In the world of campaigning, there are days when you can really feel the mood change for the better. Yesterday was one of those days for the justice campaign.
Since the launch of the campaign, we’ve asked campaigners to send lots of emails to:
- the leaders of the political parties,
- candidates in the General Election,
- and to the three ministers in charge of the current review in to the Action Plan for Business and Human Rights.
Yesterday, we went one step further. A delegation of committed campaigners took our message straight to the departments. As the day progressed the mood started to change. A buzz was circulating throughout the delegation.
At each of the three departments, we got a warm reception from civil servants who will be advising ministers on the outcome of the review. They listened, and crucially they understood our arguments.
We left with them three heart shaped helium balloons, both as a reminder that we want access to justice at the heart of the review, but as the balloons hover over the heads of the civil servants, it will act as a reminder for them about the campaign.
The day ended with an inspiring service at St Margaret’s church.
We first heard from campaigners about the importance of the justice campaign. The words of one of the prayers rang true, ‘God has blessed us, but still the poor cry out for justice.’ We also heard from Traidcraft’s chair Ram Gidoomal who read from Isaiah 42: 1-9.
We were lucky enough to have Martin Charlesworth, Executive Director, Jubilee+ to speak. I could see people nodding along with every word he said. He was a great speaker with many words of wisdom.
It was an uplifting service that gave the whole congregation time to reflect, pray and act for justice. A fitting way to end such a busy day.
This campaign was always going to take time to see some results, but after yesterday’s two events, I’m feeling hopeful about the future.
As Neil Armstrong famously said. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
We still have work to do, but I am in no doubt that with the helium balloons still floating and the commitment of all our campaigners, we’ve made significant progress. But we must continue our fight.