Thursday, 6 June 2013

Enough Food for everyone If...

Last time the G8 met in the UK, we had the Make Poverty History campaign.

Poverty was not made history, clearly; but either because I'm naive, or because I'm an optimist, or just maybe because it's true, I can't help feeling it probably did make some kind of difference.

Eight years on, the G8 leaders are back in the UK and charities and campaign groups are once again uniting their voices to make sure big business and the rich are not the only ones who make their voice heard.

The Enough Food for Everyone If ... Campaign is a campaign for both dreamers and realists. It is for the dreamers who dream it is possible to eradicate hunger; and for the realists who know that it is easily within our 21st century means. It is for the dreamers with a vision of equality and global justice, and for the realists who identify the tiny steps which could change millions of lives. There is Enough Food for Everyone.

I probably am a little bit more cynical than I was eight years ago. But I am still going to be there. In two days time I will be in London, in 10 I will be in Belfast. I don't know if it will make any difference at all: but I sure as hell know that staying at home doing nothing won't make a difference. I know that I don't want to let money and mainstream media be the only voices that are heard. I want my voice to be heard too. I want to stand up and be counted. I want to be allowed to say I believe in a different way of doing things. That's why I believe in democracy. That's why I will be in Hyde Park and Belfast's Botanical Gardens.

Today is a good day for me to write about this, because it is the IFast day, and in solidarity with the 1 in 8 of the world's population who don't get enough to eat, I am fasting. And I am hungry. It is a symbolic gesture. I know it is no more than that. Tomorrow, I will not be hungry, and others still will.

The event planned for Saturday in London is just a symbol too, and so is the gathering in Belfast. But to say "just" a symbol, perhaps denies the very real power of symbolism. Symbols are powerful. People have lived and died for them. They find their power in the sharing of their message.

And if no-one knows, then yes, it makes no difference. But I know and you know, and that's already a start.

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