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Big Campaigns - An Alternative View of 2007

A continual media diet of corruption and conflict can make people scared, cynical, withdrawn, and depressed - feeling that: 'It's all hopeless. I give up!' But serve us something inspirational, and hope and energy come to the table. Throughout this year, the Radio New Internationalist team has been ourselves inspired by the power and passion of progressive voices from every corner of the globe: brave people who have seen the worst in the world, and have stood up and offered other answers. They have linked up with others, reaching across countries to built ever-strengthening international movements. They have delivered messages that are so powerful and clear that the politicians have to listen. Their energy is inspirational; their achievements sparkle. Today's program is dedicated to them. Time constraints mean that you'll hear only some of them:

  • On current estimates, for every dollar of aid that flows into Africa, five dollars of financial assets flow out into private bank accounts in the Rich World. Money that's never taxed. In what is emerging as a major social justice issue for this decade, John Christensen - a Director and founder of the Tax Justice Network - tells us how countries' coffers are being plundered to leave populations in poverty, and in the process proves how vibrant - and important - tax issues can be.
  • John Rodsted is the official photographer to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines - the team that won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. John is still campaigning against the cruel and life-destroying legacy of war - the anti-personnel bombs left behind. And his pictures of this legacy, such as the bodies blown-up when bombs just lying on the ground eventually explode, are helping to bring about a total world ban on landmines and more recently cluster bombs.
  • Sitting on the fence of an air base in Manta, Ecuador… is a warning sign: 'Military Base. No Trespassing.' It might as well read: 'Ecuadorians, Keep out'! Since 1999, this air base has been occupied by the United States - a 'forward, operating location' of the US military: just one of around 740 that are currently scattered in over 100 countries around the world. But not for much longer. Herbert Docena is from the Philippines office of the international organization Focus on the Global South was part of the mass movement that persuaded the Government of Ecuador not to renew its lease on this air base. He explains the growing global movement to close down military bases and the culture of conflict that goes with them.
  • Farida Shaheed is a Director of Shirkat Gah - a resource centre for the empowerment of women based in Pakistan. She's also on the campaign advisory board of the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign. She outlines why authorities and people condone the throwing of stones at people until they die, and the politics and places where it is happening.

All kinds of music laces it's way through today's program, lent to us from the playlists of the Riverboat Records series in the World Music Network's wonderful collection of inspiring music from all corners of the globe.

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