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Join the People’s Climate March

September 9th, 2014 by

Two days before world leaders meet for the UN climate summit, on Sunday 21st September, people will be taking to the streets across the globe. It will be the biggest climate march in history – aimed at convincing politicians to do what’s needed.

Here in the UK, there will be a huge march through London bringing together loads of different organisations from Avaaz and 350.org to Oxfam and Christian Aid.

It would be great to have as many 38 Degrees members there as possible – and we’ll be meeting as a group before joining the march to hand out t-shirts, banners, flags and placards (or of course you can bring your own!).

So if you’d like to march with 38 Degrees, come along to 12 Temple Place at noon.  Just look out for orange and you’ll be in the right place!

You can RSVP here to be kept up-to-date if anything changes: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/climate-march-london

And here’s the route of the march:

The march should take around an hour – we’re walking a mile and a half. Then when we arrive at Parliament there will be a rally with speakers and videos. Speakers are yet to be confirmed.

After the march, 38 Degrees members are heading to The Feathers Pub in Westminster, (18-20 Broadway, SW1H 0BH) to get together for a drink. It’d be great if you could make it!

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The bedroom tax, round one

September 9th, 2014 by

This could be big. Thousands of us challenged the government over the bedroom tax, and we’ve won the first round. Last week, 38 Degrees members emailed our MPs to turn up and vote to scrap some of the worst parts of this unfair tax – and the vote went the right way.

The bedroom tax targets the most vulnerable people in our society. It forces people to move or pay more rent if they have a “spare” room, even if there aren’t other homes to go to.

The good news is that Friday’s vote went the right way. But there’ll be several more votes to win before these big changes to the bedroom tax are written into law.

An email from constituents now could make a big impression on MPs. It would tell MPs that we want them to keep fighting this cruel tax and show that we’ll be watching how they vote. It’s easy to email your MP, please just click here.

By writing thousands of emails to our MPs, 38 Degrees members helped persuade them to put principles before politics. Despite their differences, Lib Dem and Labour MPs worked together to win this vote and fight the bedroom tax. It’s not often that politicians from different parties vote together like this. People power is working.

Here’s what MPs have been saying about the impact 38 Degrees members had on their decision:

“I have re-organised my constituency diary and intend to attend this important debate in Parliament tomorrow.” Louise Ellman MP

“I have listened long and hard to your good self and many others who hate this disgraceful tax. I am happy to tell you that I am going to attend, and, hopefully, speak in the debate, and support the motion.” David Anderson MP

But Friday’s vote was just the first step. It’ll take several more votes in the coming months before changes to the bedroom tax are written into law. Together, we need to keep up the pressure on MPs to make sure they carry on voting the right way.

So can you take two minutes now to email your MP now to thank them and ask them to keep voting the right way?

When 38 Degrees members work together, we get things done. Earlier this year, thousands of us emailed our MPs asking them to stop the Hospital Closure Clause, that would have made it easier for the government to close hospitals. And we won!

Together, we have the power to get the worst parts of the bedroom tax scrapped too. Let’s keep up the momentum and show politicians that these cruel cuts are no match for people power.

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Your decision- 6th September

September 8th, 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 against the privatisation of state schools.

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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The people-powered Recall of MPs Bill

September 8th, 2014 by

The people-powered Recall of MPs Bill, that 38 Degrees members chipped in to pay for, is back from the lawyers. Our Recall of MPs Bill gives people, not MPs, the power to recall their MP when enough people feel their MP isn’t doing their job properly.

Click here to read the final version. It’s pretty exciting to have a final version of the Bill, it wasn’t just paid for by 38 Degrees members, but it was also helped written by 38 Degrees members. It’s also been scrutinised and improved by a cross-party group of MPs.

Our Recall of MPs Bill is now being tabled as a presentation Bill. Over the coming weeks 38 Degrees members now have to persuade all our MPs to support it!

Please comment below with your thoughts and ideas for the next stage of the campaign.

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Don’t deport Wadih

September 2nd, 2014 by

38 Degrees member Yvonne has started a petition to stop Wadih, who has Down’s syndrome, from being deported because his parents have died. He has lived in the UK for 17 years and now completely relies on support from his brother.

His MP, Vince Cable, has called the decision “disgraceful.” If you agree that this is an unfair and cruel decision, you can sign Yvonne’s petition to Theresa May below.

Here’s what Yvonne says: “Wadih came to the United Kingdom in 1997 because his life was in danger from the various gangs operating in Beirut who were victimising him because of his Down’s syndrome.

He has lived in Twickenham, London, since his arrival and was looked after by his parents and is now being looked after by his brother. He cannot cook and needs help with washing and dressing himself.

His life would be in danger on two counts: firstly he will not be able to look after himself and secondly from violence.”

Click here to sign her petition.

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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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