Aug 28th, 2015
What we achieve together: the last few months
By Amy Lockwood
38 Degrees is all about making the world a better place. We know that the best way to make change happen – and to challenge the vested interests who want to stop us – is for millions of us to come together and speak up for what we believe in.
The last few months prove that when we work together, we can win campaigns – whoever we’re up against!
Take a look at some of the amazing things 38 Degrees members have been doing together:
Meet 38 Degrees member Andrew from Exeter. When NHS bosses said they wanted to close his local NHS walk-in centre, Andrew sprung into action and set up a campaign to save it.
Thousands of local 38 Degrees members signed his petition on the 38 Degrees website. Teams of volunteers hit the streets in Exeter to gather signatures. The local paper backed the campaign. Andrew delivered the petition straight to NHS bosses – who agreed that the walk-in centre will remain open “for the foreseeable future.”
Here’s another amazing 38 Degrees member – Barbara from Roseacre, in Lancashire. When dirty energy company Cuadrilla announced plans to frack down the road from her, she and other worried residents set up a group to fight them – with the help of a grant paid for by donations from 38 Degrees members all across the UK.
Together with other grassroots campaigners they worked tirelessly for months to stop Cuadrilla’s plans. They made sure to be at every single meeting and decision moment, as a constant drumbeat of opposition.
In June it all paid off. Councillors listened to community concerns and rejected Cuadrilla’s plans.
The powers behind the dangerous, secretive TTIP trade deal are determined (and rich!). But they’re no match for 38 Degrees members. Together, we’re stopping TTIP step by step: we forced over half of all UK MEPS (our politicians in Europe) to oppose the dodgy deal – a huge shift from this time last year.
Last weekend, nearly 8,000 members took to the streets in a nationwide day of action to expose TTIP. Since then 70,000 more people have signed the petition – amazing! That’s 70,000 more people TTIP officials wish didn’t know about this dodgy deal. And with summer holidays about to end for politicians, we’re ready to hand in the 2.5 million strong petition.
There will be a lot more to do before we stop TTIP for good. But we’re starting to win. We’ve dragged this deal out of the shadows and shone a spotlight on it. The big corporations and politicians pushing TTIP are on the defensive. Let’s keep going!
Over half a million 38 Degrees members came together this summer to stand up for our bees and keep the ban on toxic, bee-killing pesticides. We built a huge petition, sent personal messages to MPs, raised money for newspaper adverts, and organised a people-powered lobbying event in parliament.
Government’s felt the pressure: MPs say it’s one of the top issues voters are raising with them. Outrageously the government still gave the go-ahead for toxic pesticides to be used on 5% of crops. It could have been worse, and probably would have been without all our campaigning. But we’ll need to keep battling to protect the bees.
Next week 38 Degrees member Paul is meeting environment minister Liz Truss – who is also his local MP. He’ll be putting the views of thousands of 38 Degrees members to her directly – and letting her know we won’t rest until bee-killing pesticides are banned for good.
Watch out for the 38 Degrees campaign to save the bees featured on BBC One’s Countryfile at 7pm on Sunday 6th September.
Earlier this year, thousands of members chipped in to fund an explosive report into the Mayfair loophole – a tax-dodge that lets super rich finance bosses pay a lower rate of tax than many nurses and teachers.
When 38 Degrees members started campaigning, the government denied that the loophole even existed. Together, we kept the spotlight on it and stood strong. We pushed it into the media, held public meetings and built a huge petition to spread the word. Together, we convinced Labour, the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru to come on side.
38 Degrees members made the Mayfair loophole such a headache for the government, they simply couldn’t ignore it any longer. Just five months after 38 Degrees members first launched the campaign, the government announced they’ll start to tackle the Mayfair loophole. A huge win for people-power in the face of tax-dodging finance bosses.
Of course there are other campaigns which will need to continue for the longer term. Here’s a quick update on some of these:
Together we’re protecting our BBC from attacks by Rupert Murdoch and his friends in the government.
This campaign’s building momentum. The petition now has a whopping 319,000 signatures. Public figures like Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Fry have joined us is speaking out. The government’s been pushed onto the defensive, forced to deny it wants to dismantle the BBC.
Now the government needs to feel our pressure by flooding their consultation with calls from 38 Degrees members to save the BBC. You can add your personal submission here.
And we’re making sure Unilever clear up the mess from their factory’s mercury spill in India.
Alongside other campaigners, we called on Unilever to clean up their mercury spill in India, and compensate the people who were affected. After a huge outcry from 38 Degrees members, Unilever bosses met with us to hear our concerns and offer their side of the story.
That they agreed to meet at all showed they were feeling the pressure. And at the meeting, Unilever accepted the need to “reach a just settlement as soon as possible”. That’s down to those in India to negotiate, and we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But Unilever know 38 Degrees members will be watching and we’ll do everything we can to make sure they keep their word.
Thank you for being a part of this. Each of these victories is a shared success. When we work together, we can take on powerful forces in business or government – and win. Let’s keep it up!