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  Welcome to MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East

We call upon people in the North East - from Tees to Tweed - to join us in demanding that our government, and indeed the governments of the world, should act to alleviate poverty for the world's poorer countries by:

  • Trade justice
  • Dropping the debt
  • Providing more and better aid
  • Curbing climate change
  • Promoting Fairtrade

Latest planned events and activities

The events listed below are organised by us, or by groups or individuals affiliated to us who have asked for their event to be included in this listing.

Journey to Justice (Breaking the Chains of Global Debt)
Sunday 18th May
This is a milestone year for the debt campaign, marking ten years since the 70,000-strong human chain encircled the G8 in Birmingham in 1998. As in 1998, we've chartered coaches, but only you can fill them!

Please join us. Booking is urgent - see details here.

Drop the Debt Fast
Saturday 12 April - Sunday 18 May
A 36 day rolling fast will demand debt cancellation for 36 poor countries. The fast will begin as the World Bank and IMF hold their spring meetings and end on 18th May when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Birmingham G8 human chain. Please join the fast for a day or more.

Here in the NE, we have our own rolling programme to cover all 36 countries, and suggest that supporters in each Parliamentary constituency take one (or two) examples, details here.

***NEWS RELEASE***.........

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Archbishop John Sentamu, the former President of Tanzania, Newcastle University's Vice-Chancellor and Lord Carey of Clifton join up with North East campaigners for Regional Fast Day. Tutu praises campaigners efforts as "fantastic".



Jubilee Debt Campaign's 'Drop the Debt Fast' continues to gain momentum as the tenth anniversary of the human chain in Birmingham gets closer. Make Poverty History NE, one of the country's leading campaigning groups and a member of the Debt Campaign, is calling for region-wide support for the Fast on Friday 16th May, the exact anniversary date.

"We decided to seek participation and endorsement from leaders both inside and outside the Region and have been delighted at the generosity of the response", says Dr David Golding, Development Coordinator of MPH-NE. "Desmond Tutu replied saying that 'I commend you on the tremendous effort you and your supporters continue to put into the Jubilee Debt Campaign. It is fantastic and I am deeply appreciative.'

"Mrs Margaret Sentamu, the Archbishop of York's wife, said 'This is the least I can do to help identify with the voiceless millions in Africa and the world over today.' Newcastle's Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Arnold, said 'I am delighted to participate and support such a worthy cause'. Lord and Lady Carey wrote 'This is something that warms our hearts and, of course, we are keen to support it'.

A list of leaders who have expressed their support is given below - almost all will be 'fasting' in one way or another on 16th.

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, formerly Archbishop of Cape Town, and Freeman of the City of Durham
  • His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa, formerly President of Tanzania, who was awarded an honorary degree by Newcastle University in January 2007
  • Lord George Carey of Clifton, formerly Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lady Eileen Carey
  • Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, and Mrs Margaret Sentamu
  • Cllr Peter Arnold, Lord Mayor of Newcastle
  • Cllr John Shipley OBE, Leader of Newcastle City Council
  • Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University
  • Revd John Claydon and Revd John Singleton, Regional Ministers, Northern Baptist Association
  • Major Suzanne Fincham, on behalf of the Northern Division of the Salvation Army
  • Revd Leo Osborn, Chair, Newcastle upon Tyne Distict, Methodist Church
  • Janet Quilley, Society of Friends
  • Mrs Judith Sadler, Christian Aid NE


NOTE 1. What do we mean by 'fasting'? Not eating (drinking water is fine!) is a strict definition, but if someone has medical or other reasons not to do this, they can give up something else for the duration of the fast, like drinks other than water, or television. The purpose is to show solidarity with people in the global South and to make time to take action on debt.

NOTE 2. Those attending the 'Journey to Justice' event in Birmingham on Sunday 18th May will see a video message from Archbishop Tutu, in which he says "We have long called for the cancellation of crippling debt. Ten years ago in Birmingham you forged a powerful link in the chain of action for change. It was a significant step on the journey to justice. But it is a journey that we must continue together."

NOTE 3. Benjamin Mkapa addressed the Annual Conference of Jubilee Debt Campaign in 2005 when President of Tanzania. In his speech he said "I have come, first, to thank you all personally, and on behalf of our people, for what the Jubilee movement worldwide has done to ensure that poor countries like mine do not have to choose between the life of a child-dying of a preventable disease - and the servicing of an external debt that, ultimately, is not payable anyway... frankly, it is a scandal that we are forced to choose between basic health and education for our people and repaying historical debt."

Great North Run 2008 - do join us as a runner
If you are running in this years Great North Run - in October - then why not join our team. See here for details.

Up and coming Christian Aid events
Christian Aid have a number of events coming up soon in the North East. Details here.

Click here for a full list of current, future and past events.

Occasional papers / articles for thought and debate

The Real Global Warming Swindle - added July 2007. This is a continuation from the article in the Climate Change Special Edition newsletter 2007. By David Golding

Carbon Offsetting - added May 2007
A paper by David Golding

I count - added May 2007
A personal look at his own carbon offsetting by David Golding

Is the Trade Justice Movement politically biased?
Written by Dr David Golding, November 2006.

Honorary Degrees Acceptance Speech by Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer
His speech which he made during the honorary degree ceremony of Newcastle University in January 2007 ends....
" I say to this great audience today, at this historic ceremony that we will remember for years to come: 'Have confidence and have faith. Hold fast to the belief that it can and will be said of our generation that we built a movement on ethical foundations that had the vision, had the courage and had the moral strength and the greatness to do the right thing; that we will continue to work unflinchingly and unfailingly to build justice in our time and indeed to Make Poverty History' ".

MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East in the press....

  • Article in Northern Echo 29th June 2006
  • Letter published in the Newcastle Journal, August 2006
  • Article in Hartlepool Mail, 17 October 2006
  • See the BBC said about the 'Stop Climate Chaos' rally on November 4th which was attended by a North East contingent affiliated to MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East.
  • The sage event of 8th January 2007 was covered in the Newcastle Journal and the Newcastle Chronicle.

And a letter from Downing Street, July 2006. In this letter the prime minister encourages campaigners to "...keep up the pressure...". We agree as, although there has been progress, there is still plenty to achieve to Make Poverty History.

MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East has the following aims and objectives:

  • To continue to promote the aims of the national MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign of 2005, with its emphasis on 'Trade Justice, Drop the Debt and More and Better Aid', in accordance with the manifesto of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY.
  • To promote urgent action to curb climate change, given that "The impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and the poor....within all countries". (Third report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
  • To promote Fairtrade, and support the wider work of relief and development NGOs (non-government organisations).
  • To support all those in the Tees-to-Tweed region seeking to promote the above aims.
  • To work with other organisations having similar aims, and network with groups in other areas.
  • To encourage other areas in the country to set up local groups to promote economic justice.

The full constitution of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East can be found here.

Jonathan Edwards
Olympic Gold Medalist
Kevin Rowan
TUC Regional Secretary

Message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to North East campaigners, January 2006...

"How wonderfully you have supported us in our struggle against apartheid. You did Make Apartheid History! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for wanting to make poverty history. Well done. Go on to the Jubilee, on to Trade Justice and on to make Poverty History!".