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Social Justice

Monuments…

Anyone who has lived in Newcastle will know the monument. In many ways it’s the epicentre of life in the city; it is the place all directions are given in relation to, it’s the place where people meet, and it’s the place where people gather. There, at the top of a 135ft column, is a statue of Earl Grey. (Yes, the chap they named the tea after.) Earl Grey was the Prime Minister who authored the great reform act and who led the government that passed the 1833 bill for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. On Saturday afternoon,...
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The Tipping Point for Slavery?

Yesterday saw the announcement of the Oscar nominations and leading the field is a biographical epic from Steven Spielberg about President Lincoln’s battle to end slavery. We applaud the efforts of Lincoln to make slavery illegal in the USA, but the scary fact is that slavery is bigger business now than ever before. There are more slaves in the world today than even at the height of the slave trade. We rightly celebrate Wilberforce, Alexander II, Equiano and Lincoln, but if we don’t continue their work then our words are nothing but hollow praise. You may not have heard of Donald Ainslie...
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Abolition

At first glance, striding past the painting on the walls of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, you could mistake it for just another Turner of the era; it bears all of the familiar trademarks of his maritime scenes, the colours, the lights in the sky, the sea. It’s only when you actually stop and look that you make out the shape of a human limb, and another, and another, and realise that the sea is full of bodies struggling as they’re sucked beneath the waves. This isn’t a prosaic landscape, it’s hell on the seas. The Slave Ship...
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Is this not the fast I choose?

I’d love you all to meet Miraji. He’s my sponsored child from Compassion. He’s eight years old and he lives near Moshi in Tanzania. For fun Miraji likes to play football, draw pictures and tell stories. My hope for his life is that he will be part of the generation that breaks cyclical poverty in the region. Last week I received an updated photo of him through the post; he’s grown taller and if ever there was a kid who didn’t want to stand in front of the camera it’s probably him. You see, he doesn’t like the stand up...
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Liberty

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in America. Today is a an opportunity to call attention to the issue of the millions trafficked annually and the 27 million globally who live as slaves. That’s more people living in slavery now than at any other point in human history. The statistics present grim reading. Trafficking is the second largest organised crime in the world today. Trafficking for sexual exploitation generates $27.8 billion each year. That is more than the GDP of many countries. The majority of victims are sold into lives of prostitution where they are sold for sex many times...
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