For many activists a life of campaigning can sometimes feel like battling never-ending tides of frustration, especially in this era of reaction and “post-truth” (whatever the hell that means). It is good then, to be reminded of the things that we can win in 2018:
We Can Stop Fracking in the UK. Seriously. This is a thing. Despite the hundreds of proposed Fracking licenses in the UK, there has been record-high public opposition, community activism, and a ban on the procedure across Scotland.
Fracking is one of the newer extractavist technologies funded by the same old mega-corps we all know and hate; BP, the Goldman-Sachs lobby, Dow Chemicals, Shell (etc). There are severe, proven environmental risks to the procedure, and no indication that the money helps the hosting communities, besides the fact that we need to be reducing carbon emissions, not increasing them.
We Can Stop the UK Arming Saudi Arabia, This is often an under-the-radar issue, but a vital one spearheaded by Campaign Against The Arms Trade.
The Saudi-Yemeni conflict is estimated to have cost between 8-13k civilian lives, and is widely understood as a part of the Saudi-Iran/US-Russia proxy war (which has interconnections with Syria, Turkey, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts). Britain is one of the principle arms-traders to Saudi Arabia, and one of the first countries visited by PM May after she took office.
We Can Ban Live-Export of Animals post Brexit. This might not be a keystone issue, but imagine how many thousands of hours of suffering it can cease. Petitions and campaign sites searchable online.
The UK has been valorous in upholding a ban of live-exported cattle (nb. over certain regulatory distances) after a campaigner died in the mid 90s protesting the practice. Recent Brexit trade talks have put this back on the table.
We Can Outlaw Larsen Traps in the UK. Again, often not seen as high-priority, but one dear to my heart. Petitions searchable for National Assembly of Wales and UK-wide.
Larsen Traps are live-bird traps designed to capture and cull corvids. One ‘call-bird’ is kept tethered at the bottom of the cage, and its frantic calls attract other corvids. This is gross on so many levels, because it uses the corvids innate sociability to harm others. The practise has been deemed inhumane and outlawed even in the country of its origin, Norway.
Other Hopeful Things:
Like every other anxious, fretful Westerner, I obsess about whether the causes I support deliver on their aims. Here are a few that in my view, always deserve a helping hand (spotlight, but not exclusive to, the UK):
Shelter – homelessness charity.
Women’s Aid – Women’s advocacy group, particularly around housing, domestic and sexual abuse.
The Samaritans – a mental health crisis-call line.
Trees for Life – a volunteer-conservation charity seeking to replant and re-wild the great Caledonian forest.
Medicine-Sans-Frontiers/Doctors-without-Borders – humanitarian medical aid anywhere in the world.
Ecosia – a homepage search engine (like go-ogle) that plants a tree every time you run a search!