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Gaza: Petition hand in at Downing St

August 14th, 2014 by

38 Degrees members have just been down to Downing St to hand in the massive petition about Gaza.

The petition calls for our government to make a stronger stand for peace. The UK has, rightly, already got controls in place to stop British-made weapons going to Hamas - it’s time to ban arms sales to Israel too.

It’s just tipped over 100,000 signatures, you can sign the petition here.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Pictures courtesy of Photo project and 38 Degrees

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Bees: Letter from David Cameron

August 14th, 2014 by

An exciting letter came into the 38 Degrees office this week.

The Prime Minister David Cameron has written in, in response to 38 Degrees members successful campaign to stop the UK Government from allowing Syngenta’s banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields.

Over 200,000 people signed the petition and hundreds came down for an early morning ‘swarm on Downing St’ as the cabinet were meeting.

The Prime Minister’s letter is below.  In it he says “Let me first reassure you that we accept the EU ban on neonicotinoids” but later he goes on to say “Evidence on the impact of pesticide use is incomplete…”.  This is despite a recent four year review of all of the science which said the widespread impact of neonicotinoids was ‘impossible to deny’.

David Cameron wrote that “the UK will be hosting large scale field trials later this year to add to the evidence base” so they’re clearly not yet convinced of the mountain of evidence that already exists.  It’s wonderful news that there are no plans to let the big chemical companies wriggle out of the European ban, but let’s watch this space and make sure we’re here to fight for our bees if the threat reappears.

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Save our GP surgeries

August 7th, 2014 by

Yesterday 38 Degrees members, GPs, MPs and NHS campaigners went to 10 Downing St to hand in a petition to save GP Surgeries.

Sarah Williams, a GP from Hackney in London has started a petition on Campaigns by You calling for the government to reverse their decision to cut vital funding to inner city and rural GP surgeries. Very good local practices may be forced to close – leaving hundreds or thousands of patients without a GP.

You can sign her petition here

Sarah said

“A big thank you to all of you who signed the petition (25000 including those who signed the paper copies) and to the many of you who supported the campaign today by coming to hand the petition in at Downing Street.  It was a big success.  The event was covered widely by local media and those of you in London may have seen the piece on BBCLondon news this evening, the campaign is also featuring on London Live tomorrow morning.  This will have given the campaign a big boost.

There has also been exciting news recently as lawyers Leigh Day are planning to judicially review the government’s decision to remove this funding from GP practices. There should be more news on this in the next 2 weeks.  As many of you will know it was Leigh Day who won a judicial review against Jeremy Hunt’s decision to close Lewisham Hospital!

Thanks again for your support”

Check out more pictures from the day here:


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Seaham School petition hand in

July 22nd, 2014 by

On Thursday 17th July 5 members of the New School – New Pool (like for like) campaign  headed down to Downing Street to hand over their petition of 6,700 signatures to David Cameron. The five travelled by train from their small ex mining town of Seaham on the East Coast of County Durham down to the capital London.

Seaham School of Technology was due to get a new school under the old Building School’s for the Future programme by the last government however due to the change in government this scheme was abandoned and their plans were halted.  However funds from central government have now been released to build a new school however the new school fails to have the same facilities as the existing one.

Kay Temple, a 38degrees member, started the petition back in December 2013 and has had the support of the community behind her.  She found out about the new school not having the pool and thought it was unfair and unjust for the future children of Seaham to lose out on the only decent sized learning pool they have in the town.  She wanted to make people aware of what they were losing and found that lots of people were actually in the dark about the school and losing their swimming facility, this then prompted her to set up the petition.

The Seaham Community has been brought together by this petition and they are asking for the government to replace the school with like for like.

Local MP Grahame Morris has supported the campaign from the off and his office in London arranged for the team to hand over the petition to David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

As well as the online petition, numerous paper copies of the petition had been handed around the community in places of work, community centres, libraries, and local businesses and the combined total of signatures supporting the cause came  to 6,700.

Like Kay, If there’s an issue close to your heart, then you can start a campaign on Campaigns by You.  Thousands of people are already running campaigns on a whole range of issues, from protecting our public services like busses and libraries, through to saving our NHS or even saving local beavers!

Click here to start your campaign today.

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Bees 1: Syngenta 0

July 4th, 2014 by

Wonderful news, we’ve protected our bees! Yesterday Syngenta withdrew their controversial application to allow their banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields.

Owen Paterson, the environment minister, sided with Syngenta. But the decision was deemed so toxic that it was brought all the way up to the Prime Minister and his cabinet to discuss.

The day before the big meeting, the huge people-powered petition signed by over 200,000 of us was delivered to the PM’s desk. [2] And on the morning of the meeting, hundreds of us swarmed on Downing St to confront the ministers as they arrived. [3]

Dressed as bee-keepers, bees and pesticides, and with a host of other campaign organisations we chanted at the top of our voices and left the ministers in no doubt that we expected them to put our bees before Syngenta’s profits. Alongside 38 Degrees members, a huge range of campaign organisations came along. Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Natural Beekeeping Trust, Pesticide Action Network and the Soil Association all joined the campaign.

And it worked! The government stalled and didn’t announce a decision, forcing Syngenta to back down. Syngenta had said that unless a decision was made by the beginning of July, it would be too late to use the pesticides this year.

38 Degrees members have a great history of protecting our countryside and wildlife. From campaigning for the European ban in the first place, through to stopping our forests from being sold off, we have shown we’re prepared to organise both online and in person to make change happen.

We have a small and nimble staff team which means we can move quickly to launch campaigns like this to protect our bees, and 38 Degrees is 100% funded by its members. Lots and lots of people chipping in a small amount soon adds up, and means that together we can take on goliath companies like Syngenta and win!

We still need to keep our eyes peeled. Syngenta have said they’re going to re-apply next year. And our so-called environment minister still doesn’t back the ban or believe the science. But, for this summer at least, our bees will be buzzing around our fields and gardens, safe from any new Syngenta pesticides.



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Bees: Swarm on Downing Street

July 1st, 2014 by

This morning hundreds of 38 Degrees members joined a host of campaign organisations to swarm on Downing Street to protect our bees.

David Cameron was meeting his cabinet to decide whether to allow banned bee killing pesticides to be used on fields across the UK. Unbelievably, a mega pesticide company called Syngenta has just made an emergency appeal after their product was banned across Europe last year due to the risk it poses to our bees.

Yesterday we handed in our huge people-powered petition to No.10 Downing St so that it landed on David Cameron’s desk before the big meeting.

This morning, as MPs turned up at the cabinet meeting they were greeted by hundreds of people chanting at them to do the right thing, and protect our bees. We wanted to make sure that the ministers were in no doubt that not only scientists, but the public too were demanding that they stop the bee killer pesticides.

We all arrived at 8am, bright and early in the morning, ready to catch the ministers as they walked into the meeting.  Alongside 38 Degrees a huge range of campaign organisations came along, Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Natural Beekeeping Trust, Pesticide Action Network and the Soil Association all joined the campaign.  We even had Barry Gardiner MP (The Shadow Environment minister) join us and chant along.

Armed with spotter cards we kept our eyes peeled for the ministers as they walked into the cabinet meeting.  Each one was greeted with chants to save our bees and stop the Syngenta pesticides from being used on our fields.

“David Cameron, just say no – Tell Syngenta where to go!”

“What do we want? Bees! When do we want them? Forever!”

“All we are saying, is give bees a chance!”

We managed to spot lots of the politicians walking in through the front entrance of Downing Street.  David Cameron, Vince Cable, Grant Shapps, William Hague and many more.  Unfortunately we think Owen Paterson (the environment minister) snuck in through a back door.  As David Cameron walked up and waved, the crowd literally swarmed on Downing Street chanting “save our bees!” and chased him into the meeting with a rousing chorus of chants.

Watch this space to see what happens next.

David Cameron and his cabinet should be in no doubt as to what the world expects of them.

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David Cameron: Save our bees

June 26th, 2014 by

Our bees are in danger again! On Tuesday, David Cameron and his cabinet are going to decide whether to allow banned bee killing pesticides to be used on fields across the UK. Unbelievably, a mega pesticide company called Syngenta has just made an emergency appeal after their product was banned across Europe last year due to the risk it poses to our bees.

We’ve not got long to act. But if enough of us make a huge fuss right now, we could persuade David Cameron to throw out Syngenta’s request and uphold the ban.

Can you sign a petition to David Cameron right now demanding that he protects our bees?

The powerful pesticides that Europe banned last year are called neonicotinoids – and they pose a huge risk to bees.  Even though there is a Europe-wide ban on these pesticides, David Cameron could override it – but only in emergency circumstances.

Bees pollinate apples, cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, cabbage, broccoli, carrots and many many more of our fruit and veg.  Without bees, we wouldn’t last very long!

Now Syngenta are trying to wriggle out of the ban, even though yesterday, scientists from across the world said there’s ‘conclusive’ evidence that Syngenta’s products are killing our bees.  And just last week, Barack Obama called for a wholesale review of the pesticides.

Matt Shardlow, chief executive of bee-friendly charity Buglife said: “If the government approves Syngenta’s kneejerk and cynical application then the public are bound to question whether ministers are too close to the agrochemical companies and too distant from the ecology that feeds us.”

Please can you demand that David Cameron puts our bees before Syngenta’s profits?

Our bees don’t have a voice, but previously hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members have fought for them. We’ve marched on Parliament Square, we’ve signed petitions, we’ve sent thousands of emails and we’ve challenged the environment minister Owen Paterson in person. And we’ve worked alongside campaigners from across Europe to get these killer pesticides banned.

Now, before Tuesday, we need to pull out all the stops – again – to stop Syngenta sneaking through the back door and breaking the European ban.

Click here to sign the petition and put David Cameron under pressure to uphold the law

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Water cannon petition hand-in

June 24th, 2014 by


On Thursday 38 Degrees members handed in our 23,000 person strong water cannon petition to Theresa May at the Home Office.

The Police have made an application to Theresa May for grant them permission to use water cannon on the streets of England & Wales. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says that the need to control continued protests “from ongoing and potential future austerity measures” justifies the introduction of water cannon in Britain for the first time.

But 38 Degrees member Neal started a petition calling on Theresa May to reject the application.

Neal says:

“I started this petition back in January for several reasons: partly it was because the case put forward by the police was contradictory and inconsistent, partly because I fear the weaponisation of the police force, but largely because I believe the British public would never support this if asked. And having collected over 23,000 signatures already I think we’ve shown that the British public do not want water cannon on our streets. The messages from those who signed, the support of the majority of the London Assembly, and the public rejection of these weapons by members of the police force has given me great hope that Theresa May will see sense and reject the request from ACPO.

But I think it’s important that we remember Thursday’s hand-in was not the end of this process, in many ways it’s the start. We need to keep the pressure on, keep the noise up, if we want Theresa May to hear what we have to say. She’s heard from 23,000 of us collectively, but individual messages from the public through email, phone calls, or even face to face from her constituents in Maidenhead could have a profound affect on her decision. Please keep letting Theresa May know that we do not want water cannon on our streets.”

Several 38 Degrees members turned up at the home office to hand in the petition along with Caroline Pidgeon AM who has already spoken out against the London Mayor in his attempts to bring water cannon to the streets of London.

A representative from Theresa’s office came down to officially accept the petition and ensure that it lands straight on her desk.  Watch this space to see how the campaign develops and please share the petition with your friends and family.

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Campaigning works!

June 11th, 2014 by

This morning the postman delivered this letter from Jenny Willott MP to the 38 Degrees office.

It’s from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and is in response to the petition that CAMRA & 38 Degrees members handed in asking for the government to introduce a pubs watchdog to protect our valued pubs.

Here’s everyone at Parliament just before we handed in the petition:

And here’s a link to the petition itself, to read more about the issue.

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Campaign Win! End the Pubco Scandal

June 4th, 2014 by

Great News! After a long campaign and nearly 45,000 people signed a petition, the government have today announced plans for a Pubs Watchdog to protect our pubs from unfair business practices in the pub industry.

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, used the 38 Degrees website Campaigns By You to launch a nation-wide petition – “Let’s call time on the great British pub scandal”. The petition called on Vince Cable to stick to his promise to introduce a Pubs Watchdog. Today in the Queens Speech, the government unveiled their plans to create a Pubs Adjudicator and Statutory Code.

Last month CAMRA representatives, pub campaigners and 38 Degrees members met outside Parliament to hand in their 44,662-strong petition to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

CAMRA said “Over the last decade many thousands of pubs have been lost as big pub companies have squeezed them out of existence with sky-high rents and beer prices. With 28 pubs closing a week it is vital that publicans, who are on the frontline of keeping our valued community pubs open, are given protection from heavy handed business practices from the big pubcos. The Government’s introduction of a Pubs Adjudicator is another line of defence in protecting the nation’s pubs.

The Adjudicator will ensure that publicans are treated fairly and will crack down on cases of inflated rents and excessive beer prices charged to publicans. There will be more power to the licensee to ensure they are no worse off than their free-of-tie counterparts.”

Read more about the 10 year long campaign that CAMRA have been running.

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