Birmingham Friends of the Earth Newsletter February 2002/March 2002
The Trade Justice Movement
Representatives of the regional Trade Justice Movement groups Oxfam, Catholic
Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), World Development Movement (WDM), Christian
Aid and Birmingham FOE met on the 19th December 2001 to discuss campaign actions
on trade issues over the coming year.
Each group gave a brief summary of their existing plans for forthcoming trade
It was decided that the regional TJM groups should combine for a joint demonstration
on international trade issues for June 14th in the city centre. This proposed
'West Midlands Trade Justice Event' would act as a regional prelude to a similar
national TJM action in London already planned for the 19th. Details will be available
after the next meeting.
We found the meeting productive and useful. It was good to make links with development
groups given that environmental and development problems largely stem from the
same global system. There was some disagreement concerning the degree of priority
localisation issues should receive. We felt there was a need to approach the
many disparate trade justice issues e.g. poverty, exploitation, environmental
degradation etc holistically, viewing them not as discrete problems/solutions
but as symptoms of the wider, general malaise of globalisation. Mike and I were
making the point that environmental degradation leads to the worst poverty-drivers
of all, viz. contaminated land/air/water, flooding, deforestation, and poor living
environment. A localised trade agenda has wide-reaching positive ramifications
for all the TJM's campaign areas.
Local and national events planned, as well as BFOE's publicising local food issues
in a global context, include Oxfam's Fairtrade Fortnight (March 5-18th), Christian
Aid's "Unfair Trade Olympics" in June, and a mass lobby of parliament by the Trade
Justice Movement on June19th in the run-up to the EU leaders meeting in Seville.The
groups plan to meet again regularly.
Richard Cave-Bigley and James Botham
(C) 2002 Birmingham Friends of the Earth