Poverty campaigners to form human wristband around Edinburgh - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
May 3, 2005

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Poverty campaigners to form human wristband around Edinburgh


The Make Poverty History campaign has announced details of a massive march it is planning to hold in Edinburgh this summer.

As many as 200,000 protesters will dress in white and form a "human wristband" around the city during the massive demonstration to coincide with the G8 summit in Gleneagles.

The action will mirror events in 1998, when as part of the church-inspired Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel Third World Debt, a 70,000-strong human chain was formed in Birmingham.

Archbishop of Birmingham Vincent Nichols later said he felt the protest produced a lasting legacy of change in G8 policy.

Coaches will ship in supporters from across the UK, who will wear white clothing, and thousands of messages to be sent to the G8 leaders will be written on white bands of cloth during the protest.

Mary Cullen, chairwoman of the Make Poverty History coalition in Scotland, said: "It will be a fun day with a very serious message for the G8 leaders - take action to make poverty history.

"The rally is about people here showing they care about people elsewhere in the world, doing something to end extreme poverty and demanding that the worldís most powerful politicians take the necessary action."

Among the 400 organisations represented will be Oxfam, Save the Children, Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, Christian Aid, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Salvation Army, Islamic Relief, Help the Aged and Jubilee Scotland.

Oxfam spokesman Malcolm Fleming said: "I think it will have a huge impact and make a difference that can really be seen. Protests around the last G8 held in Britain, in Birmingham, did make the world leaders take action."

Mr Fleming said he was confident the July march would be violence and vandal-free.

Organisers have urged participants not to bring alcohol to the march and to use public transport to reduce congestion in the city.

Richard Saville-Smith, of Save the Children, said: "The hope is that G8 member countries will take on board the agenda of making poverty history - give more, better aid and end debt.

"We want to make sure it is not just a talking point."

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