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London G20 Counter Conference (Nov 7) latest news

November  7 2009 – Westminster Central Hall – London.

Jobs, Justice, Climate – Alternatives to the G20 – Book NOW!

In March, we marched in our tens of thousands to demand the G20 Put People First. Far from putting people first we’ve seen nothing but a tinkering around the margins followed by the return to business as usual.

On Nov 7, as the G20 returns to the UK, the agenda on the table nurses an already failed economic model back to life, whilst looking to sew up an international climate deal of unprecedented urgency.

They bailed out the banks to the tune of billions, and now the only choice offered is between what cuts are made to pay for it.

Government intervention to create a Green New Deal is slipping off the agenda, and yet strong alliances are forming – environmentalists and trade unionists have been standing side by side at Vestas to save the UK’s largest wind turbine factory.

  • In the run up to Copenhagen, how do we get a global agreement on climate that truly puts climate justice at its heart?
  • How do we respond to the jobs crisis and growing poverty around the world
  • How do we ensure the global green new deal the world needs?
  • How we do we show that cuts are not the only option, and demonstrate what Putting People First really look like?

This counter-conference will bring together academics, activists, campaigners, unions, policy makers and YOU to share ideas on what the alternatives are to cuts, cuts and more cuts, and how we must organise across our issues, of jobs, justice and climate, to make the alternative the reality.

Speakers include:

  • Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth
  • Jon Cruddas MP
  • Deborah Doane, World Development Movement
  • Diane Elson, University of Essex
  • Jesse Griffiths, Bretton Woods Project
  • Noel Hatch, Compass Youth
  • Billy Hayes, CWU
  • John Hilary, War on Want
  • Catherine Howarth, FairPensions
  • Tony Juniper, Princes Rainforests Projects
  • Neal Lawson, Compass
  • Larry Lohman, The Corner House
  • Caroline Lucas MEP
  • Poul Nyrup Rasmussen MEP
  • Andrew Simms, New Economics Foundation
  • Glen Tarman, BOND
  • Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper
  • Mel Whitter, UNITE

Book your FREE place now for an inspirational day of discussion and organising and help spread the word:

The conference is supported by: ActionAid, Action for a Global Climate Community, BOND, BrettonWoods Project, Change is Coming, Compass, Ekklesia, Fairtrade Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, GMB, Helpage International, Jubilee Scotland, Jubilee Debt Campaign, National Union of Teachers, New Economics Foundation, New Internationalist, People and Planet, Progressio, Stop AIDS Campaign, Stop Climate Chaos, Stamp out Poverty, TUC, UNISON, WILPF, World Development, Movement, War on Want, WWF

October 21st, 2009 Put People First

PPF campaign Friday


Friday 4 September 2009, 10am-6pm, Central London

This autumn the G20 is back. On Friday 4 September, the G20 Finance Ministers are meeting in London to discuss the financial crisis, for the first time since April’s G20 summit. So far they’ve flunked the challenge of putting people first in response to the financial crisis, preferring instead to patch up the old system that has led to poverty, inequality and the threat of climate chaos.

Join us in central London this Friday to tell the G20: No More Business As Usual. We’ll be demanding action on jobs, justice and climate, learning more about some of the key institutions behind the crisis, and discussing what’s next for Put People First campaigning.

10.30am-11.15am: A media stunt at which 20 powerful world leaders will carry a throne of money through the City of London. Campaigners will tell them that it’s time to put people before money. Location Lloyds Building, Leadenhall St.
11.15am-1pm: A walking tour of companies and institutions that have contributed to the economic crisis. Activists will meet at Liverpool Street (outside the rail station next to the McDonalds).
2pm-6pm: International speakers and a worker from the Vestas wind turbine plant will address a conference of activists from across the UK. The Woolfson Theatre, London School of Economics.

To register to attend, email or phone 020 7324 4722.

September 2nd, 2009 Put People First

Standing for Justice; United in Hope. Church service report

Online audio:

If you want to hear the Joint service in Central Hall held before the rally on 28th March, click play on the widget below to listen online on

Individual contributions:

Church and agency leaders joined with 1500 Christians in an ecumenical service that formed part of the “Put People First” event on Saturday. Entitled “Standing for Justice, United in Hope,” the service took place at Central Hall in Westminster.

Keynote speakers were Christine Allen, Executive Director of Progressio; Fr. Joe Komakoma, Secretary General of the Zambia Episcopal Conference; The Rt Revd Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London; and the Revd. Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge and former General Director of the Evangelical Alliance. Read more…

March 31st, 2009 Put People First

35,000 thanks! A strong signal to the G20 from the London Put People First march

Our thanks to everyone who turned out from all over the UK and even further afield for today’s Put People First March for Jobs, Justice, Climate.

The police estimated thirty-five thousand of us marched peacefully through London today. That’s a strong, clear signal, calling for a radical break with the failures of the unfettered free market.

Faith and women’s groups, trade unions, development and climate campaigners were all mixed together on one of the most colourful demonstrations in years. Not even sleet showers and heavy rain put off the thousands who made it the four miles through central London to Hyde Park, to hear the speakers, films and music.

Thanks especially to everyone who covered today’s events on the internet – so people all round the world have a record of what happened in London today. Check our Twitter buzz page, where you’ll find some links to great videos, photos and text reports.

Next week, the Put People First coalition will be working to ensure the G20 leaders know we’re still watching them. Today’s action, and those staged in cities around the world, will have given them food for thought as they start their meeting.

Make sure you get a ring-side seat by following the G20Voice project. 50 expert bloggers, given a high level of access to the G20 Summit, to let you know exactly how well the leaders are getting on towards the action we want to see from them.

Media from today: BBC, Guardian, Al Jazeera, Telegraph, Times, Wall St Journal, Le Monde, Huffington Post

March 28th, 2009 Put People First

Get down on the way down: play the radio request game

Are you coming to London by coach or by car for the Put People First march on Saturday 28 March? Get your spirits up and help generate some great media coverage as you pass through the country by playing the request game.

Listen to the radio as you go, and call local and national radio shows, asking for Put People First related requests: Read more…

March 27th, 2009 Put People First

International events on 28 March

It’s not just the Put People First London march and rally happening tomorrow, but there will be popular actions all over the world.

Berlin and Frankfurt are holding big rallies on 28 March, named “Wir zahlen nicht für eure Krise!” (We’re not paying for your crisis). Organisers in Austria are using the same slogan for a big event in Vienna. Translating that into French, Parisiens will be marching on the same day, under the banner “Nous ne paierons pour leurs crises“. In Madrid, protestors will be declaring “Es hora de cambiar” (it’s time for change). There will also be events happening in Italy, India,  Indonesia and the Philippines. A big Tokyo event is planned for 2 April.

We’re not going to be marching alone on 28 March, but as the G20 leaders are coming to our home turf, the world’s eyes are going to be on what happens in London, and what happens on this demonstration. Make sure you don’t miss it!

March 27th, 2009 Put People First

GMB members to join Put People First March

GMB press release – 26 March 2009

1500 GMB members from all over Britain plan to be in London on Saturday, 28th March 2009 to take part in a national demonstration called for by the TUC and a number of other organisations (see note 1) to coincide with the G20 summit taking place in London next week. Read more…

March 26th, 2009 Put People First

Happiness and the economic crisis

The Guardian published a fascinating ‘happiness index’ on Monday. Reporting research from the New Economics Foundation the index claimed that, based on quality of life and environmental protection, Indonesians, Chinese and Mexicans are amongst the happiest people in the world. People in countries like the UK and US, contrary to expectations, are well down in the happiness list.

I’m sure if you are living on less than a dollar a day in one of these ‘happy’ countries you may challenge such claims. However they add to the growing body of evidence that maximising income doesn’t actually make us happier. In fact, it could lead to greater unhappiness as we work longer hours to earn more money, to buy more stuff that we barely need and rarely use – at the same time pushing the world towards environmental disaster.


Here we are in the middle of a global economic crisis. We are also facing the greatest threat that humanity has ever conjured up for itself – climate change. Throw in the fact that on the table at the G20 are mind-boggling sums of money that the UK and US (at least) want to spend on kick-starting global consumption, and we have before us an unprecedented opportunity to recast the way we live.

What are our choices?

We can spend all this money on more cut-throat economics and more carbon-loaded consumption.


We can put it into a green new deal, investing in making the transition to a low carbon economy and the sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources (instead of relentlessly draining them). And, if we also fix the flaws in the global economic system which currently maintains poverty across the world, then we can create new, better jobs and, yes, more happiness.

Amidst all the doom and gloom, this sounds like a pretty exciting possibility to me.

- Ashok Sinha Director of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

March 26th, 2009 Put People First

Last minute accommodation in London

If you’re coming to the Put People First march and rally this Saturday and don’t yet have anywhere lined up to stay, check out cheap accommodation in London with the Youth Hostel Association. Or for adventurous web addicts, try the online network Couch Surfing,

Or check out our coaches page, as there are still a number of places available on coaches from around the country that would be returning on the same day, so you don’t need to stay over.

March 24th, 2009 Put People First

VIDEO: Dave Prentis on Put People First

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis will be speaking at the Put People First G20 rally in Hyde Park on Saturday. Here he explains why he and many of his union’s members will be taking part in the march.

March 24th, 2009 Put People First