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Exposed: Political heavyweights undermining Bangladesh Safety Accord

14 November 2014

Walmart Protest

With workers about to strike at thousands of Walmart stores across the US, the political heavy-weights behind Walmart and GAP’s attempts to discredit the Bangladesh Safety Accord have been revealed.

An American news source has revealed that the lobbyists Albright Stonebridge were behind efforts to push the much weaker Bangladesh Safety Alliance to US politicians. Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State, is chair of Albright Stonebridge Group which describes itself as “strategic advisory and commercial diplomacy firm”. The Accord and the Alliance were both a reaction to the Rana Plaza disaster where over 1100 garment workers died spurring hundreds of thousands of people to take action in outrage.

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War on Want Celebrates International Street Vendors Day

14 November 2014

KENASVIT march for MSE Act

Across the globe, street vendors and their organisations will be marking International Street    Vendors Day with celebrations and calls for greater recognition and rights for informal traders. The day was first set aside in 2012 by international street vendor organisation, StreetNet, as a day of recognition for the contribution made by street vendors to national development and awareness raising.

War on Want has been supporting street vendor representative organisations in Zambia and Kenya for many years. Through its long standing partnership with the Alliance of Zambian Informal Economy Associations (AZIEA) and the Kenyan National Alliance of Street Vendors and International Traders (KENASVIT) there have been substantial gains made for informal traders in both countries.

 

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South African Shack Dwellers' movement protest against police brutality

11 November 2014


This weekend shack dwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, a long standing partner of War of Want, held a march of over 2,000 people through the streets of Durban, South Africa. The march was held to highlight the violence faced by housing activists at the hands of police and local authorities as well as the corruption involved in the allocation of social housing in the city.

ABM march 81114

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Seed Caravan for Food Sovereignty

05 November 2014

seedfoodcaravan-srilanka resizedAs Sri Lanka celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights - the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair - around 4,000 fisherfolks, agricultural and plantation workers and citizens joined hands with farmers to form the Seed Caravan for Food Sovereignty, organised by War on Want’s long-term partner MONLAR (the Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform) and other grassroots organisations. The Caravan toured the country for 6 days from North, East to South and culminated in a March of 600 people to bring demands for food sovereignty to the Government in the capital Colombo.

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Life or death over seeds – a worldwide seed war is now raging

23 October 2014

GreatSeedFestival - credit Tom GrovesLast week hundreds of food lovers, food growers, food justice campaigners, artists, researchers gathered to participate in events and activities organised throughout the UK as part of the Food Sovereignty month. The focus this year was on the source that feeds us all: the seed.

Seed is life. Almost all the food we eat started as a seed. Control over seed is control over the first link in the food chain, but also beyond the whole food system to biodiversity and therefore life itself. 

For centuries farmers have selectively bred plants by seeking out the seeds of the plants with the most desirable characteristics. These natural seeds planted year on year become highly adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, and represent the great biodiversity our planet enjoyed until…..

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Tags: food crisis | food justice | food sovereignty | GMO | human rights | kenya | land reform | monlar | NGOMA | sri lanka | TTIP

   

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Solidarity from our partners and friends for the TUC Britain Needs A Pay Rise march 18 October

16 October 2014

We have received a fantastic message of solidarity from Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of our partners FTZ-GSEU in Sri Lanka, to all those workers marching in London, Glasgow and Belfast on Saturday 18 October. Since 1982, the FTZ&GSEU has fought against violations of labour rights in the workplace and the government's attempts at suppressing workers' rights and freedom of association. With 16,000 members in 22 branches, the FTZ-GSEU is the largest trade union in Sri Lanka. 

We have also had this message from the Centre of United and Progressive Workers, a national labour centre in the Philippines composed of workers in the private, public, informal and migrant sectors. An organisation that is actively fighting for a genuine living wage.

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TTIP Day 1

15 October 2014

This new video against TTIP, the EU-US treaty that threatens to undermine our democracy, our jobs and our public services, was simply too good not to share. Many thanks to our friends at Agir pour la Paix in Belgium for producing the English version too!

 

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Tags: campaigns | trade justice | TTIP

   

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No to MIPIM Yes to Right to the City

15 October 2014

War on Want supports the call by housing and trade union activists to say “No to MIPIM”. MIPIM gathers the most influential international property players from all sectors for 4 days of networking, learning and transactions. MIPIM infringes on the people’s rights to the city as it takes away democratic access to the city by promoting housing and land use that is privatised and profit-driven for the benefit of the richest 1%, whilst destroying communities and keeping millions in poverty. MIPIM is targeted at around 20,000 bankers, investors, property developers, estate agents, landlords and politicians all of whom are seeking to promote private rents of up to 80% of the market rate. Their push towards global corporate hotel, tourism and leisure operations will see local businesses destroyed and jobs lost. MIPIM also has on its agenda the privatisation of health care in the UK.

War on Want supports the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City; the Radical Housing Network; housing activist groups and trade unions’ calls for housing justice. War on Want believes that all people have a right the city. This right includes people’s right to reclaim, use, shape and remake our urban surroundings. The right to the city is people’s rights to live and work in the city. It is about democratic control over the city, with the right to access, occupy and use urban space.

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Tags: housing

   

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TTIP: the Al Jazeera debate

03 October 2014

To mark this week's seventh round of negotiations towards TTIP, the EU-US treaty that threatens to undermine our democracy, our jobs and our public services for ever, Al Jazeera hosted a live debate in its Washington DC studio to explore exactly what is at risk. John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, delivered the case for the prosecution - and it was a lively one! Watch the programme and post-show here:

 

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Tags: campaigns | trade justice | TTIP

   

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War on Want's partner the National Garment Worker’s Federation receives a prestigious Human Rights Award

30 September 2014

Amirul Haque Amin at at rally

Amirul Haque Amin, president of NGWF, will receive the prestigious City of Nuremberg Human Rights Award as a recognition of his and NGWF's struggle to improve the rights of garment workers in Bangladesh. Most especially this is a recognition of NGWF’s important work to make international garment giants such as H&M, GAP and ASDA/Walmart accountable for working conditions in their supply chains, where workers toil for long hours under often dangerous conditions, not earning a living wage and lacking fundamental union rights.

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