employment here by 600,000 and by 300,000 in the USA. It has been shown that the original assumptions were incorrect and now it is reliably reported that not even the government departments promoting TTIP believe the information favourable to TTIP.

Meetings to inform people of what is being proposed are happening all over Europe and there have been several major demonstrations on the streets of Germany and elsewhere. Our Health Service, Social Services and other Local Authority services are likely to be disadvantaged and many democratic decisions in parliament will no longer be possible because of the fear of billions of pounds in potential fines.

The Economist, usually a champion of corporate power and trade treaties, calls ISDS “a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people”.

The well-attended meeting was organised by Sutton for Peace and Justice to raise awareness of the threat posed by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership proposals.

Report by Michael McLoughlin, michaelmcloughlin@hotmail.com

TTIP threatens public services, jobs, environment & democracy

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a ‘free trade’ agreement being negotiated mostly in secret between the EU and US.

TTIP transfers power from governments to big business. Promoted by big business for big business, it weakens standards for food safety, environmental protection, banking and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It would allow a company to sue a government, claiming that its laws hurt their profits. Democracy would be undermined as decisions taken in the interests of people, public services and the environment could be overturned.

TTIP would:

  • Weaken safety standards – opening the EU to GM foods, growth hormones in meat, chicken washed in chlorine and pesticides currently banned in the EU for killing off bees.
  • Threaten jobs – weaken workers’ rights and increase unemployment – a race to the bottom with jobs switching to the US, where labour standards and rights are lower.
  • Open up the NHS, health and care, education and water services to big business and prevent governments from reversing the changes.
  • Help the all-powerful City of London to loosen America’s tougher banking regulations.

Come and hear John Hilary, Linda Kaucher and Jean Lambert MEP speak about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, ask questions and join the debate

Friday 30th January 2015, 7.30pm – 9.30pm, at Friends House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA

  • John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, has worked in the global justice movement for 25 years; his 2014 TTIP report has been translated into nine European languages.
  • Linda Kaucher, with a background in education and 15 years experience of researching the EU’s so-called ‘trade agreements’, works to expose and oppose the secretive ‘trade’ agenda.
  • Jean Lambert, as Green Party MEP for London, has campaigned for the EU to take heed of the concerns raised about TTIP and has co-authored a report on the impact of TTIP.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night.

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

Celebrating seed diversity and sovereignty

On 26 September Sutton for Peace and Justice is screening the film ‘Cotton for my shroud’ to highlight the issue of ‘seed sovereignty’ and the plight of farmers when big corporations take control over the seeds on which they depend.

On a similar theme, on 11 to 12 October, The Great Seed Festival will bring together farmers, growers, environmentalists, chefs, activists, gardeners, allotmenteers, artists, musicians and everybody in-between to celebrate the magic of seed, bring to light the importance of seed diversity and rekindle the connection between seed and food.

And for a related story about seed sovereignty and farmers in Africa, see this World Development Movement article.

 

Minerals in your phone

The extraction and trade in minerals used in the manufacture of hi tech gadgets such as mobile phones often fuel conflict and violence. Conflict minerals are at the heart of a long and deadly conflict in the Congo – the subject of a previous post and S4P&J members’ meeting.

Following that meeting, on behalf of S4P&J, Lance Gardiner wrote to candidates in the European El4ection to raise the issue and seek their views. The attached paper gives a selection of the responses received.

The London Climate March 21 September

Over the coming year the CLIMATE COALITION, over 100 UK NGOs, will be coordinating a major campaign on Climate Change.

An immediate focus of the campaign is a meeting of world leaders for a historic climate change summit in New York on 23 September 2014.

On Sunday 21 September campaigners are marching from Temple Place t0 Westminster, ending with a huge group photo outside Parliament, to show that we want action on climate change.

Bring others: your friends, your next door neighbour, your local librarian, your children, your grandparents, your pet dog, everyone’s invited!

More details for the day soon at: http://www.theclimatecoalition.org/

Location: Temple Place, Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2PH London.

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014.
Time: Meet at Temple Place at 12:30pm. Finish at 2:30pm.