Saturday, July 02, 2005

the biggest text book for economic justice

a march for economic justice
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

according to multiple news sources, tens of thousands, and as many as 200,000 today marched for economic justice. "the marchers dressed in white and formed a human chain around scotland's capital on saturday, echoing the musical call of the live 8 concerts", according to the guardian unlimited.

not only that, but correspondents in philadelphia, according to rueters, just reported that "more than 26.4 million people from around the world have sent text messages in support of the LIVE 8 campaign to cancel the debts of poor countries, setting a world record." the previous record, according to the reuters article of the most text messages sent on a single day for a single event was around 5.8 million for an episode of american idol. ralph simon who was coordinating the text messaging campaign in philedelphia, said, "what this means is bono and bob geldolf can to to gleneagles in a few day's time and say we have created the world's biggest text book."

the article aslo states that ", whichs streamed video of the concerts, also claimed a world record, saying more than five million logged on globally to watch, making it the biggest streaming event ever."

my hope is that we will continue to sing songs of justice, long after the conference and the G8 conference. continue to read the next articles to learn how.


At 11:36 PM, Blogger alex said...

To everyone who is interested in making world poverty history,

Please visit my webspace below which is dedicated to ideas on how to get governments to substantially contribute to overseas aid programs, in a step to finally make poverty history. Feel free to add your own idea! The main idea I am trying to get people to support at the moment is the introduction of a 0.5% "poverty tax" which would be added to the income tax rate. This would go straight to overseas aid programs, and would enable many long term projects to be set up. I believe this is a viable path for governments to go down, and really need support from people like you in order to convince them to do it. There is also a petition form on the page which you can copy and paste into word, and print off and get people to sign.
Thanks for your time,
Alex Clark

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to make a post, but I have a strong mix of emotions in doing so. I suspect that my heart and motives will be judged if I say anything even remotely negative about the G8 conf. and the Live 8 concerts. Nevertheless, I feel that I must (at least make the post, that is).

I guess my thoughts are more in the form of questions:
Should it be the focus of Christians to "make poverty history" or "create new economic realities"? I wonder if Jesus was serious when he said, "You will always have the poor among you" (John 12:8).
Why is a quest to ease the suffering of poverty called "social justice"? Is it unjust for someone to be poor? Is global communism what Jesus died for? Why don't we call it social compassion? That seems more accurate to me.
Is it the proper role of government to end poverty? Is it appropriate for the government to tax it's citizens who work hard for their money and give it away to others? Wouldn't it be better to call upon the individual to exercise compassion upon the needy? Isn't that the model Christ left us? To take personal responsibility to ease the suffering in the world.
The Roman Catholic church and many mainline denominations have made poverty a priority by formulating what is called the "social gospel". The idea that Jesus died on the cross so that economic and political oppression would cease. Is that true? Jesus seemed to make it clear that he came to preach the good news that the Kingdom of God has come and to be a light to the world and give sight to the blind. (Mark 1:15, John 9:37-39, John 12:44-46).

So am I saying, "to hell with the poor"? By no means! I am asking sincere questions that I have about the degree of emphasis and the methodology of solving the poverty problem.
I am happy for Live 8. I am far happier for Kairos taking personal responsibility to deliver physical and spiritual food to those stranded in poverty in Africa. We need both to live.

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Empty Voice said...


check it!

At 8:01 PM, Blogger donna said...

live eight is definitely one of the more interesting, moving, intriguing things that could happen globally right now. when i first heard about it, i was cynical- as my training taught me to be. it seems to me that if you want to be "somebody" in show business you need to part of this. and then i heard the criticisms, no african artists were performing (there are popular african musicans - and dave matthews doesn't count... he has a colonialist legacy- thus part of the problem, not one suffering from it) and furthermore, record companies are not turning over any increased profits of the performing artists to poverty alleviation.

i'm intrigued though. people are finally beginning to engage the issue. people are getting angry, are saddened, want to do something, see change... and this is the cusp. still cynical because Bush's reaction reminds me very much of his reaction to worldwide protest against an Iraqi invasion: A general indifference to the global public. Nervous, because to eradicate poverty means we must as constituents of G8 countries give up some of our own luxuries. There IS enough food to feed the world, instead, as part of an elite, receive most of it. We get extensive choices... do we want that cup of coffee in the morning? What if we knew what it costs another family in Africa to produce that coffee? How about that cheap blanket you bought at Wal-Mart? Did the person making that get paid according to her (and its usually a her) amount of work?

There is always the question of outside intervention... what I'm trying to point out... what I've been thinking through for a couple of years now, is, if G8 countries helped create the cycle poverty - beginning with loaning money to Africa with stipulations that do not help its citizens but only benefit wealthy consumers? Should the G8 simply walk away? Stipulations often include (for example) the use of monoculture and (one type of seed/grain/bean and the heavy, heavy use of chemicial fertilizer, pesticides and so forth) and wreck Africa's natural environment, eliminating native foods if the wealthy countries heavily burn fossil fuels, creating a climate change which a 1 degree change in the climate in Africa, causes increased amount of desertification and the inability for self-substaining practices. Also note the increased amounts of food imported to African countries.... it has dramatically increased since these countries have focused on export agriculture... Should the governments that helped create this crisis simply ignore it??

Mass attention is important though. Don't forget Rwanda. "The Rwandan genocide happened because the international community...did not give one damn for Rwandans."(General Romeo Dallaire,1994). I mention this, because, as long as the masses care, we will BEGIN to put pressure on each of these governments to begin to undo what they have done. I just pray that shifts in personal economies will continue to be supported- especially if we begin to pay each individual a fair wage for his/her production.

Wow, I had a lot more thoughts than I expected. I hope you don't mind the extra reading. I have references if need be. (i just blurted out my opinions/thoughts)

At 1:42 AM, Blogger J.R. Woodward said...

when i get some time i would love to respond to your concerns

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Samurai said...

"do we want that cup of coffee in the morning? What if we knew what it costs another family in Africa to produce that coffee?"

And if we stopped buying this coffee, we would crush the meager economy that produced it.

"How about that cheap blanket you bought at Wal-Mart? Did the person making that get paid according to her (and its usually a her) amount of work?"

The point is they got paid, which they may not have otherwise... fair is a relative term. Would you or I work for those wages? Probably not. Would they? They certainly do, and thus provide income they otherwise wouldn't have.

At 7:51 AM, Blogger donna said...

would we really kill the economy or would the farmland be put to better use to grow foods that its own citizens can eat?!?!?!?

when the wages are simply un-livable, i take issue with it. they take the jobs because there are few to no alternatives. corporations provide the jobs because they don't have to have those pesky regulations of safety, minimum wages, overtime... there are many people in the united states that take minimum wage jobs, and still can't pay their expenses. does that mean we should ignore it? or justify it with "at least they have an income of some sort" and then blame them for being poor in the first place.

shouldn't we consider more self-sustaining practices globally if we really want to eliminate poverty and the issues that affect the individuals?!?!? i don't think economic growth is the way to go. it ignores the individual and the community in lieu of the bottom line. exports don't benefit the country as a whole. they benefit the top. they benefit the owners of the means of production. their profits and coffers get bigger. not the laborers.

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this:


At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops, that link didn't cut and paste right. Here it is again:


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