The Hartlepool for Global Peace and Justice Group has its roots in the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Some of us went to Birmingham in 1998 to bring the plight of poor countries enslaved by debts to the attention of the G8. These debts are being repaid by people who had not asked for them, who had no benefit from them and the repayments of which were crippling education and healthcare in their countries.
We went to Cologne in 1999 for the same reason but it soon became clear that something else had to be done – hence the birth of the group. We weren’t sure how to go about it but invited Dr. David Golding of Newcastle to our first meeting. With inspiration from him, we were on our way and lobbying our M.P. – first Peter Mandelson and more recently Iain Wright. We joined the Make Poverty History Campaign and kept up the pressure on government leaders and leaders of industry. We have played an active part in the 2013 “Enough Food for Everyone IF….” campaign.
The biggest issue we have affected locally is fair trade. This is something everybody can do with their everyday shopping and it was the group’s efforts that led to Hartlepool becoming a Fairtrade Town.
We are known as “a group who punches above our weight” and have even been mentioned in Hansard! New campaigns arise and justice issues get more complicated. We still have a long way to go, but we continue in the struggle.
New members are always welcome!