Working as a Campaigner can sometimes be a weird and wonderful occupation. Take yesterday for example, when I spent the day dressed as a postman at the European Parliament in Brussels. Why? To make a very special delivery: the personal messages of over 8,000 ONE members from across Europe.
Photo gallery: Stuart handing over postcards to Cecilia Wikström MEP from Sweden, Arlene McCarthy MEP from the UK, Jiři Maštálka MEP from the Czech Republic and Eva Lichtenberger MEP from Austria.
The delivery targeted key MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) who are shaping anti-corruption laws which could help millions of people lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Two weeks ago the US passed historic rules which require oil, gas and mining companies to declare what they pay to foreign governments. This will help to expose billions of dollars of secret payments which allow corrupt officials to siphon-off large sums of money from the sale of natural resources instead of spending them on vital services like schools, roads and hospitals which would benefit all citizens.
Now all eyes turn to Europe as it debates a similar law, with the next crucial step taken by this key group of MEPs. In two weeks-time they will vote to decide how strong the proposed law will be.
To make sure they do the right thing we invited European members to create their own online postcards, selecting from a range of designs and writing their own personal messages. These were based on a clear and powerful theme – encouraging the MEPs to be champions in the fight against extreme poverty, and letting them know that thousands across Europe will be watching whether they vote in the right way.
So after a massive response, I donned my Postman’s outfit and with the help of my colleagues in Brussels delivered a sack full of postcards along with a framed collage of some of the best messages to some of these MEPs. After hearing about the campaign they were left in no doubt that ONE members have put them under the spotlight and will watching closely how they vote.
The vote itself takes place on 18 September. ONE will be there to monitor it and we will publish how each of the key MEPs voted on our website.
Thanks to everyone who created their own postcard and for helping us to push the envelope on this issue!
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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