You read this paper for news of this part of Sussex. What you read may gladden or sadden.
We hope you will also be pleased to know of action taken by those who are concerned about what is happening in the wider world and to know that Horsham – like many towns throughout the country - has action groups.
This new monthly feature will include articles about the activities of Horsham branch of Amnesty International, Horsham Fair Trade (Horsham is now a fair trade town) and Horsham Interfaith Forum as well as Horsham branch of Global Justice Now, the subject of today’s article.
Global Justice Now – a new name for what was the World Development Movement - is a movement which claims ‘five decades of success in fighting for lasting change:
n In 2014 we won EU regulation to prevent banks and hedge funds driving up food prices through speculation;
n In 2005 we forced UK water company Biwater to end its attempts to buy Ghana’s public water services;
n In 1998 we defeated the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, a dangerous international agreement which would have handed major new powers to big business;
n In 1994 the UK government planned to spend £214 million of aid money on a dam in Malaysia as a sweetener for an arms deal. We won a court ruling that prevented aid being used without creating benefits for local people;
n In 1976 we ran a major campaign to expose and transform the terrible working conditions and paltry pay endured by tea workers around the world.’
‘Action’ includes writing letters, signing petitions, cards, lobbying those in government, demonstrating. Along with others, Global Justice Now is opposing a threat to public services, environment and democracy contained in a proposed new trade deal called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
There is an understandable concern that regulation which currently protects people, public services and the environment could be removed.
‘For the first time on a grand scale corporations would be able to sue governments if they make public money decisions which could harm their future profits.’
Energy justice is another matter of concern. The efficiency of the private sector and the need to appease financial institutions are never questioned.
We need to show that alternative models are being built – models that show that the control of energy should lie in the hands of those who produce and use energy. In many parts of the world people are experimenting with giving people a direct say in the decisions that are made about energy production and use.
These democratic approaches are also taking care to move towards operating in a way that respects environmental limits: using renewable technologies or planning a phased transition away from destructive fossil fuels.
If you would like more information about Global Justice now or about this feature please contact Frank Smith at 01403 242823.
Report and picture contributed by Frank W. Smith, Global Justice Now, Horsham.