35,000 people call G20 to put people first
A new movement was born on 28 March 2009, with the World Development Movement at its heart, as over 35,000 people marched through London calling for a fundamental change in the world economy to deliver decent jobs and public services for all, an end to global poverty, and a green economy.
At a rally in Hyde Park, they were addressed by Global Call to Action against Poverty co-chair Kumi Naidoo, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, actor and activist Tony Robinson, environmentalist Tony Juniper and trade campaigner Mary Lou Malig among others. They heard international calls for action to deliver tax justice, trade justice, a Green New Deal in both rich and poor countries, and for democratically accountable governments, banks and international financial institutions to deliver it.
Members of Put People First - an unprecedented alliance of more than 150 unions, development, faith and environment groups,] - are united in calling on the G20 leaders to recognise that only just, fair and sustainable policies can lead the world out of recession, and that a return to 'business as usual' - with the associated poverty, inequality and climate change - is not an option.
Christian groups including World Vision and Tearfund started the day with an ecumenical service at Methodist Central Hall, overseen by the Bishop of London.
Delegations joined the march from around the world, including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Korea, USA, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, Canada and the Philippines.
The day's march is not the end of the campaign, but the start. The UK holds the chair of the G20 group for the rest of 2009 when the G8, the G20 and the United Nations all meet to chart a way through the recession. And 2009 ends with the vital Copenhagen climate conference.
These are real opportunities to win substantial change for poor people and the environment that Put People First will use to advance the call for an economy that works for secure jobs, global justice and a safe climate.
For more information, please call:
Press officer, World Development Movement
0207 820 4900/4913, 07711 875 345, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org