Saturday, May 12, 2007

spend and save

It's a weekend when you can spend money to save the world. (Isn't every weekend- the joy's of living in first world consumer capitalism?) Well, even though I try to keep reasonably informed as to what is going on activism-wise in the world, these two things hit me late.... It raises a big question for me, how come it is so hard to get information on things like Fair Tradeout there to interested people... surely these guys can shout a bit louder for those of us who are listening so that we actually HEAR!!!! in time to do something positive.

Okay, the point of that is that TODAY is World Fair Trade Day. It worries me. Fair Trade Fortnight seems to have little impact (at least I never see it really - maybe that's not fair, the shops got in on it a bit this year) and World Fair Trade Day - seems that there are a few events going on, but really not much - especially given that so many towns in UK are going for Fair Trade status and workplaces etc etc... COME ON FOLKS SHOUT ABOUT FAIR TRADE - if you are doing something, tell people!!!!! Maybe the point is, the organisations are the focal point but actually the thing won't work unless we DO something rather than just sit back waiting for things to happen for us to sign up to.

Those of you who know my other current incarnation, as diarist for Project Jam (see link on compost heap) will know that I believe along with Che that "words that do not match deeds are unimportant" and I myself am working on a range of short interactive dramas under the heading FAIR PLAY. These will hit an unsuspecting (and uninterested public) for the first time on August 14th and 16th in Dumfries (where?) yes, Dumfries, South West Scotland where they will be performed by people having taken part on a six week "Festival of Ability" project. NO, this is not an advert, but simply to prove that I'm prepared to put my money/time where my mouth is. I'm doing what I can to help Fair Trade - what are you all doing? If nothing else, and you have to spend money, buy something Fair Trade - I suggest a trip to the ethical superstore.

Even more of a surprise to me was to discover that Sunday is UN World Food Programme – Fight Hunger- Walk the World Day. The link is
I went to the website today and tried to work out what it was all about. Couldn’t really figure it and there was nothing organised except in Scotland as far as I could see. Anyway, I urge you to Walk the World if you can – I have decided that Wight’s Walk will take place in Butterdean Wood, far away from the public eye, and when I can work out who or how or what exactly I donate money to, I’ll do it. On the day, we just walk and think about why so many people in the world are hungry when there’s so much food wasted!

There are lots of things we can do to to support worthy causes and if we can, surely we should GET OUT THERE and let people know. However, I think that even more important is that you LIVE your beliefs and that ultimately it doesn't matter how much you spend or how far you walk, it's how much you THINK about it and how much those thoughts and words translate into action, be that in the personal or public domain. More people probably find out about Fair Trade from me by being offered a Geobar or my polite refusal of non fair trade/instant coffee, and personal explanations about why I only eat certain kinds of chocolate than would by my activity in a public arena. Anyway, the point is, there is always something you can do, and then something else, and then you can do more..... I'm doing something by telling you all... you can spread the words and the deeds to the best of your ability.


TCH said...

I live in Hebden Bridge which is an "official" Fairtrade town but saw nothing advertising World Fair Trade Day at all. In contrast Fairtrade Fortnight was very heavily publicised, so maybe it's a UK vs. US thing?

cally said...

Aye maybe... but it does then make you wonder what WORLD means. Or maybe (to be childishly cyncial, or very witty depending on your viewpoint) maybe we don't want to advertise WORLD anything day because that will lead us down the path of globalisation? Hmmm.......