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Just York is an umbrella organisation including members of several organisations – Christian Aid, Jubilee Debt, World Development Movement, CAFOD , Oxfam and Fairtrade Forum – and individuals concerned with local support for international justice.

homepage-intro                       Hopefully this will also make it easier to avoid event dates clashing


March 2015 – It’s finally law

Gaza oxfam

Inspired, proud, downright ecstatic – we’re experiencing the whole lot right now.
Because today, after decades of tireless campaigning, parliament passed a law guaranteeing the UK will spend 0.7% of national income on life-saving aid.

This is huge. The historic new law has the power to change millions of lives worldwide. We want to thank all of you who helped make it happen. 

If you needed proof that people power works, this is it. From day one, thousands of you have helped push for this very result. From campaigning alongside Mandela for Make Poverty History to keeping the pressure on with the IF campaign and Turn Up Save Lives, you’ve pushed politicians to support UK aid – and, it’s finally paid off. Politicians have listened, the 0.7% target was met for the first time in 2013 and now that aid is enshrined in law.

The new law means guaranteed, long-term support for poorer countries – so they can invest in life-saving healthcare, education and jobs. It means the UK can continue to lead the way in responding to disasters like Ebola. And it shows that when we act together, we can achieve incredible things.

Thank you to everyone who played a part. And thank you, in advance, to anyone who’s inspired to make more change happen right now.

Thank you,

Nick Bryer's signature
Nick Bryer 
Head of UK Policy, Programmes and Campaigns,
Oxfam GB

You just made history.

February 2015 – Floods in Malawi

fairtrade logoThose of you who have seen the new Fairtrade Fortnight short film (or who are planning to do so soon) will have enjoyed learning more about the lives of Edso and Tsala, tea workers in Malawi.

Tragically, the recent rains have caused the worst floods for 40 years in this community and others like it across Malawi. Many people have lost everything, infrastructure has been destroyed and 100 people have died in these floods.

It is a clear demonstration of how much more needs to be done to enable communities like this to become resilient in such a challenging environment, and makes our support for Fairtrade even more vital.

Please give what you can. Thank you. http://fortnight.fairtrade.org.uk/donate/



YPA_logo00a10dLetter from People’s Assembly: Nearly a year ago, when I wrote to supporters asking for financial support, we received over £250 in donations. Over the months, we’ve spent that money when we’ve needed to, but now I need to ask you for support again.

Please help us out by donating a few pounds today!

When we hold a demonstration, we don’t spend a lot (hence we always ask for the placard sticks back!). For events like our Save Castlegate protest, when the council decided to suspend closure of a vital youth service, we typically spend only £25. Often, those with time to turn up don’t have the spare cash to donate.

Big political parties will spend hundreds of thousands in this year’s elections. But our work won’t finish on May 7th, whoever wins. We know some of you can’t, but if everyone who can chips in towards our £200 goal, we’ll be ready for anything!

Please click here and donate a few pounds today

Many thanks,
Graham Martin
York People’s Assembly

P.S. There’ll be a chance to add to the appeal at tonight’s meeting (2nd Feb) – 7.30pm at the Seahorse, on Fawcett Street. And don’t forget to share this appeal with friends and colleagues!


January 2015

Gaza oxfamFwd: Fight tax dodging now

It’s no wonder the gap between rich and the rest is hogging the headlines. We recently revealed that, unless things change, the richest 1% will own more than the rest of the world combined – by 2016. If we’re going to Even It Up, we’ve got to make some changes. Big changes. And it starts with tax.Right now, big companies can dodge billions in taxes. Meanwhile, the world’s poorest countries lose out on funds that could pay for vital services like education and healthcare – crucial in tackling extreme poverty. We miss out on billions right here in the UK too. Together we can end this injustice.

Stop corporate tax dodging – sign the petition

Unfair as this situation is, it is legal. But it doesn’t have to be. With a general election coming up, there’s an opportunity to create real change. That’s why we’ve joined a coalition of organisations calling on all UK political parties to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill within 100 days of the election that:

  1. Makes it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure they’re not getting unfair tax breaks
  2. Ensures UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries
  3. Makes the UK tax regime more transparent and tougher on tax dodging
Sign the petition

We estimate that the Tax Dodging Bill could generate at least £3.6 billion a year to fight poverty in the UK, and help developing countries generate billions more. That’s big money – that could create big change. Please don’t wait – sign our petition today. Together we can change the rules. Together we can Even It Up. Thank you, Nick Bryer's signature Nick Bryer  Head of UK Policy, Programmes and Campaigns, Oxfam GB  PS. Learn more about pushing your politicians to act – find a free training event near you.


  Gaza oxfam gaza pic

As I write, the ceasefire in Gaza has already been broken and the death toll is rising once again. Already, more than 1,500 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured – many of them children. Schools, hospitals and entire neighbourhoods have been destroyed. Ask the UK Government to push for a permanent ceasefire and save lives in Gaza nowOxfam is in Gaza, getting water and food to people who’ve lost everything – so we’ve seen the suffering with our own eyes. Oxfam condemns all violence against civilians and cannot stand by as innocent men, women and children are killed.The UK Government must use talks to continue to push for a permanent ceasefire – and lasting peace for the people of Gaza and Israel. This must include lifting of the blockade of Gaza, which traps ordinary people in poverty, denied the right to move, trade and live in dignity.Ask the UK Government to push for a permanent ceasefire – and an end to the blockade in Gaza The people of Gaza need peace now – before more innocent families die. Your action is a vital step in making that happen. Thank you
Ben Philips Campaigns and Policy Director Oxfam GB



In collaboration with York Explore and with the York Picture House, York Alternative History (YAH) Group (yorkalternativehistory@gmail.com) is co-organising a programme of films offering critical perspectives on World War One, one of a series of events acknowledging the centenary of the five years of the so-called ‘war to end all wars’. This autumn YAH is co-organising a day school on Saturday 1st November in York: contact us for further details. It will include workshops on a variety of relevant topics.

How should we remember the First World War? Was it a just war against the militarism of Germany and its allies? A war between imperial powers fighting to extend their economic reach? An accident from which no combatant country was able to extricate itself? What we do know is that the outcomes were disastrous. Millions of dead, economies and nation states destroyed, a rewriting of the map of, in particular, Central and Eastern Europe (leading to the rise of fascism in German and Italy) and the Middle East (generating the turbulence and massive loss of life in, especially, Iraq, Syria and Palestine), and, of course, the Second World War, which extended the combat to become a truly global conflict. How do we remember the courage of those many who refused to participate? YAH hopes to raise some of these questions through its events. This is an opportunity to challenge common perceptions and some myths, and discuss and debate other perspectives than those of government.

See Picture House brochures for further details and booking arrangements or contact York Picture House , tel. 0871 902 5726, or www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/york_picturehouse. At most of the films, there will be a display of material including maps and photographs (courtesy of York Explore, see below) illustrating the impact that the war had on the residents of York, plus a brief talk to introduce the film and our wider programme of work. We hope to show films in future providing perspectives from some of the other major combatants (Germany, Turkey, Russia, USA), perhaps linked to key events such as Gallipoli. The autumn programme August 4   A night at the cinema 1914 (a compilation of short films, illustrating the context of the time: what 1914 felt like in the UK). September 7  Paths of glory Kubrick’s anti-war statement in which a group of French soldiers revolt against a suicidal mission and are pursued by their corrupt superiors who demand their punishment. October 5  WINGS An action film about early aviators: a humanist exploration of the devastating results of war. Winner of the first ever Academy Award for Best Picture. October 20  5 pm Le Grande Illusion Renoir’s first masterpiece is one of the greatest anti-war statements in cinema, a portrait of prisoners of war attempting to escape. November 11  (Armistice Day) A special related film screening, further details to be announced shortly. November 24  4.30pm Oh what a lovely war This famous anti-war satire thinly veils the horror of the war in song and dance routines performed by pierrots who regularly tot up the dead on a scoreboard. For further information about critical perspectives on the war visit any of these websites:

www.noglory.org/                                       www.ppu.org.uk www.yorkagainstthewar.org.uk               www.iwm.org.uk www.wilpfinternational.org/                       www.abolishwar.org.uk www.res.org.uk/view/2013ConfMedia30f1.html Explore Libraries and Archives, as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Gateway to History project, is working with the Alternative History Society to share a distinctly York perspective on the First World War through a new pop-up exhibition. Based on unique archive documents held in the City Archives, the exhibition gives an insight into the local people and events that played a part in the War. York Explore Library is set to reopen to the public at the end of 2014 with a brand new archive service, making collections accessible to everyone for the first time. In the meantime check out our Pinterest board to discover York’s role in the First World War. See: uk.pinterest.com/yorkexplore/first-world-war-collections-guide-city-of-york-arc/ Published by:   yorkalternativehistory@gmail.comcontact us for further information, or visit: www.yorkalternativehistory.wordpress.com/

Just York Stall and Demo against the TTIP July 12th


              ,Letter template about TTIP agreement:    

The failure of the Government to provide the general public with information on the details and legal impact of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union is causing widespread public alarm, which I share. Conjecture in the  media suggests that the T.T.I.P will give global big business the right to over-rule those elected national governments, which attempt to control or limit commercial activity by international companies, that operate or seek to operate within that country’s boundaries. It is reported that the Agreement would give global companies the legal right to insist on work in the public sector being put out to commercial tender; and to deny a national government the right to  provide public services directly. It is further suggested that a company could for example sue a state for raising the minimum wage; or for forbidding the import of hormone treated meat or genetically modified products; or for imposing controls on packaging, or indeed passing any other legislation which would compromise a company’s profitability. Finally we are told that under the T.T.I.P. claims made by international companies against the governments of a sovereign state will not be ruled on by the nation’s Court of Law, , or be under the jurisdiction of national law; but decided by an ‘Investor/ State Dispute Mechanism’  of appointed business specialists. I would be grateful if you could obtain from the Government, which has been actively promoting the T.T.I.P., confirmation of the accuracy of these reports. If any one of them is accurate, I would ask you to object to the proposed agreement and to vote against its introduction.


robintaxThe decision about this simple sensible tax on Financial Transactions – which most of Europe supports but the ConDems don’t – will be made over the next few weeks. This will have a huge positive effect if it is accepted. Sign the petition here


robin tax on bankers bonuses

robin could raise £20B



oxfan logo2

Oxfam has recently published a report highlighting the threat that both rising inequality and climate change pose to combating poverty.

In response, Oxfam would like all its supporters to contact their MP’s asking for their response (the report has been sent to all MP’s) using this e-action.





10 December is global Human Rights Day…

Human Rights Day is an opportunity, every year, to join people across the globe in celebrating human rights and to call for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere. At the British Institute for Human Rights we think Human Rights Day is a chance for people and organisations in the UK to come together and speak up to tell the often unheard stories about how human rights protections make a difference to us all here at home.

PLUS             We Never Give Up poster



oxfamTake a stand for land with Oxfam and push PepsiCo and ABF to make sure their sugar doesn’t lead to land grabs!

Oxfam are requesting people make these simple but effective actions to ramp up the pressure on our favourite food and beverage companies, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods! Emails to Pepsi: As part of the Behind the Brands campaign, we have been focussing our efforts on emails to PepsiCo. If you haven’t taken this action, you can do here – http://www.behindthebrands.org/en-gb Noise on twitter and Facebook about Associated British Foods and their lack of effort to stop land grabs in their supply chain. Please follow this link to help generate some noise in the world of social media and share with your group members, friends and family – http://www.behindthebrands.org/en-gb/campaign-news/tell-abf-to-act-now



We all know making trade freer creates more business opportunities by making a precarious system more precarious.  The winners are the better off with a stronger political voice while the losers, as ever, are the poor.

Add your name to the petition to be delivered to:  President of European Commission José Manuel Barroso;  President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy;  President of the United States Barack Obama



parliamentMaking a Mockery of Democracy – The Lobbying Bill

Or to give it its true name in doublespeak : The Transparency Bill.

Through this charities will be restricted from campaigning on policy issues in the year before an election.

The Bill has been rushed through Parliament without the usual public consultation and has reached the Lords.  Dozens of charities and campaign organisations have set up an independent commission to do the research that the government should have done in the first place. This is the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement. Here’s a quick way to let the Commission know your thoughts, courtesy of 38 Degrees – here.


jubilee-debt-campaign-logoJust York is sponsoring a JDC event in York on Saturday 12th October.logobalanced-simpleptimized-small  Ben Young and Johnathan Stevens will be holding a workshop at the York People’s Assembly from 12.30 to 5.30. The aim of this is to clarify the links between anti-austerity campaigns in this country and similar movements in developing countries.


yatw THE MENACE OF DRONE WARFARE Talk & Discussion with Brian Terrell  –  A Long-Time US Peace Activist 7.30 pm on Wednesday 9th October 2013 Friends Meeting House, Brian has taken many non-violent risks to  say “no” to a future of drones and permanent war. He has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan, and was deported from Bahrain after witnessing the violent repression of human rights activists.               See our shiny new calendar for lots more information.


coccalowordsFind your tweet sheet here


york-peoples-assembly 12th October – York People’s Assembly is hosting a  conference including workshops on …

health, education, workplace rights, scapegoating of the vulnerable, global debt, alternatives to austerity and creating a movement.  Find out more here The People’s Assembly is a movement for democracy and social justice at >a time of falling living standards and a growing sense that companies >are calling the shots in government decision-making. Find out more here


Syria ‘Don’t Let Syria Down’ petition – sign it here

 Set up by Oxfam, Care, United Nations Association-UK, Aktion Deutschland Hilft,  Broederlijk Delen, Support to Life, Mülteci-Der, Human Rights Agenda Association,  Islamic Relief, Christian Aid, Polish Humanitarian Action, Pax Christi International, World Vision, Inspiraction, Relief International, Tearfund, Welt Hunger Hilfe



Saturday 28th September to Sunday 6th October

 At various sites around York.

Organnised by the Human Rights City Project, the Centre for Applied Human Rights and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

See our calendar or Cahr website


   jubilee-debt-campaign-logoHistoric Step towards Debt Justice

Last month Norway became the first government in the world to carry out an audit of its    lending to developing countries. An audit might sound a little dull – but this one is a        historic step towards debt justice! It’s what Jubilee Debt Campaign have been calling on Business Minister Vince Cable to do for the UK’s history of Dodgy Deals with dictators over the last four decades. Just this week our friends at Jubilee Scotland protested outside the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow. But he is currently refusing to carry out the Liberal Democrat’s clear policy to conduct such an audit. Norway’s audit assessed whether past Norwegian loans to governments, including repressive regimes in Egypt and Indonesia, were compliant with current principles of responsible lending and borrowing developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It found that many of the loans do not meet UNCTAD responsible lending guidelines. Read more about it here


parliamentThe Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill …

… is hitting the headlines lately – and if there isn’t a concerted effort to stop it, it will be hitting all sorts of charities and grassroots organisations.. Click here for a little video about it from 38 Degrees. As posted in Civil Society Governance: “Rosamund McCarthy, a partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, has said new laws on non-party campaigners will have a “chilling effect” on charities campaigning, and could be in breach of article 10 of the Human Rights Act. She warns that the threat is not only to large charities, but also to coalition and grassroots local activity, as each entity, no matter how small, has to report the entire spend on campaigning in the run-up to a general election if it is considered to be for ‘election purposes’ in law.” civilsociety.co.uk