"In as much..." a very simple response!
by Rosemary Kidd
What a wonderful summer we have had and yet, I am sure that you, like me, have felt desperate on occasions for folk who have experienced the very worst that No-Peace, No-Money, No-Passport can do to ordinary people. What a contrast with our relatively settled existence!
There is one very simple way of supporting people who are struggling, which is sometimes remarkably effective. It does require access to a computer, and it links us directly into simple actions which speak volumes about 'alternative' public opinion. Over the last few years, I have joined in ON LINE PETITIONS, some of which have contributed to a sea-change of opinion and become tools to catch the attention of government(s) and other people in power. I am highly selective about which petitions I put my name to.
You might choose differently, in the same way as we might cast our democratic votes in different ways. The overall effect, however, is to effect changes. Once I have logged my name and postal address, all I have to do each time is to type in my email address, and I instantly become one of thousands of people who feel very strongly about an issue which is adversely affecting lives. Here are some of the various international and local campaigns that I have supported in this way:
- Petition to David Cameron, asking him to uphold the EU ban on pesticides which are proven to kill our honey bee population! Mega pesticide company Sygenta were pushing hard for an exemption. This campaign, July 2014, together with action in Parliament, was successful, but the problem has not gone away!
- Joining my voice with millions of others calling for the UN to act in Israel/Palestine. Also, calling on six key banks and pension funds to withdraw their support of companies active in UK, which sell arms to Israel.
- Campaigning the US Government for the creation of a Marine Protected area in the Pacific, in danger of being destroyed by new licences for factory fishing methods. ("The Ocean of Hope" campaign.)
- Petitioning the Indian government to counter, both in law and action, the deep-seated social misogyny, in the light of recent terrible atrocities against women.
- Message to UK Government, requesting that they put a stop to advertising aimed at children under 12, called "Leave our Kids Alone!"
- Requesting Barclays NOT to withdraw their presence in Somalia, which would have made it impossible for Somalis in this country to send any money to their impoverished families. (Backed by Usain Bolt, this was successfully averted!)
- Petitioning the Education Secretary (then Michael Gove) who wanted punishments such as "running around the field" to be reintroduced into state schools, at a time when too many UK children desperately need to be encouraged to run anywhere, for their health's sake!
- Joining the outcry against FGM, before the summer holiday when girls legally resident in the UK are taking abroad to be mutilated.
It is, of course, impossible to know how much your action actually affects results, but it is one better than doing nothing! There is no doubt that democratic governments do take note of what hundreds of their constituents think! As a comfortable Western Christian, I would not want this to be the end of my sense of solidarity with those who suffer. It is too easy for us to put money into an envelope, or to fill in an email address, and then to feel that we have "done our bit for humanity", but on the other hand, there is so little we can do. All these little actions, however, are tiny parts of the stream of GOOD action, and that is of God, and so for now, I will continue to "Click"!