CAFOD's Trade Justice Campaign's participation in last weekend's V2002 music festival has been hailed as a great success. Records were broken when 322 festival-goers took the bungee run challenge, one of a number of actions thought up by a band of young CAFOD campaigners to highlight the disadvantages inherent in international trade rules. Two people run a race against each other whilst tied to bungee ropes. Only problem is the bungee is rigged so only one can win. "The bungee run shows how unfair international trade rules are. No matter what poor countries do, they can never compete with rich countries because the rules are against them," explained 17 year old Southend campaigner Jack Foottit. "Farmers from poorer countries are being put out of business while the richest farmers in Europe profit," continued the teenager, pointing out the damage EU subsidies can do to developing world markets. "It's a clear example of the rules working in favour of the rich and against the poor". Music lovers attending the Chelmsford event were also asked to write postcards calling for change to EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, incoming Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Supachai Panitchpakdi, and Margaret Beckett, British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. At the close of play 1,369 such postcards had been signed, 500 people had agreed to become e-campaigners and over 2,000 of CAFOD's 'It's soooo unfair' badges were distributed. CAFOD's Head of Campaigns Alison Marshall said the response to the festival campaign was fantastic. "The music was loud, but the calls for reform of international trade rules were louder," she commented, "and they'll be heard in the EU, WTO and Westminster."
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