What The Hell Can I Do?

new internationalist
issue 243 - May 1993

What the hell can I do?

. Boycott banks with a continuingly bad Third World debt record. For example, Lloyds, Midland, NatWest and Barclays in the UK; ANZ in Aotearoa; the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank in Canada; Chase Manhattan, Citibank and Bankers Trust in the US.

. Move your account to an ethical bank and choose ethical pension and Investment schemes. For example the Co-operative Bank and Friends Provident in the UK; Trustbank and the Prometheus Foundation In Aotearoa; Cooperative Trust Company of Canada In Canada and in the US, try your local credit union.

. Get your union, political party, workplace, college or any other group you belong to switch to ethical banks and trusts.

. Write to your member of parliament and lobby decision makers, protesting against the use of your tax money to support banks which are impoverishing Third World countries.

. Use this magazine to get the message across - show it to your friends, workmates, students, relatives.

. Organize publicity stunts and days or weeks of action. Wrlte letters to the press calling for the cancellation of Third World debt.

. Contact or join one of the campaign groups listed below.


Freedom From Debt Coalition, Philippines, UP School for Labour and Industrial Relations, UP Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines. A broad alliance of about 250 groups and individuals campaigning to raise awareness of the effects of the foreign debt on the poor and the environment in the Philippines. Its activities range from holding mass demonstrations to presenting briefs to the Filipino Congress, with a strong focus on cancellation of illegitimate and fraudulent debt.

Transnational Institute, Paulus Potterstratt 20, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tel: 31 20 662 6608. A decentralized research institute which has researchers in 15 countries and produces books and briefings on North/South issues.

European Campaign on Debt and Development (EURODAD), Av. de Cortenbergh 62, B-1040 Bruxelles, Belgium. Tel : 32 2 7364087. Fax: 32 2 732 1934. A network of non-governmental organizations which campaigns on commercial and official debt.

IBASE, Rua Vicente Souza 29 CEP 22251, Botafogo RJ, Brazil. Researches for popular movements and puts out an on-going analysis of the debt and who is being forced to pay it.

Peru Solidarity Forum, Apartado Postale 18-1655, Lima 18, Peru. Working for the cancellation of bilateral debts with the UK and France.

Inter-Church Coalition on Africa, 129 St. Claire Ave West, Toronto, ON M4 1N5 Canada. Tel: 416 927 1124 Fax: 416 927 7554. Broad coalition campaigning against debt and human rights abuses in Africa.


Community Aid Abroad, 156 George St, Fitzroy, Victoria, 3035. Tel: (03) 289 9444. Involved in campaigning against financial institutions perpetuating Third World debt. Supports indigenous credit schemes.

The Australian Council for Overseas Aid (ACFOA), 14 Napier St, Deakin, ACT, 2600 Tel: (06) 201 2732. Its North/South Committee is involved in research, campaigning, education and high-level government liaison on the issue of debt.

The Foundation for Development Co-operation, 34 Archer St, Toowong, QLD 4066 (07) 371 5388. Research and support for agencies promoting equitable financial dealings with the Third World.


Christian World Service, P0 Box 22- 652 Christchurch. Loans out videos and study material on debt.

GATT Watchdog, P0 Box 1905, Christchurch. Campaigns on the likely illeffects on the Third World of the Uruguay Round.


Action Canada Network, 904-251 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa ON, KI P 516. Challenges Canadian debt policies

Ten Days for World Development, 86 Pleasant Blvd, Toronto ON, 922 0591. Involved with Freedom from Debt Coalition, It publishes educational material on Third World debt


Third World First, 217 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX 4 iXO Tel 0865 245678 Fax: 0865 200179. A national student organization with groups in universities and colleges throughout the UK. Educates and campaigns against world poverty. Organizes conferences, workshops and training events. Can provide speakers, videos and stalls.

World Development Movement, 25 Beehive Place, London SW9 7QR. Tel: 071 737 6215. Links nationwide network of local groups campaigning for aid, trade and debt policies that will help the world's poor.

New Economics Foundation, Universal House, 88-94 Wentworth St, London El 7SA. Tel: 071 377 5696. Organizes research, publications and conferences that promote a new economics based on social justice and a sustainable use of resources.

Friends of the Earth, 26-28 Underwood St, London Ni 7JQ. Tel: 071 490 1555. An environmental pressure group committed to research, education and campaigning. It has highlighted the connection between debt and deforestation.


US Campaign for Debt and Development Alternatives, do Columban Fathers, 218 0 Street, SE Washington, DC 20003. Co-ordinates anti-debt work and publishes a bimonthly newsletter on the debt crisis.

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