Dominating the news this week has been the explosion in Beirut that took place on the 4th August. Aid to the Church in Need and CAFOD are all appealing for help. The British Government has also stepped in and promised emergency support to Lebanon, both through the sending of experts and up to £5 million in humanitarian funding. The people of Lebanon need both physical, monetary and prayerful support.
This week also marks the 75th Anniversary of the atomic bombs being dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have several articles leading this e-bulletin in the work that has gone on this week, and the work that still goes on, to make sure these events never happen again.
A reminder that the next NJPN Networking Day will take place via Zoom on Saturday 19th September, from 10.30am until 4pm. Tickets available from Eventbrite.
Also, the NJPN AGM has also been rearranged to Saturday 21st November, in London at an event to be confirmed, but with Zoom access for anyone not able to travel. Please make a note in your diaries, and more information will be given nearer the time.
Don’t forget, if you have something you particularly want shared in this e-bulletin, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be taking a break for the remainder of the holiday season, and the next e-bulletin will be winging its way into your inbox around the 13th September.
Wishing you a good few weeks, and God bless you all,
Please note we are still using a temporary postal address due to the closure of the Eccleston Square office:
Geoff Thompson, NJPN, c/o CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre, St Walburge’s Centre, St Walburge’s Gardens, Preston PR2 2QJ.
You can still use the same phone number.
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E-Bulletin Contents: –
News and Comment
- We remember the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Beirut – the situation at this present time
- NJPN columns in the Universe
- Amazon – how it is still avoiding paying digital sales tax
- Praying with Detainees
- Churches need to lead the way in economic inequality
- Death of a Peacemaker – John Hume RIP
- US veterans work for peace on Korean Peninsula
- Human Trafficking – a worrying increase
- Climate Coalition and Fairtrade
- Humana Communitas in the era of pandemic
- A Catholic response to #BlackLivesMatter
- Maureen Matthews RIP
14. Operation Noah July 2020
15. Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility July 2020Events
16 Birmingham Justice and Peace Assembly
17. Church Action on Poverty – ‘The Collective’
18. World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel
19. National Day of Action – Stop Arming Israel
20. Church Action on Poverty Sunday 2021
21. Life on the Breadline Conference
22. Green Christian Workshop
23. A Reminder – 11th August – ‘At Home’ Open Evening
24. Pax Christi Study Programme on Nonviolence
25. Social Justice Films available via streaming services
Actions and Appeals
26. ***ACTION OF THE WEEK*** Is Profit More Important?
27. Free Mahmoud Nawjaa
28. Ask Prince Charles and the Church to grow more trees
30. Tesco – stop buying meat from forest destroyers
31. Catholic Association for Racial Justice
– Notes on their review of two publications.
32. Join Christian CND’s Executive Committee
33. Volunteer for the Jesuit Refugee Service
The Last Word
34. I Take a Knee
NEWS AND COMMENT
1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 75th Anniversary.
On the 6th August, a Joint Interfaith Statement was released, calling for the rejection of nuclear weapons. The statement, signed by 189 organisations is available to read on the World Council of Churches website.
Pope expresses closeness to Japan on 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima
Pope Francis wrote a message to the Governor of the Hiroshima Prefecture expressing his closeness and calling for an end to the use of nuclear weapons. His words are available to read through Vatican News.
Vatican News also reports on how the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima remembered the victims with a solemn commemoration, 75 years after the attack, as Catholic Bishops warn against growing threats to global peace. Click here for the full story.
‘The Priests Tale’ is an adaptation by actor/playwright Michael Mears of one of the survivor’s accounts from John Hersey’s classic book HIROSHIMA. Father Wilhelm was a German Jesuit priest living in Hiroshima at the time of the first atomic bombing. His account is a compelling and clear-eyed description of his experiences that day and in the subsequent months and years – told with compassion and warmth. Find the video here.
Japanese and US Bishops call for abolition of nuclear weapons
Archbishop Takami, president of the Japanese bishops’ conference, opened his remarks by explaining how he is a survivor of the bombing of Nagasaki, his hometown and the centre of Japan’s Catholic faith community. He was in his mother’s womb at the time. Read the story of how it affected his family here.
Comment and Statement from Christian CND
Thursday, the 6th August marked 75 years since the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It was just after 8am when the bomb detonated in Hiroshima from a cloudless sky. More than 140,000 civilians were killed in the bomb.
Three days later shortly after 11am a further bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing around 75,000 people. Many more people died in the years to come as a result of the radiation from the bombs, with survivors, known as Hibakusha continuing to live with the consequences to this day.
Every year we remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the horrors; the stories; the photos and the survivors and the international community says “never again”. Yet while there are still nuclear weapons in the world there is a chance that this will indeed happen again and another generation will suffer.
Christian CND exists to work and pray for a nuclear weapons-free world. These anniversaries are not only a time to reflect on the past but also look to and pray about the future.
They have been coordinating a statement remembering those events but also calling on the UK government to scrap our nuclear weapons. That has now been signed by more than 170 Christian leaders from 8 denominations. Click here to read the full text of that statement.
2. The aftermath of the explosions in Beirut
On the evening of Tuesday, the 4th August, two large explosions at the port of Lebanon’s capital sent enormous shockwaves across the city. Homes and livelihoods are destroyed. More than a hundred people have been killed. Thousands more are seriously injured and rescue workers are still searching for missing people. Aid to the Church in Need are sending an emergency food package worth £226,000. As mentioned in the Editorial above, the Government are sending experts and have promised emergency aid.
Speaking from Beirut, ACN project partner Father Raymond Abdo told the charity: “The explosion felt like an atomic bomb with red smoke everywhere and huge damage.”
The Christian zone of Beirut has been completely devastated, with at least 10 churches destroyed and 300,000 homeless. Here are links to both Aid to the Church in Need and CAFOD where you can read more details and donate if you wish.
Your support of our Beirut Emergency Appeal will provide the people of Beirut with the things they need to survive – medical supplies, emergency food, hygiene kits and shelter. Through the work of local experts across our Church network, we can reach survivors and their families.
3. Latest NJPN Columns in The Universe
31st July issue – Patricia and Michael Pulham – ’75 Years On’
‘”The recollection of what happened on 6 August 1945 should be of utmost importance for the behaviour of mankind.” (click on the date to read the full article)
7th August issue – Henrietta Cullinan – ‘At the Limits of Morality: Deterrent’
“Today is the seventy fifth anniversary of Hiroshima. I usually mark this day to myself, sitting on a beach with my family. Umbrella to umbrella, we pin ourselves to the vast, relentless beach of dangerous rip currents and burning sun.” (click on the date to read the full piece)
Thanks to our friends at The Universe for their support. If you would like to help them by taking out a subscription; 3 months at £22 or 12 months at £80, click on this link.
4. Amazon – passing digital sales tax onto small businesses
Hands up who buys from Amazon? Despite the fact that you probably know you shouldn’t and that they will be the death of small shops and the High Street; plus reports of poor working conditions and low tax contributions are common knowledge.
Most of us buy from them as they are generally (but not always) cheaper; you don’t have to leave the comfort of your armchair, and delivery in most cases is quick and efficient.
A good reason to change your mind can be found in this article on the smallbusiness.co.uk website. Instead of forcing the internet giant to pay its fairer share of corporation tax, all the new digital sales tax put in place by the Government has done is hiked up fees to sellers, “punishing small businesses in a crisis.” Click here for the full story.
Finally, just to say that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now officially the richest person in the world with a net worth of $180 billion. Enough said…
5. Jesuit Refugee Service – ‘Praying with Detainees’ (August 2020)
The JRS send out a reflection every month, with a story about some of the detainees that they deal with. This months story, by Sr Vui, who volunteers with the JRS detention outreach team and regularly accompanies those detained at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres near Heathrow, is as follows:-
Confusion and uncertainty are all consuming in immigration detention. Yet for those who only understand a little English, or for whom English is not their first language, this confusion is intensified.
“In my role with the JRS Detention Outreach team, I would arrive in the Welfare Office at Harmondsworth IRC with a queue of Vietnamese men waiting to speak with me. They cannot understand or speak English and so their time in detention is all that more difficult. Things that we may assume to be simple, such as receiving a monthly report from the Home Office, can cause confusion and distress for someone who may not know what is written there, and can only assume the worst. During our drop-ins they could sit with me, another Vietnamese national, and feel free to tell me about their situation – what was happening in their lives – with confidence, as I understand them, as well as the cultural values they carry.
In accompanying these Vietnamese men in detention, I encounter the same story.
They tell me how they have fallen victim to burdensome debt in Vietnam, often at the hands of dangerous loan sharks who demand high rates of interest when money cannot be repaid. Many have come from poor families and the money borrowed is to cover health costs, yet they are unable to repay their loans as their debt continues to grow. Many are forced to make a deal with their lenders or enticed by gangs who promise work overseas as a way to pay off their debt and send money back to their families. They know that they are taking a great risk but it is often the only option that they can see.
On leaving Vietnam, many have good faith that if they work hard they will be able to repay the money they owe and will be able to support their families. However, upon arriving to the UK, they are forced to work in cannabis farms and hidden by their traffickers. They work hours upon hours, days upon days, not able to leave the premises or the room in which they tend to the cannabis plants. Their traffickers assure them that their money is being sent back to Vietnam but it never is. They are convinced by their traffickers that if they turn to the police or authorities that they will be deported. They are beaten and threatened.
When raids occur our friends are found, often alone, in the property and arrested on drug charges. We hear how many are persuaded to plead guilty in order to receive a shorter jail sentence, not knowing that their time in jail will be followed by their indefinite detention. I especially remember meeting one man who was under 18 and had been through all of this only to end up in detention; he stays in my mind.
These men were already wounded on the long journey from Vietnam to different places before arriving in the UK. They were beaten and badly treated. They were slaves of traffickers who made false passports for them to get through Vietnamese Authorities. When we encounter them in detention they have already experienced so many hardships and their needs are many. They need support and to be living in safety in a place to heal their wounds with kindness and understanding, not held in detention where their wellbeing only deteriorates.
When we sit with our friends in detention we go to befriend them, to listen to their stories without judgment or trying to ‘fix’ them. We listen as they try to unlock their stories that they have kept for a long time inside themselves. We accompany them in our love and prayers and assure them that they are not forgotten.
The 30th July was the UN day against trafficking of persons, an opportunity to reflect on the plight of those who are trafficked and endeavour to do more to help and protect them. Those we meet in detention are people, human beings from families far from home, feeling lonely and desperate to be where they are loved. They should be treated with compassion but instead are detained. It is unjust, it is wrong, it is inhuman.
As a JRS volunteer I have taken these stories to my personal prayer; journey with them and let them know that we are there by their side at all times. ”
As a footnote to this article, this week the British Government has announced plans to strengthen the UK borders, after another week in which many migrants have attempted to cross the Channel to reach England.
British authorities say at least 235 migrants in 17 boats landed or were picked up by the British Coast Guard and Border Force boats on Thursday. That surpassed last week’s record of 202 arrivals in one day. Read the full Vatican News article here.
6. Call to Churches to lead the way on economic inequality
Simon Perfect, author of Bridging the Gap: Economic Inequality and Church Responses in the UK, a report published last month by Theos, the religion and society thinktank, reflects on some of the key things churches can do to help address the gap between rich and poor. You can read more here.
It makes for very interesting and thought-provoking reading through the The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility website. The link to their newsletter is available further down in the ‘Newsletter’ section of this e-bulletin.
7. John Hume remembered
John Hume, human rights champion and Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work on the Good Friday Agreement passed away on the 3rd August at the age of 83. Vatican News give more details of his achievements and tributes from Bishops on their website.
An exclusive report from Mary Carson on the funeral of John Hume is available to read through the Independent Catholic News website. She describes John Hume as ‘one of the world’s most ambitious peacemakers; a man of the same stature of Martin Luther King and John Lewis.’ The report also includes words from Mr Hume’s son, John Jr. Find it here.
8. US veterans work for peace on divided Korean Peninsula
Seventy years after the start of the Korean War, many surviving U.S. veterans of that conflict are working hard for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“I really believed that what we did in Korea was the right thing to do. It was under the United Nations, which I do believe in. But now I question everything,” said Stan Levin, a U.S. Navy veteran who lives in San Diego, California.
“Korea was really bad. A lot of people died for nothing.”
The World Council of Churches is sharing personal stories and interviews that inspire others to work for peace. The stories feature the perspective of U.S. war veterans, all of whom are also featured in video interviews. Click here to read the full article.
9. Worrying increase in human trafficking
On the eve of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Caritas Internationalis urged governments to increase efforts “to identify victims of trafficking and exploitation.”
According to a statement released by Caritas Internationalis the number of persons falling prey to human trafficking has increased to a “worrying” proportion due to coronavirus lockdown measures.
The full story is available from Vatican News.
For more information on human trafficking and modern day slavery, check out the Anti-Slavery website here.
10. Climate Coalition and news from Fairtrade
Farmers and workers across the Global South did the least to cause the climate crisis but are living with its worst effects already, and without decent incomes, too many are struggling to adapt to rising temperatures, volatile weather patterns and increasingly common plant diseases.
As well as a fairer income, Fairtrade offers training and support on sustainable farming techniques.
Combined with their eco-friendly Fairtrade Standards, which includes biodiversity protection, when you choose Fairtrade, you’re taking meaningful action to address this truly global problem.
Fairtrade alone won’t solve the climate crisis. They are part of Climate Coalition, a UK-wide group of charities, businesses and campaign groups committed to pushing national and international governments for historic action on climate change.
Over the next few months they will be calling for international commitments to a green and fair recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and real commitments ahead of the UK’s hosting of the COP26 UN Climate Summit next year.
For more information on the Climate Coalition and to sign their declaration, click here.
Choose the world you want to see. And don’t forget to watch and share the new Fairtrade and climate short film!
11. Humana Communitas in the era of pandemic:
Untimely reflections on the rebirth of life
A brilliant and important document issued by the Pontifical Academy for Life.
“We have not paid sufficient attention, especially at the global level, to human interdependence and common vulnerability. While the virus does not recognize borders, countries have sealed their frontiers. In contrast to other disasters, the pandemic does not impact all countries at the same time. Although this might offer the opportunity to learn from experiences and policies of other countries, learning processes at the global level were minimal. In fact, some countries have sometimes engaged in a cynical game of reciprocal blame.” Click here to read the full article.
12. Westminster: A Catholic response to #BlackLivesMatter
“When you say, ‘I’m not racist’, you deny structural injustice” an African-American woman from the United States told a Westminster Justice and Peace Zoom meeting on Friday 24th July.
More than 65 people joined the meeting, ‘A Catholic Response to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter,’ where Leslye Colvin, speaking live from Alabama, deplored “racially segregated Christianity”
To read the account of the meeting by Ellen Teague, go to the Independent Catholic News website.
13. Rest in Peace Maureen
“It is with great sadness that I write of my memories of Maureen Matthews who passed away last weekend.
The words that I wrote on her retirement as NJPN Administer in December 2007 provide a brief picture of her years of commitment to the network and still serve as a reminder of all her efforts on our behalf.
Through all the challenges the network has faced over the past few years we have been greatly supported and often ‘carried’ by the skill, commitment and enthusiasm of Maureen Matthews as Administrator of NJPN, a position she has filled very successfully for eleven years.
Maureen has worked to coordinate the preparation for each of the last 11 NJPN Conferences and her administrative and organisational skills have contributed greatly to the success of Conference.
Maureen has been responsible for editing and producing our newsletter a huge task the extent of which we may not fully appreciate.
Maureen has established and continues to develop an email link group through which members can receive regular updates on a range of issues relating to justice and peace.
In addition to the regular administrative tasks relating to NJPN meetings and events Maureen has given much of her time to creating valuable resources for NJPN. She has produced a range of cards, posters, bookmarks, banners and flags all which have been a source of income for NJPN as well as visually enhancing our gatherings.
Maureen has represented NJPN at a European level and has established many international links.
Over the past few months Maureen has been working to develop the NJPN website, a huge commitment which she has undertaken with great enthusiasm and we can already see the result of all her efforts
As Maureen retires from her role as Administrator we thank her for her absolute belief in the need for a National Justice and Peace Network and for all her dedication to the task of ensuring that we continue to grow as a network and be as we are called to be.
Maureen had been very unwell for a number of years but her involvement with justice and peace never wavered. She was unable to attend the NJPN conference in 2019 but was determined to be present this year and was one of the first to return her booking form. She had a keen eye for detail and was most particular when hanging the rainbow drapes on the stage and in attempting to do the same last year I remember saying ‘this wouldn’t do for Maureen’
Maureen had also been a member of the J&P Commission in Nottingham diocese, making a journey of up to 2 hours in order to attend meetings. She was also active in her own community, bringing together different faith and secular groups as chair of the local environment group MESS (Marple, Mellor and Marple Bridge Energy Saving Strategy)
In September 2019 Maureen wrote:
‘On a Sunday afternoon of torrential rain in late September 290 people turned up for “Climate Crisis in Marple” The event staged by the local environment group MESS was seen as a prelude to a bigger event in 2020.
The afternoon was introduced by young people from the local high school and Sixth Form College and there was a speaker from the Tyndall Climate Research Centre in Manchester. Following a question and answer session there were some twenty stalls from local organizations such as the Green Party; Friends of the Earth; Red Cross Recycling; a LED lighting business; Walk//Ride Marple and many more. A food stall produced some very tempting non-meat samples which proved very popular. The afternoon continued with local people explaining their own initiatives and encouraging everyone to make their own ‘pledges’ to alter some aspect of their lives for the coming year
An Art Competition was held for the local primary schools and the high school. The entries were amazing with the young people showing their involvement and understanding of the climate issue. Some of the entries were displayed around Marple during the following month.
Following the success of this event MESS is planning a “Climate and Environmental Festival from 19—27 September next year. This will include sessions on Food, Gardening, Clothes, Films Transport and a Repair café etc. The theme is ‘Action for Life in Marple’ and it is hoped that what is achieved this year will be celebrated and encouraged going forward from 2020.’
The last time I spoke to Maureen before the lockdown, she was so excited about the planned festival, this coming autumn.
It was Maureen who introduced me to the beautiful coastline of Northumberland when she invited me to stay with her for a few days and with her I paid my first visit to Lindisfarne. It was early December and Maureen had warned me that it would be very cold, she was so right, we had to spend our evenings thawing out by drinking Lindisfarne sloe gin in front of a warm fire.
Maureen and I travelled together to a number of NJPN meetings around the country; she said she enjoyed the company whilst driving. We completed our initial teacher training at Digby Stuart and although our paths did not really cross at the time, we shared stories of our time there. A few years ago we happened to be driving past the main entrance and persuaded security to let us go in and have a walk around and reminisce, I must say her experience seemed to have been much more lively than mine.
There are many who will have known Maureen much more closely than I did but I have only happy memories of shared experiences and meals at both of our homes. What I can say is that she was totally committed to NJPN and she felt that our network should strive to be the ‘go to place’, the ‘one stop shop’ for justice and peace.
Whilst with Maureen on Lindisfarne I picked up a prayer card with the following blessing and I offer it now for Maureen, for David and her family.
To the prayers of our Island Saints we commend you. May God’s angels watch around you to protect you. May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you for all that lies ahead. May Christ Jesus befriend you with his compassion and peace.
Rest in peace Maureen”
14. Operation Noah July 2020
Operation Noah have news of new trustees, a Methodist motion to divest from fossil fuels and Climate Sunday is just over a month away now! To read more, click here.
15. Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility July 2020
It’s been an interesting month with the reopening of many businesses in our communities, and the government announcing details of their Covid-19 economic rescue package. Churches have been given the green light to reopen, admittedly with a raft of conditions which make the experience look and feel quite different.
But while some aspects of life are “getting back to normal”, the Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the vast inequalities within the UK. Even before the crisis, the UK had one the of the highest levels of income inequality in Europe, with the top 10% of households owning 45% of the country’s wealth. To read more on their work and comments, click here.
16. Birmingham Justice and Peace Assembly 2020
Full details of the Assembly, and a link to book are available here
17. ‘The Collective’ brought to you by Church Action on Poverty
The Collective is Church Action on Poverty’s new monthly show that brings together inspiring stories from across the country of collective action to promote dignity, agency and power.
The first episode focused on Church Responses to the Crisis and included stories from Liverpool and Sheffield. If you missed it you can find it on Facebook, or you can read a summary of it here.
The next episode will look at community responses and will be live Zoom and Facebook on Tuesday 15th September, 2 – 2.40 pm.
18. World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel
Under the theme “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility,” people of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This special week of prayer coupled with action is annually held 13 – 21 September and includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.
This year’s theme, chosen during an era of extreme fragility, lifts up creative solidarity as a sign of hope that, through the power of prayer and common action, people across the world can make the restoration of peace and justice in the Holy Land both possible and a lived reality or all people of the region. Further information is available from the World Council of Churches.
19. Stop Arming Israel; National Day of Action
6 years ago Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground invasion of besieged Gaza killed over 2,200 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them children, in a 51 day long massacre. Since then, Israel has continued to kill and oppress Palestinians with impunity.
Will you take action in your community on Saturday August 22nd to demand that the UK stop arming Israel?
Israel can only carry out its grave violations of international law because of weapons and equipment it receives from companies around the world.
The UK government continues to grant licenses for arms export licenses for companies in this country to sell Israel weapons and components worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
The chain of complicity that runs from the UK to Israel must be severed through an immediate two-way arms embargo. To join in with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, click here.
20. Advance Notice – Church Action on Poverty Sunday 2021
Church Action on Poverty Sunday 2021 (21st February) will explore the theme ‘New Wineskins’ – as we journey together through these difficult times, how can we ensure people on the margins are fully included in our work for a new and better world? Use our resources to reflect on the theme in church, and raise funds to ensure people in poverty have dignity, agency and power.
Please mark the date in your diary – and make sure your church and worship team know about it. Register your interest here, and they will send you a resource pack in October with fundraising and worship materials.
21. Life on the Breadline Online Conference
Having postponed the Life on the Breadline Conference: Faith-Based Activism in Austerity Britain back in March 2020 due to Covid-19, we pleased to share that the conference will now be online on 11th September 2020 9.30am to 12.40pm BST.
The conference is free to attend but please register in advance through Eventbrite. Click here for more details.
22. Green Christian Workshop: ‘Non-Violent Direct Action’
This new series of online workshops is a response to the Radical Presence course, where we have got together to listen for God’s word in this time of pandemic. The participants spoke of a strong desire to see vision and leadership to address the climate crisis.
These workshops aim to ‘bridge’ ideas and thinking into grass-roots action on the ground. This one takes place on Monday 17th August at 7pm and it will be a discussion on Non-Violent Direct Action: What is it about and what relevance does it have for Christians concerned about climate change?
Find out more and book here.
23. Jesuit Refugee Service ‘At Home’ Open Evening
JRS UK is currently looking for new volunteer hosts to join their ‘At Home’ hosting scheme which facilitates short-term hosting placements in London for our refugee friends at high risk of street homelessness.
Join us from 18:30-19:15 on Tuesday 11th August on Zoom for a discussion with Naomi, At Home’s coordinator. For more details follow this link.
24. Pax Christi Study Programme
Pax Christi are running a new five session Study Programme on Nonviolence. Begins Thursday 20th August at 11am. Email email@example.com for more details.
25. Social Justice films available on streaming services.
America online magazine has produced a guide to social justice films that are now widely available on Netflix and Amazon, for those who are subscribers. It is a worthwhile read, as many of the films are not widely known. Click here to read a synopsis.
26. ***ACTION OF THE WEEK***
Is Profit More Important?
Ban Harmful Pesticides Now.
The European Commission could finally approve Austria’s ban on glyphosate in less than two weeks – a milestone on the way to an EU-wide ban! But Bayer-Monsanto lobbyists are pushing the Commission to say “NO” to defend their profits. Let’s tell the Commission to put our health first and uphold the right to ban harmful pesticides.
Sign the petition to counter Bayer-Monsanto’s lobbyists here.
27. Free Mahmoud Nawajaa
On the 30th July, Israeli forces carried out a night time raid to arrest Palestinian Human Rights Defender Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). – ripping him from his wife and three children and illegally transferring him from his home in the West Bank to Israel in shackles.
No charges or evidence of wrong doing have been presented to Mahmoud or his lawyer. This is normal in Israel. Using what is known as “Administrative Detention”, Palestinians can be indefinitely incarcerated without ever even hearing what they are accused of doing.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign are asking that you write to your MP here, asking them to support the release of Mahmoud.
28. Ask Prince Charles and the Church to grow more trees
Doubling tree cover is vital to tackling the climate and ecological crisis. But England’s biggest landowners don’t have anywhere near enough trees on their land, say Friends of the Earth.
Right at the bottom of the list is the Church of England and the Prince of Wales.
The Church’s investment arm – the Church Commissioners – has just 3% woodland cover on its vast estates. The Prince’s Duchy of Cornwall estate does a little better at 6%. But both are well below England’s national average of 10%, which is tiny compared to the EU average of 38%.
Friends of the Earth have produced an Open Letter which they are asking you to sign, asking the Prince and the Church of England to grow more trees.
29. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign – #BoycottPuma
Last week Championship football club Luton Town FC dumped PUMA as their kit manufacturer, following months of campaigning by PSC activists.
However, several UK football clubs still have contracts with PUMA, who sponsor the Israel Football Association, which includes clubs in illegal Israeli settlements. Will you write to the clubs and tell them to give PUMA the boot? Link to the PSC website here.
30. Tesco – stop buying meat from forest destroyers
Greenpeace writes ‘Forests are being cleared and replaced with cattle ranches and soya farms for animal feed. In the process, vast amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere, Indigenous Peoples are subjected to violence, and natural habitats are destroyed, which increases the risk of future pandemics by shaking loose viruses from their natural hosts.
The rising demand for meat in the UK and around the world has created a destructive, greedy and bloated meat industry. And Tesco is supporting it by buying meat from companies owned by JBS – the biggest meat producer in the world – which has repeatedly been found guilty of driving deforestation in the Amazon.
Tesco has the power to help break the destructive cycle of industrial meat production by refusing to stock products from companies owned by forest destroyers like JBS. But until they hear it from the public, Tesco will keep making the excuse that consumers don’t want to see change.
That’s why we’re asking Tesco to drop Amazon destroyers from their supply chains. And to tackle the climate emergency, they also need to replace half their meat products with plant-based alternatives by 2025.Click here to make a difference.
31. CARJ Meeting 29th July 2020
Members of the CARJ Urban Network participated in a Zoom Session on
29 July 2020. Mrs Yogi Sutton chaired the meeting which was attended
by twenty participants. Two documents were in particular under discussions; details of which are below:
1. Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK: State of the Nation *
Policy Press, 2020
In the light of recent calls for a race equality strategy for the UK, the meeting looked at the Runnymede Trust’s recent Report – Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK. The Report was presented to the meeting by five speakers, each summarising two of the chapters.
These presentations were followed by a wide ranging discussion among all the participants, some of whom stressed the need to move on from the important analysis in this Report to the proposed Strategy. Yogi informed the group that CARJ would continue to use and recommend this book as reliable background to inform ourselves and participate in the wider discussion of a national strategy for racial justice in the UK.
2. Serving a Multi-Ethnic Society: Guidelines for a review of Catholic organisations and institutions in the light of the Macpherson Report
Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales, 1999 **
Yogi presented this Report in which the Bishops of England & Wales welcomed the Macpherson Report and ‘in the light of its useful definition of institutional racism, urged all Catholic organisations and institutions to look again at how they could better serve minority ethnic communities in our society.’
CARJ will be keeping under discussion both the guidelines and the review over the coming months.
32. Join the Christian CND Executive Committee
Christian CND is made up of believers from all denominations and traditions from all over the country who come together to work and pray for a nuclear weapons-free world. A key part of the organisation is the Executive Committee, which is elected annually at their AGM.
Due to the current restrictions on meetings, the AGM this year will take place online, as they are trialing remote voting for the Executive, either by post or online. Nominations are open now and will close at 9am on August 31.
‘We welcome any Christian CND member who joined before 1 January 2020 to put their name forward. The Exec is ecumenical to reflect the wider organisation, with a range of skills and campaigning experience represented from across the country. The sad death of Caroline Gilbert, a long standing member of Exec and former co-chair, means that we are particularly in need of fresh talent to join the team this year.’
More details and a nomination form are here.
33. Jesuit Refugee Service are looking for volunteers
JRS are looking for a Volunteer Driver on their Emergency Response Team and Phone Support Volunteer. To find out more, go to their website.
343. THE LAST WORD – Poem: I Take a Knee Everyday
(courtesy of the Mill Hill Missionaries website)
I TAKE A KNEE EVERYDAY!
To the Almighty God!
To Jesus on the Throne, on the Cross!
To Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Elders!
I take a knee for the poor, for the sick, for the marginalized!
I take a knee for the oppressed and the unevangelized!
I take a knee for carers and mothers,
For labourers and toilers in the hot sun or heavy rains!
I take a knee for the uninformed, the unemployed and the underpaid!
For the burdened of sin, sickness, crime, addict and the maimed!
To take a knee is noble – literally or figuratively – with the knee or with the heart!
The knee of prayer, adoration, lament, silence, resonance, resilience, empathy!
I take a knee for reconciliation, forgiveness, healing, peace!
I take a knee at every glimpse of love, joy, glory!
Oh the knee of the priest, of the nun!
Oh the knee of the cleaner or the prayer!
Oh the knees of the suffering, of the lover, of the server!
I take a knee everyday – I take a knee everyday !
The knee of prayer, of adoration, of lament, of silence every day!
I take a knee of resonance, of resilience, of empathy every day!
Emmanuel Mbeh, 28/07/2020.
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