On Saturday morning, ALi Sameer travelled from Leeds to Manchester to attend a training day on Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign. Here is his report:
I'd never heard of Thomas Walker. I have to thank Diane Porter, Oxfam Contituency Campaigner for introducing me to this inspirational figure this week-end at the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaigning session in Manchester. What a legend he was! In 1792 Thomas Walker,
almost single handedly, persuaded 20,000 of the 60,000 people living in Manchester at the time to sign up to abolish slavery in the UK.
IF he managed to do it all alone, well, why can't we?
The big IF campaign is on its way with all the zeal and zest. Last Saturday's training session was organised by Oxfam in coalition with ChristianAid and CAFOD. We learnt about the IF campaign, how to lobby your MP, and we even had a question and answer session with John Leech MP for Manchester Withington at lunch time. This was great
because it helped me a lot to prepare myself for the forthcoming meeting with Hilary Benn MP. But my favourite, it must be said, was the last activity of the day; we wrote a personal letter to Chancellor George Osborne, to ask him to take the historic opportunity to meet the UK's promise to give 0.7% of national income to international aid for 2013 and to use the Finance Bill to spill the
beans on any tax dodging.
Although the feat achieved by Thomas Walker seems almost unreal, it certainly isn't impossible to achieve. Raising our voice on an issue does not cost anything, and can help a farmer in Colombia get his land back; it can stop the big multinational companies dodging their tax; it can make us realize being honest prevents children dying from hunger and it can convince the G8 countries to keep their promise on aid. Manchester calling was a small step towards achieving the goals of IF campaign.
Enough food for everyone IF… we all work together to make this world a better place.