In my last blog I wrote ‘I feel strongly a part of something very big and very little understood’ a movement that stands for ‘real social justice, real democracy and real ecological sustainability’. For me it is a source of optimism and hope, and it is as I said last time, of ‘profound significance’. It does not have a single name. In the 1980’s we talked of ‘The Green Movement’ and ‘The Peace Movement’, now there is ‘The Global Justice Movement’ and many other terms.
In my teenage years the Vietnam War and the Prague Spring were rallying points against the tyranny of violent superpower domination, be it American or Soviet it made little difference. I was on the side of the students on the street. In a way I still am. This is a movement perhaps better viewed through action and membership than through ideology or books (although books such as George Monbiot’s ‘Age of Consent’ or Paul Hawken’s ‘Blessed Unrest’ are useful introductions)
This movement manifests in virtually every country on earth. The internet and other digital technology allow us to work in powerful new ways. Avaaz launched in January 2007 and now has over 24 million members in 194 countries and perhaps better than any other single organisation gives the movement global expression, but it must be stressed that no one organisation gives leadership or is in control. Some estimates put the number of organisations that are part of this movement at somewhere around 10 million, ranging from the tiny to the vast, the locally focused to the globally focused. Here in Herefordshire we have many groups, some loosely coalesce in the Herefordshire in Transition Alliance.
Things are kicking off this week in Brazil, Turkey and Egypt, and all in part reflect this movement. One of the defining principles of this movement is the absolute rejection of all forms of violence. On the streets things get messy as members of this movement mix with others with very different agendas. As ever we have to hope that the forces for peace and justice prevail in the end.