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Blogs by the 38 Degrees team, volunteers and members.

TTIP: Day of action

September 2nd, 2014 by

Last Saturday was an historic day for 38 Degrees members. Over 9600 of us went out into the streets, parks and shopping centres to talk about TTIP – that’s the biggest number of 38 Degrees members coming together on one day ever.

Together we handed out over a million leaflets, put over 30,000 posters in our windows, and spoke to thousands of people about this dangerous trade deal. Whether you handed out leaflets, or popped a poster in your window, everyone who took action made this a success.

38 Degrees members came together to campaign towns, cities and villages up and down the country, from Hackney in London to Hexham in Northumberland:

Here are some quotes from the members about the best bits of the day:

Best bits were meeting other members and talking to so many interesting people. People I would normally walk past in the street. Above all, it was a buzz getting the message across and getting people interested in the cause. Dan from Wandsworth, London

The guy who came running into the station to sign the petition – saying ‘I’ve read the leaflet and come back to sign – its criminal that its not out in the open’ Janet from Crockenhill, Kent

Although I was physically on my own, it was good to feel that others were also campaigning throughout the country –  so not really on my own. Rosemary from Byfleet, Surrey

Meeting other members, realising how ‘ordinary’ they are, realising I am not the only person around here that thinks TTIP is important. Connor from Widnes, Halton

Together 38 Degrees members gave out a million of leaflets and signed up thousands people to the petition asking Vince Cable the Business Secretary to fix or scrap TTIP.

Some took the digital approach, while other members kept faith with the trusty pen and paper:

For more information please click on the banner below:

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The People’s March for the NHS

September 1st, 2014 by

“Used by us, owned by us, loved by us. Now the NHS can only be saved by us.”

These are the words of a group of mums who desperately want to protect our country’s most treasured service, the NHS. So they’re taking to the streets. Can you join them?

‘999 Call for the NHS’ is a group of mums from Darlington who love our NHS and want to protect it. They’re walking a massive 300 miles over three weeks, through over 20 towns and cities in England.

They’re being joined by thousands of people on the way – some for an hour’s walk, some for a whole day, and some are just coming out on the street to greet them along the way. Can you join them as the march approaches London? Click here to find the nearest place to join.

The march is the perfect opportunity for people who love the NHS to stand together in solidarity. The marchers will be publicly reminding the government that the NHS belongs to all of us – and not to private companies.

At a time when NHS funding is being cut, services are being privatised and our hospitals are being closed it’s easy to feel powerless. But together, we’re a force to be reckoned with.

By going on the march, or coming along to cheer the march on, we can make a noise – and make politicians sit up and notice.

There are loads of ways you can get involved. Rehana, one of the group’s organisers, says:

We’re asking 38 Degrees members to join us; walk a mile, walk ten miles, come along to a rally or donate a pound or two to make sure we have the resources we need! Every mile we cover will unite people behind our NHS.

Are you free to join the march? Or come along to the final rally in Trafalgar Square, 3.30pm on Saturday? Click here for details and to join.

Or if you can’t make it, could you chip in a few pounds so that we can buy t-shirts, flags and banners for the final march into London? We want our impact to be as powerful as possible. Click here to make a secure donation.

At some point in our lives, all of us have used the NHS. Now it’s time to stand up for it.

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The Bedroom Tax

September 1st, 2014 by

A year ago the government brought in the bedroom tax, the benefit cut that forces poor people to move or pay more rent if they have a spare room – even if they can’t find anywhere else to live.

The bedroom tax is a nasty attack on the most vulnerable people in society. And for some, it’s meant struggling to pay the rent or even being forced out of their home. But now we have a chance to scrap some of the worst parts of it, and quickly.

Andrew George is a Liberal Democrat MP who’s campaigned and voted against the bedroom tax in the past. He’s proposing a law which would limit who’s affected by the bedroom tax. If we can get enough MPs to vote for it, he estimates that most people would no longer be affected.

So how do we make it happen? The first vote is on 5th September. We need to make sure MPs have the date in their diaries now, so that enough of them promise to turn up and vote for it.

Can you email your MP now and tell them to vote for Andrew George’s new law?

If it’s passed, people living with disabilities, or living in areas where there aren’t smaller council properties to move to, won’t have to pay the bedroom tax. The new law isn’t perfect – it wouldn’t fully scrap the bedroom tax. But it’s a big step in the right direction. Right now, it’s the best chance we have to reduce the number of lives hit by these unfair cuts.

If enough of us email our MPs and let them know we want them to vote for the law, we could help make sure MPs vote the right way. 38 Degrees members have come together before to change bad laws – this April our pressure on MPs helped stop the hospital closure clause. When we all contact our MPs at once, they take notice.

Let’s do our best to get the worst of the bedroom tax scrapped – by making sure enough MPs turn up and vote. 5th September is a Friday, and MPs often book other meetings in on Fridays. So it’s important we get this vote goes in their diaries now.

Here’s what Andrew George MP says about this vote in his own words:

“We have a real chance of victory this Friday – helping thousands of families hit by the bedroom tax  (Spare Room Subsidy). Of course, I’d like to see the bedroom tax scrapped altogether, and I expect many 38 Degrees members would agree with me. But at this stage it would be hard to get enough MPs to vote for that. So my strategy is to focus on trying to help out as many of those who are suffering from the bedroom tax (Spare Room Subsidy) as I can by scrapping the worst aspects of it. It’s the most realistic way of making a difference right now. So please help me persuade your MP to come along on Friday and get behind these changes.”

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Your decision – 31st August

September 1st, 2014 by

Every week a group of 38 Degrees members vote on which issues our movement should prioritise and which campaigns to get behind. Here are the results for last week.

Protecting the NHS by stopping the government’s dangerous plans like privatisation and closing A&E departments has come top this week.

The next biggest issues were: cracking down on tax dodging by big companies and campaigning to improve mental health services.

You can see how 38 Degrees members voted on other issues on the graph below. The blue on the graph shows how many people answered ‘a lot’ in support of the campaigns listed, the red represents people answering ‘a little’, and the green is ‘not at all’.

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TTIP: Press release for local papers

August 29th, 2014 by

You could spread the word about TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership – even further by telling your local papers and radio stations about the deal. Just look on the websites for your local press for an email address to write to.

Here’s a template press release that you can adapt, with more information about what happened on Saturday’s day of action. Just copy the text below, and change the parts that are bolded to make it relevant to your area, and what you’ve been doing in the campaign against TTIP.

Embargo: for immediate release
Contact: <add your name and phone number here>

<AREA> people take to the streets against ‘dangerous deal’ with the US
Locals launch campaign to protect the NHS from secretive trade pact

Scores of people gathered this Saturday at <LOCATION> to spread the word about a dangerous international trade deal which they say could put the NHS at risk.

The campaigners – members of campaign group 38 Degrees – met to <add brief details of what you did, for example leafleting, talking to passers by or something else>.

They joined almost 10,000 people across the country who took part in the national day of action.

The agreement – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – would force NHS trusts across the country to open themselves up to competition from American private healthcare providers.

The pact also includes provisions to allow multinational businesses to sue the government if British laws dent their profits. Critics say this would expose the government to lawsuits if it tried to take privatised health services back into public ownership.

More than 125,000 people have signed a 38 Degrees petition against the deal.

This week, a YouGov poll commissioned by 38 Degrees found that 42% of people say that they don’t trust the government to protect the NHS.

And 39% of those surveyed by YouGov said the treaty would be bad for the UK – three times as many as those who say it would be good for the country (13%).

<NAME>, who joined the day of action at <LOCATION>, said: “<Include here a short comment – you could start with explaining why you joined the day of action and what happened on the day>”.

Blanche Jones, campaign director at 38 Degrees, said: “It’s no surprise that thousands of people are taking to the streets about this terrible deal. Our NHS is being used as a bargaining chip in a decision made behind closed doors.

“By talking to others about the deal, 38 Degrees members will be forcing this issue out of backroom negotiations and into the spotlight.

“Now politicians of all parties need to explain exactly what they’re doing to get it fixed or scrapped.”

Notes to editors

1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,021 adults. Sample size in the region was 139. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25-26 August 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults.

2. With 2.8 million members, 38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning organisations. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.




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TTIP day of action: help make it happen!

August 28th, 2014 by

Two days and counting: on Saturday, 38 Degrees members across the UK are meeting up to spread the word about a sinister EU-US trade deal called TTIP.

The deal is huge, and almost no one knows about it. And that’s exactly what the powerful interests behind it want. TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU.

If it goes through without any changes, it’ll make privatisation of services like the NHS and National Rail irreversible. It’ll also allow big corporations to sue our government if they make changes to the law which affect businesses’ profits – like raising the minimum wage.

So a whopping 8,018 38 Degrees members are volunteering in almost every constituency in the UK on Saturday. They’ll be talking to their neighbours and ramping up the pressure just before MPs come back from their summer holidays.

Here’s how you can help. Every volunteer is getting a pack of materials in the post – leaflets, posters, badges. Each pack costs just £3.27. They’re as cheap as they can be, but they aren’t free.

Could you help cover the cost of a pack or two? For £6.54, you could pay for 200 leaflets: that’s up to 200 more people who’ll know how dangerous this behind-closed-doors deal is. Not bad for £6.54. Please click here to chip in now.

38 Degrees is funded entirely by people like you. Not by big business, or by political parties. That means we’re free to hold anyone and everyone to account: including those behind TTIP (who are desperately hoping ordinary people don’t get involved). You can read our donations policy, and see a copy of our audited accounts, by clicking here.

Saturday’s day of action against this sinister trade deal will echo across the country. 8,000 ordinary people will be hitting the streets to talk to their neighbours. That’s people power in action.

Can you help it happen by chipping in to fund a couple of packs of materials today? Please click here to make a secure donation.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Puppy and kitten farming: Tell your MP to attend the debate

August 27th, 2014 by

Next week MPs could take a stand against the cruel conditions many puppies and kittens are sold in. There’s a debate happening in parliament that could be an important step on the road to banning the sale of young pets, that are mass-produced in puppy and kitten farms.

Farmed pets are often taken from their mothers too early – so they look smaller and cuter when they’re sold. They can be transported long distances, before being sold by newspaper ads, websites or private dealers. These tiny puppies and kittens can suffer trauma or injury in the process.

But unless MPs know their voters care about the welfare of young pets, they might not turn up to the debate next Thursday – or decide to crack down on this unregulated trade. You can ask your MP to attend the debate here.

Buying a new pet should be a great experience for the pet and the owner. But puppy and kitten farming puts profits over the welfare of young animals. Together, we can urge MPs to crack down on puppy farming, by changing the law so that a pet’s mother must be present when it’s sold – as proof that it hasn’t been mass-produced in a farm.

The debate next week will cover all aspects of the sale of puppies and kittens – from puppy farming, to selling animals online and importing dogs. Right now, MPs are thinking about what to put in their election manifestos on animal welfare. Thousands of 38 Degrees members are getting in touch together to show MPs that stopping the cruel sale of pets from puppy and kitten farms should be a priority.

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TTIP: FAQs on the leaflet action

August 26th, 2014 by

TTIP Day of Action – Saturday 30th August 2014

A whopping 7,900 38 Degrees members across the country are meeting up this Saturday to deliver flyers and talk to the public about TTIP – the dangerous EU-US trade deal.

TTIP is the deal that’ll make privatisation of our services like the NHS and National Rail irreversible. It’ll also allow big corporations to sue our government if they make changes to the law which affect businesses’ profits – like raising the minimum wage.

TTIP is being negotiated behind closed doors, and most of the general public don’t know about it. By going out in our thousands and handing out leaflets that explain what TTIP is, and why it’s dangerous, we’ll be taking a major step together in our campaign to stop it.

Below are some frequently asked questions 38 Degrees members have asked, if you can’t find the answer to your question, you can always email the office team on ttipaction@38degrees.org.uk

What will happen on the day?
38 Degrees members are coming together to tell as many people as possible about this dangerous trade deal. It’s up to you how you raise awareness and it will probably be a bit different everywhere – some groups are handing out flyers on the high street, some are putting flyers through their neighbours’ doors, others will be meeting up and talking to people in busy local areas.

There won’t be a member of the 38 Degrees staff team at your local event, but there should be other 38 Degrees members there. You can click here to see how many people are expected in your area.

If you don’t want to meet up with a local group, you could just post the flyers through the letterboxes on your street and put your TTIP poster up somewhere people can see it!

What to take with you:

  • Leaflets to hand out – volunteers will receive these before Saturday
  • Petition sheets to collect signatures – volunteers will receive these before Saturday
  • A camera or smartphone if you have one to take pictures so you can share what’s happening on social media or emailing the 38 Degrees office team
  • Any posters or placards you’d like to make and take

Handing out your leaflets
Try to find a prominent place with lots of foot traffic where you’re leafleting. Gather together with other 38 Degrees members who have come along.

If you don’t want to hand your leaflets directly to people, you can deliver them through the letterboxes of the people living on your street.

How will I get the leaflets to deliver? When will they arrive?
You’ll be receiving a pack through the post before Saturday 30th. The pack should contain:

  • a badge for you to wear on the day
  • a bumper sticker for you to display if you have a car 
  • a poster for you to put in your window if you choose to 
  • 100 flyers which explain TTIP in plain English
  • The last thing in your pack is a piece of paper that gives space for you to collect extra signatures for the 38 Degrees petition against TTIP.

If I want more leaflets, what should I do?
You’ll receive 100 leaflets through the post. If you think you’ll be able to hand out more and you’re able to print them off at home, please click this link for a copy of the flyer:

If you don’t have a printer at home, the office team can send you some extra leaflets in the post. The sooner you do this the better so we can make sure they’re with you by Friday! Please click this link to tell us how many you need.

Lots of people will have done this before and lots will be doing it for the first time. Use each other for support. Before the day you can chat to the other people in your area to ask their advice. Some people are meeting up before Saturday to talk through their plans.

Whatever your level of experience, there’s a few basic things to keep in mind. The first is to make sure you’re being respectful to everyone you meet and to keep yourself safe at all times.

The second is to have fun and be proud! Talking to people in your community and leafleting on an important issue you care about is fantastic. Whether you’re part of a big group with a market stall in a town, or walking your own street letterboxing in your village, you’re part of a much bigger movement to fix or scrap TTIP.

Some talking points to help start discussions:
Although it may seem daunting, having a conversation with others is one of the most effective ways to communicate your message. Remember, not everyone will agree with you (or even want to stop and talk at all) and that’s okay. Don’t be disheartened or take it personally, by being on the streets you’re already raising awareness about this secret trade deal.

Although a rehearsed speech might not be the best way to engage people in your community you might want to think of a few introductions to try and catch the attention of passers-by. Try a few different approaches with your group and share what happens!

The packet of materials contains a range of potential conversation starters, but simply asking someone “have you heard about TTIP?” might be enough to start a really good conversation.

How do I answer in depth questions about TTIP?
You don’t have to be an expert! If someone has a question about TTIP and you’re not sure about the answer, you can point them to the web address on the bottom of the flyer. The site includes links to further reading about TTIP, and should give any interested members of the public the answers they need.


Where should I give out my leaflets? Is it legal to give out leaflets?
There are a few different rules about giving out leaflets, but it’s definitely legal!

If you’re in a public place, you’re well within your rights to hand leaflets out to the public if it’s for a charity, or a political or religious group. So these leaflets will definitely be allowed. If anyone does ask you to move, put the ball back in their court and ask where you can hand them out instead.

If you’re meeting up somewhere that could be considered private property – like inside of a shopping centre – security or the centre’s managers could ask you to leave. If you are asked to leave somewhere by staff or security it’s best to do so and move to a public space to carry on handing out your leaflets.


You can get in touch with the 38 Degrees office team.
Call: 0207 970 6023
Tweet: @38_degrees
Email: ttipaction@38degrees.org.uk

I can’t attend (or unable/afraid to/ don’t want to sign up online etc) the day of action. How can I get involved?
You can still put a TTIP poster in your window or tell your friends and family about this secret deal. There will definitely be other opportunities to get involved – in the next few weeks people will be contacting MPs and MEPs to let them know our concerns about TTIP.

You could help make the day of action a big event by sharing it with your friends, family and colleagues! Why not share the event page on Twitter and Facebook.

If you don’t use social media why not email friends and family instead? Are there any local groups you know who might be interested?

If you’re a journalist and would like to speak to our media team, you can find our press office number on our media page.

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Your decision – 22nd August

August 26th, 2014 by

Every week a group of 38 Degrees members vote on which issues our movement should prioritise and which campaigns to get behind. Here are the results for last week.

Protecting the NHS by stopping the government’s dangerous plans like privatisation and closing A&E departments has come top this week.

The next biggest issues were: campaigning against the privatisation of public services and welfare cuts, and cracking down on tax dodging by big companies.

You can see how 38 Degrees members voted on other issues on the graph below. The blue on the graph shows how many people answered ‘a lot’ in support of the campaigns listed, the red represents people answering ‘a little’, and the green is ‘not at all’.

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Milford Haven library’s youth deterrent alarm

August 22nd, 2014 by

Last week 38 Degrees member Gareth got together with other local campaigners to protest against Milford Haven library’s youth deterrent alarm.

The ‘mosquito’ device releases a high frequency sound which can only be heard by certain people and is designed to ‘disperse’ young people. Gareth says that the device discriminates and is dangerous to those with health problems.

You can sign his petition here.

Here’s what Gareth said about the protest:

“25 local supporters protested outside of the library and the offices of the port authority who, for 6 months, deliberately left the alarm on 24/7.

Our petition was handed in with 190 (now 200+) signatures and the port authority agreed to go away to ‘cost’ alternatives. We explained our opposition was to the nature of the use of a sonic weapon in such an area, not just it’s discriminatory nature, and the danger it could have to mentally ill and disabled people of all ages in the town, and have agreed to meet again in two weeks. We are running information and petition gathering stalls for the next two weeks and the campaign gives on.”

Here’s a picture of the protest:

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