Christmas comes to soon...

BHS on Oxford St has already got it's first Christmas window.... waah.

However, I canny talk. I have been investing a lot of time on Christmas already. See, every year I despair that Christmas is such an extravaganza of materialism, stress and consumerism, it is truly season of worshiping mammon. So this year I am mobilising early to compete with this!

The first thing is Fair Christmas Fayre- an ethical/alternative Christmas fayre held in the church next door. Already we have some awesome people signed up to come. I am going to be investing some blogging energies into www.fairchristmasfayre.wordpress.com from now on. Please list it!
The second, even more exciting, thing is that as a result of Dream Date on Friday night (a dream/discussion/action night on social injustice) we are building a new Christmas movement! (Can you build a movement?) There is a team of us... we are going to produce a web resource for individuals and church groups on how to do Christmas differently- there is lots of good stuff already, hopefully we can add to it- and we are also going to host weekly shopping free zones on Oxford St where people can come and talk, make presents etc. Wanna join us?


peace one day

This Sunday is International Day of Peace. A few weeks ago a young women from my youth group suggested that we should do something - so we have commandeered the Sunday afternoon church service for the sole purpose of promoting peace; personal, local and global peace.
As the UK (see below) ad campaign asks:

"What will you do to make peace?"

Check out these stats from New Internationalist:
In recorded history since 3600 BC, over 14,500 major wars have killed close to four billion people - two-thirds of the current world population.
  • In armed conflicts since 1945, 90 per cent of casualties have been civilians compared to 50 per cent in the second World War and 10 per cent in the first.
  • Around 85 countries have undergone some sort of disarmament since the end of the Cold War in 1989, but 69 nations have been increasing their stock of weapons - mostly low income countries buying from the richer ones.
  • The United States is the world’s biggest arms exporter - supplying around 40 per cent of the developing world’s arms.
  • The U.S military budget is as large as the next ten, top-spending, countries combined.
  • Britain is the world’s second-largest arms exporter with a 25 per cent share of the legal global market.
  • Between 1990 and 1994 Britain supplied 13 per cent of total arms exports to sub-Saharan Africa - while at war from 1987 to 1994, Angola received $7.3 billion worth of British arms.
  • There are at least 250,000 child soldiers fighting in armed conflict.
  • Most countries consider young soldiers ‘volunteers’. But often coercion is involved - in Uganda around 8,000 children have been abducted for use as soldiers or prostitutes.
Here is a video on the idea and origins of Peace One Day. I love it; it paints a picture of a man with a dream to change the world, obsessed by it, making it happen, growing the dream-almost-reality until it is big.. really big....


Lend me some sugar...

On Saturday we ventured to Tearfund's Whose My Neighbour? Conference... it was grand. Archbishop Desmond Tutu amazed with the most simple of messages with regard to global poverty; a reminder that every last person is made in the image of God... is a God bearer and that we must treat them so. He pressed home God's bias toward the weakest and the idea that when we serve people, in particular those who are vulnerable, we must do so as if it was the Creator of the Universe. He is the most fun yet most convincing person I think I have heard speak ever. Go him. (Like he needs my cheer leading!)

This is one of my favourite gems as he speaks to that place we go to when faced with hard calls, safety.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."


dreams are free

So the thesis is all finished, bound and handed in. Phew. That was a job. If anyone wants to read 9,919 words on the relationship between global citizenship and global inequality, just let me know.

On that note I am currently thiiiiinking about developing the social action calendar into a fully blown web resource for 2009, with the idea of inspiring action and fostering global civil society. (The Rubicon's Match Factory is currently closest to what it would look like- a guide to how to get active on some key dates for social change, the latest low down on September- October is now live.) This is pretty exciting and I am looking for reps who would be interested in maintaining a guide to their national social action scene (email if you fancy more info on this... or look out in your inbox for an email from me- cause for another winks really, eh).

And, lastly, because we don't devote enough time to d r e a m i n g, any locals are invited to Dream Date. Created with the sole purpose of imagining possible responses to local and global injustice. . .