CAFOD in global week of action for trade justice

 CAFOD campaigners are taking part in events throughout the UK in support of the Global Week of Action (10 - 16 April) as part of the Trade Justice Movement. The UK events coincide with protests in more than 70 countries, including India, South Africa, Zambia, Haiti, Bangladesh and Ireland. CAFOD partners will be taking part in events in Sri Lanka, Mexico, Brazil and Honduras. Of the over hundred events that CAFOD will be supporting throughout the UK, the highlight of the week will be the 'Wake Up to Trade Justice' candlelit vigil starting at 10pm tomorrow (Friday) in Westminster Abbey in London. Celebrities such as pop stars Ronan Keating, Thom Yorke, and Beverly Knight and comedian Robert Newman will join thousands of CAFOD and other trade justice campaigners for the all night event that will end with a dawn procession past Downing Street and a meeting with delegations of the main political parties. Singer Ronan Keating said: "It will be an important event with millions of people all over the world calling for trade justice. A vigil outside Downing Street will be the biggest this country has ever seen. So come and be part of making history that night." Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke said: "It is an overnight 'happening' and it's happening at the same time as many events all around the world. I'm going with a sleeping bag and a paint brush and maybe even a guitar if I can get it in the suitcase." This year Britain hosts the G8 summit of world leaders and gains the presidency of the European Union. It gives the next Government a unique opportunity to change the unjust trade system that keeps millions of people in poverty. The Trade Justice Movement is calling on all three main political parties to ensure that whichever forms the next Government, it will push for a trade policy that no longer harms the poor in the developing world. CAFOD's Head of Campaigns Alison Marshall will be at the event. She said, "It will be a crucial time to draw attention to the scandal of unfair trade that keeps millions of people in poverty in developing countries." As part of the campaign, CAFOD is urging its supporters to sign up to Vote for Trade Justice, a massive ballot, launched in summer 2004. CAFOD has collected 30,000 Votes for Trade Justice so far with more coming in all the time from its supporters. You can take part in the vote on the website The Global Week of Action is part of the Make Poverty History mobilisation for 2005, with its symbol of a white band. Outside London, events have ranged from the Arundel Trade Justice Pilgrimage, to a white band stunt in Coventry by the National Board of Catholic Women, and to a human white band around the Angel of the North. CAFOD campaigners joined the Fair Trade Foundation and others on Tuesday to hand a banana to hundreds of civil servants arriving for work at the Department of Trade and Industry in Victoria Street, London, bearing the message 'Don't forget the farmer who grew this banana'.

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