Lobby for trade justice begins
Campaigners including many Christian groups will today begin what they claim will be country's biggest ever lobby of MPs.
The Trade Justice Movement's "lobby marathon" aims to press over 500 MPs into backing its call for a revision of world trade rules in favour of the poor.
Beginning at midday for 24 hours, and backed by groups such as Cafod and Christian Aid, the lobby will demand that British ministers take a lead in the forthcoming World Trade Organisation summit in Cancun in redistributing wealth.
MPs across the country will be met in their constituencies by campaigners insisting that the government stop backing an expansion of the WTO's powers to include new issues such as investment.
"The rules governing international trade are currently biased in favour of the richest nations and companies. Poor countries, and the environment, are being harmed," the campaign group says.
"The government says it wants trade to help end world poverty," Glen Tarman, a Trade Justice Movement coordinator, said.
"Yet they are pushing for policies in the WTO that are biased towards rich countries and the West's corporations."
"This needs to change. We aim to create massive pressure on the government to change its position for the WTO meeting in Cancun in September."
The Trade Justice Movement's lobby last year was deemed the "most effective" campaign in a survey of MPs.