New Internationalist

Action And Worth Reading

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issue 137

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THE RICH [image, unknown] Action and worth reading...

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
15 Tufton Street
London SWiP 3QQ
Tel: 01-222 4222

AIMS

To serve God’s mission in the worldwide church including Britain. To support the priorities -decided by the Church of England’s partner churches with personnel and funds. To maintain work in church schools, colleges, hospitals, farms, offices and industries. To help transform this work so that each sharing church can become a self-supporting partner. To involve, stimulate, witness to justice, and educate the Church of England in its mission work at home and overseas.

METHODS

We recruit skilled personnel on behalf of partner churches and fund their priority needs. We have schemes to enable people to gain experience of the church overseas on a volunteer basis and to work in a Christian community in Britain. We have a bursaries programme. We have fellowship groups, one of which arranges international exchanges and social action. We produce educational, worship and promotional material including filmstrips and challenging posters and publish a quarterly magazine Network.

SUCCESSES

To plant the Anglican church in many countries and enable these churches to move from dependence to independence. Parishes in Britain have benefitted from Christian corn- munities working in their area.

FAILURES

To recruit enough specialist personnel to work overseas and enough young people to work in parishes in Britain. To raise sufficient interest and involvement among British Christians to share their resources with their partner churches and appreciate what they can learn from them.

FUTURE PLANS

To move towards a worldwide sharing of God’s gifts.

HELP NEEDED

In prayer to support the churches’ work. Skilled personnel to work overseas. Young people to work in parishes in Britain. Volunteers and supporters to help mission in the local parishes.

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Freundeskreis Chotanagpur e.V.
Society of Friends of Chotanagpur
Gartenstr.

29a 75 Karlsruhe 1, Federal
Republic of Germany
Tel: 0721-816255

AIMS

To help village groups in. India to improve their products, find a market for them in Europe and in their own country and organise them in cooperatives.

To practise an alternative model of trading with the help of volunteers, who put the needs of the producers before their own profit.

To promote awareness about international justice through trade with the products of our partners in India, Nepal and the Philippines, especially the tribal people of Chotanagpur/ India.

METHODS

We import cotton textiles, Tassar silk, Tibetan carpets, batiks, brass, wood and paper handicrafts and sell them directly or give them to other groups for non-commercial sales. We have direct and personal contacts with all our overseas partners and give information about the producers, their organisation, way of production and their social background.

SUCCESSES

In the last five years we have provided regular employment for about 200 families of the lowest social strata in India. Our surplus -was used for additional support of them. At home, there is a network of more than 100 groups and individuals who cooperate with us in sales and information. We have managed to finance the import of goods worth more than one million DM so far and publish our information material without any public or church support.

FAILURES

We could not get sufficient volunteers to share our work equally. We have not been able to create enough awareness about problems of development and justice and could not make understood the connection between exploitation in the Third World and our society.

FUTURE PLANS

We want to establish contacts with similar organisations in other countries to broaden the basis of support for our partners. We are trying hard to find ways of making our partners more independent of exports.

HELP NEEDED

We are looking for groups or individuals in India to start an education and conscientization process for the mostly illiterate craftsmen so that they can fight for their own rights.

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Pause for Peace
Box 430, Kelowna, B.C.
Canada VIY 7P1
Tel: (0604) 764-4949

AIMS

To increase public awareness about the consequences and growing risk of nuclear war.

To persuade governments to decrease their involvement in the arms race and increase their work in peace and disarmament initiatives.

METHODS

For two minutes at 11 am every Tuesday Pause for Peace participants stop all activity wherever they are. If they work, they stop; if they drive they pull over and park. Those who can,join others at federal government buildings, military bases or at the offices or plants of companies involved in military research and production.

During this two-minute period of silence participants reflect on everything they hold dear in this life and stand to lose in a nuclear war. They should also ask themselves how they can best do their share in the world-wide struggle for peace during the week ahead.

Placards and leaflets are used to explain the Pause for Peace to passers-by.

SUCCESSES

The first Pause for Peace took place on 14 June 1983.

By October it had become a weekly event in 41 Canadian cities, towns and villages. Participants draw considerable strength from the realization that wherever they are they Pause-for-Peace in the inevitable company of thousands of other people doing the same thing at the same time for the same reason. The campaign is now spreading to the rest of Canada and the US.

FAILURES

Many people fail to inform the campaign coordinator of their participation so that the campaign’s progress is difficult to monitor.

FUTURE PLANS

The ultimate aim of the campaign is to get enough people to pause as often and as long as necessary to persuade governments to work for peace and justice rather than war and nuclear annihilation. To this end PFP Action Groups are being organized in a growing number of cities. Organizers are kept informed through information packages and a regular newsletter.

HELP NEEDED

You can help by participating and organizing the Pause for Peace campaign in your area.

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[image, unknown] This page of New Internationalist is written by the groups featured on it. The space is available free and a guide for writing entries can be obtained from New Internationalist, 42 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford, OX1 2EP.

Worth reading on...

This magazine issue was prompted by R.H. Tawney’s remark ‘A student of poverty will be wise to start much higher upstream than he point he wishes to reach; that which thoughtful rich people call the problem of poverty, thoughtful poor people call with equal justice the problem of riches. ‘The quote comes from Equality, George Allen & Unwin 1931 reprinted 1979, and towers over everything else I have read on the subject. The elegant prose sum up the arguments with languid conviction - a timeless piece.

Also highly impressive and a good read is Democracy for the Few, fourth edition by Michael Parenti St Martin’s Press, New York 1983. It’s a political and economic primer on the US governmental system choc-a-bloc with well sourced contemporary evidence to back an intelligently argued left-wing case. Added bonus is the good writing style. A follow-up is Power and Powerless by the same author and publisher, 1978. It is a heavier, more theoretical work and the writing begins to flake away into elitist abstract language. That’s nothing compared to Miliband’s The State in Capitalist Society - the analysis of the Western system of power, Quartet, 1973 reprinted 1982. It is a stodgy but important book doing the same job as Parenti from the other side of the Atlantic, but looking a little dated.

At the other end of the spectrum in politics and readability is The Rich - a study of the species hi’ William Davis, Hamlyn, 1982. A potboiler blatently pitched at the popular market; yet amongst the mish-mash of rightwing philosophizing is a string of highly readable anecdotes on the wealthy. Davis has a way with words.

A clutch of contemporary British publications in the same field include The Wealth Report 2 ed. By Frank Field, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983. More solid and comprehensive is Manifesto - a radical strategy for Britain’s future ed. by Francis Ct-ippsetal 1981. A man with a bee in his bonnet is James Bellini, author of Rule Britannia - who rules modern Britain?Abacus 1982. For him the country has never broken the hold of feudalism; the control of land and electronic information is what it’s all about. I jibbed at the lack of intellectual rigour, but the book’s very approachable and full marks for aiming at a popular audience.

Also very easy to dip into is Australia and World Capitalism, eds. Cm-o ugh, 14’heelim’righr and . Wilshire, Pelican 1980. It has a collection of contributions ranging from employment to wealth distribution, mineral extraction to worker’~s control in the country.

by Dexter Tiranti


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