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Clean clothes, climate change and global justice.
From the launch of the Clean Clothes Campaign, to actions on Climate Change and the emergence of the movement against the EPA and Financial Fools Day. This was a busy period for Comhlámh. This is just a digest of what we were up to.
- The Clean Clothes Campaign is an alliance of organisations in 13 European countries who are dedicated to improving working conditions and supporting workers in the global garment industry. There was a launch event in May to introduce the work of the Clean Clothes Campaign while paying tribute on the evening to Neil Kearney (General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation) a tireless campaigner for labour rights in the textile industry, who unexpectedly died while on mission in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Race to the Bottom, a documentary which Neil starred in and which reveals the scandals at the heart of the global textile industry was played on the evening preceeded by words from Sam Maher of the CCC international , Sally Anne Kinahan of ICTU and Silvanan Cappucio of the ITGLWF.
- Comhlámh took part in The Wave on 5th December 2009. This action took place before the world’s governments met in Copenhagen to negotiate and decide on a global climate agreement and was Ireland’s biggest ever action on climate change. Hundreds of people came together to make a human wave surging from the Department of the Environment at Custom House Quay and ‘crashing’ down at the Department of the Taoiseach on Upper Merrion Street.
- On 13th June 2009 climate campaigners called on the government to take stronger action against climate change by creating a giant human hourglass on Sandymount Strand to start the ‘Climate Countdown to Copenhagen.’ A thousand people took part to ensure the Irish government calls for a strong, fair global deal on climate at the Copenhagen summit in December.
- Bloom – the perfect Storm – stirring up activism in a time of crisis. The Bloom Movement for Global Justice presented a discussion on opportunities for Local and Global Justice Activism in November 2009. The meeting particularly provided an open, supportive space for members of migrant communities to voice their concerns and hopes for building a movement for local and global justice in Ireland.
- On Friday September 25th 2009 organisations across the world marked ‘Stop EPA Day’ by sending a fax to their national negotiators reminding them that EPAs are supposed to promote development, not lead to increased economic hardship for impoverished countries.
- With elections to the EU parliament on June 5th 2009 14 Irish MEP Candidates across all the political parties, including 6 sitting MEPS publicly pledged their support for a full-scale rethink on EU trade policy to ensure it prioritises development, gender, social and environmental justice as well as human rights objectives across the world. They intend to use their term of office to help bring about a fairer approach to Europe’s trade with poor countries if elected.
- Dublin Campaigners marked ‘Financial Fools Day’ on eve of the G20 in April. We collected a lot of complaint forms documenting people’s views – on the banks and the global financial crisis – who came or stopped while passing by, which we will share with you in the coming days. Several photo journalists and journalists came to the event.
- As U2 prepared to launch their new album, Irish global justice campaigners challenged the band to put their money where their mouth is and support global tax justice. Campaigners highlighted the millions of euro denied to impoverished governments through tax avoidance and evasion by multi-national companies shifting their profits to avoid tax.