Stop the killing of South African shack dwellers
24 November 2014
This weekend hundreds of international supporters gathered in London, New York, Chicago and Budapest to demonstrate against the killing of housing activists in South Africa. During the past 18 months, three housing activists from the shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, a long standing partner of the British anti-poverty charity War on Want, have been assassinated. To date not a single person has been held responsible for any of these deaths. In London, War on Want, together with the Abahlali baseMjondolo UK Collective, have initiated a series of solidarity actions, including a letter to the High Commissioner of South Africa (www.waronwant.org/stopthekilling) that call for the right of people to engage in activism that is free of repression, a formal inquiry into the murders, and peaceful dialogue between housing activists and local, national and provincial authorities. The signed petition will be handed in at South Africa House in London, later this month.Add Comment
Exposed: Political heavyweights undermining Bangladesh Safety Accord
14 November 2014
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.Add Comment
War on Want Celebrates International Street Vendors Day
14 November 2014
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.
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.
Seed Caravan for Food Sovereignty
05 November 2014
As 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.Add Comment
Life or death over seeds – a worldwide seed war is now raging
23 October 2014
Last 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…..Add Comment
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.Add Comment
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!
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.Add Comment
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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