susanreads: Dreamsheep with UK flag (UK sheep)
I know, I've been quiet for a while. I've mainly been preoccupied with a couple of things in my off-line life, but here are some things I've been pointed at online.

Part of Oxfam's food security campaign: Help farmers in Gutu end the hunger months

rally banner
Save the NHS: the TUC are organising a rally against the Government's plans to destroy the NHS, on 7th March at 18:00-19:30, at Central Hall Westminster and live online. You can book a place for the rally, if it's not full yet, or pledge to attend online, at Save Our NHS.

Protect refugees: sign the Refugee Council's pledge, to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention, calling on the UK government to make the asylum system fair, humane and effective.

Protect people-with-uteri's right to choose: I might post about this again, but not every day for 40 days! Apparently some people are, though. 40 Days of Choice is an online campaign offering positive ways for pro-choice supporters to counter anti-abortion activity and clinic protests during Lent.

WWF's Earth Hour this year starts at 8:30pm (in all time zones, so it moves round the world) on 31st March. Earth Hour is not about saving an hour’s electricity, it’s much bigger than that. It’s about realising that the actions we take, from the energy we use, to the food we buy and water we drink, has an effect on the world.
susanreads: food: assorted fresh vegetables (food)
October 16th is the UN's World Food Day. It's objectives include heightening public awareness of the problem of hunger and strengthening international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This year's theme is "Food prices - from crisis to stability". Apparently world food prices rose 25% last year. This isn't just a result of the economic crisis, where even more than the 99% in "first world" countries, people in the poorest parts of the world are being made to bail out the bankers; the current world economic order is set up to treat everything, including the most basic necessities, as a market to make profit in, and this is the result. It's also part of the Happening Right Now impact of climate change, and made worse by the appropriation of land that could be used to grow food for biofuels and other cash crops.

I don't have anything original to say about it: have some more links.
Oxfam's GROW campaign;
Fix the Food Chain, Friends of the Earth's campaign on how the way we do farming in the UK damages the environment;
La Via Campesina has today down as World Food Sovereignty Day, with a lot of recent posts on price volatility and land grabbing.
susanreads: food: assorted fresh vegetables (food)
I only found out about this today, from a World Development Movement desk calendar. I can't find it on their website, it's not on Wikipedia at all, and nothing seems to be happening in Britain, but it's big in continental Europe, South America, and other parts of the world where traditional agriculture survives.

From Via Campesina's press release:
More than one hundred different events are taking place [...] in every corner of the world, in capitals cities, towns and small villages, in defence of peasant agriculture and food sovereignty. This date commemorates the 1996 assassination in Eldorado dos Carajás, Brazil, of 19 innocent peasants who were struggling for land and defending peasant and small farmer food production.

This year we reaffirm the need to get rid of the corporate food system, and our belief that peasant agriculture can feed the world. The current food crisis shows that the dominant corporate food system has failed and that the promises of the 1996 World Food Summit, echoed by the Millennium Development Goal of reducing hunger by 2015, will not be fulfilled. On the contrary, the number of hungry has increased from 800 million in 1996 to more then 1,000 million at the moment.


The Via Campesina site has a lot of confusing dingbats, though at least they don't move; here's a more usable version of the map, and the list of events, sorted by continent. (Why is Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Europe? The rest of Canada is at the bottom of the list. Also I guess the European countries are in alphabetical order in a European language, possibly Spanish.)
susanreads: a gate covered in snow (snow (gate))
or a thaw, anyway. There is still snow everywhere, where it hasn't been walked on/driven over/sanded enough to clear it. Today, I got the spade from the shed, so if it comes back and blocks the front gate from opening again, I've got something to dig my way out with.

The fetching of the spade from the shed was more of an effort than that might sound. Things I didn't get done include clearing the overhanging branches (of next door's tree) from the path. It turns out that my one-hand clippers aren't up to cutting them where they reach head height (they're not as sharp as when they were new, and stronger hands might also be useful), and shaking off the weight of snow and removing the parts that are thin enough to cut didn't make them spring back to a reasonable height, woe. So I'm having to bend down to get underneath while being rained on by the melt. My back is not pleased.

I was going to the shed in the first place to put some things in there that have been gathering dust on a shelf in the kitchen, which I've never used for anything but storage, but now I need to clear it to make room for a microwave.

oven saga )

So it might get here on Wednesday, which would be good. If not, can I buy food for Xmas assuming I'll have an oven to cook it in?
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