A group of CAFOD campaigners from around the UK visited Downing Street a year ahead of the next general election, with demands from over 60,000 CAFOD supporters asking David Cameron to take action to end world hunger.
The group, which included Molly-Kate McCaffrey, Elizabeth Biggins and Angela Powell from Sheffield Hallam, Rita Belletty from Portsmouth and Stephen Bone from Westminster, hand delivered the requests to Number 10 on Wednesday 7 May, in an event that marked the end of the aid agency’s latest hunger campaign Hungry for change. Throughout the campaign, CAFOD has been calling for more targeted aid for small-scale farmers and greater checks on the power of global food companies.
This month will see Britain’s 12th Immigration Return Centre (IRC) open on Portland, Dorset. The expectation may have been that re-opening the Verne (which was previously a prison) as an IRC would pass unnoticed down in the West Country, away from the largest migrant communities with their specialist lawyers, but this has not been the case.
With 580 places, the Verne will be Britain’s second-largest detention centre. According to Detention Action, it will house single males only, mainly transferred from prisons. During 2013 the Home Office increased the number of migrants arbitrarily held in prisons from 400 to about 1,000. It is these detainees who will be transferred to the Verne, which will provide a cheaper way to ‘warehouse’ them. Continue reading What does locking up migrants say about society?→
Ordinary Britons have so far coped admirably with widespread flooding. But the rain is still falling
JOHN LEE likes to tinker with vehicles: his four-wheel-drive resembles a tractor more than a car. “It’s watertight,” he beams. For the past week he has been driving down sodden lanes in Surrey, south-west of London, transporting people and medicines. Flooding is a misery, but at least it provides an opportunity to show off a set of wheels.
The Catholic Church has warned that the Immigration Bill risks leaving vulnerable people unable to access healthcare or find housing. The Immigration Bill, which is due to come before the House of Commons again tomorrow (30 January 2014), proposes to restrict migrants’ access to free NHS services and will require landlords to conduct checks on tenants’ immigration status.
Commenting on the proposed NHS charging system, Bishop Patrick Lynch, Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and Chair of the Office of Migration Policy said: “We have grave fears that these proposals will deter vulnerable individuals from accessing vital healthcare services. We are especially concerned that the prospect of charging, may mean that pregnant women fail to seek medical assistance throughout their pregnancy and attempt to cope alone, potentially risking the health of both mother and child. It is also deeply worrying that children of migrants have not been exempted from these plans” Continue reading Immigration Bill could leave vulnerable people without housing or healthcare warns Church→
Despite dwindling resources and reduced support for Justice and Peace work at diocesan and national level, the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) has underlined its mission to foster social justice, based on the Church’s Social Teaching. That was the positive message coming out of Saturday’s quarterly meeting of the NJPN at CAFOD’s London office. The range of work shared by around 20 diocesan representatives and another 15 representatives of religious orders and Catholic agencies covered the areas of justice, peace and care for creation. “We are called to be a prophetic Church in the best way we can” said Sr Margaret Walsh SND, who facilitated the day. Continue reading National Justice and Peace Network: called to be a prophetic Church→
Six protesters who broke into RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, home of Britain’s first unmanned drones base, were found guilty of criminal damage on Monday. But Judge John Stobart described them as “dutiful people” saying he passed the sentence with a “heavy heart” and would welcome an appeal.
Susan Clarkson, Christopher Cole, Henrietta Cullinan, Anglican clergyman Rev Keith Hebden, Catholic priest Fr Martin Newell and Penelope Walker all denied criminal damage to a fence belonging to the RAF on 3 June, International Child Victims of War Day. After getting over a fence they spent more than half an hour walking around the base distributing leaflets and taking photographs as well as planting a fig tree and a vine as symbols of peace. The group were described as polite and non-threatening. RAF Waddington was put on lockdown until the situation was resolved by the arrival of civilian police. Continue reading Judge praises anti-drone protesters who broke into RAF base→
“The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs, every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless.”
Yesterday a letter from the Holy Father to Prime Minister David Cameron was made public concerning the British presidency of the G8 and the upcoming meeting of the G8 scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland on 17 and 18 June, with the theme of ‘A G8 Meeting that Goes Back to First Principles’. In the letter, the Holy Father emphasized that, for the theme “to attain its broadest and deepest resonance, it is necessary to ensure that all political and economic activity, whether national or international,” makes reference to humanity. Continue reading Pope’s letter to David Cameron published on eve of G8→