Apr 07, 2009

financial fools day

by Krista Stryker — last modified Apr 07, 2009 04:10 PM

Campaign organizations denounce the EU's continuing contribution to the financial crisis.

Financial fools day

On April Fools day 2009 Brussels-based environment, development, farming and transparency campaign organizations denounced the EU's continuing contribution to the financial crisis and the limited solutions it advocated at the G20 with a theatre spectacle in front of the European Council.

Politicians and citizens battled their way out of the financial crisis, to the backdrop of a stock-exchange on stilts - all part of "Financial Fools Day", a global day of action on the eve of the G20 meeting in London.

Alex Wilks from the European Network on Debt and Development said:

"The ostrich approach to regulation -- put your head in the sand and hope for the best -- has been exposed as a sham, as many protesters have said for years. European companies and governments bear a big responsibility for the current crisis. Yet EU proposals for the G20 offer little for ordinary citizens in Europe, and the pledges for the world's poorer regions to be announced tomorrow will be a mere drop in the ocean compared to the dramatic impact of the crisis."

Friends of the Earth Europe and the other groups involved are concerned that European governments are bailing out the banks responsible for the crisis without demanding significant regulatory concessions in exchange. European governments are relying on the advice of controversial bankers, continuing to promote further financial services liberalization in trade negotiations, and failing to regulate European-based hedge funds.


Developing countries are being hard hit by the financial and economic crisis, but are being given no additional support by European governments.

Paul de Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe said:

"We are witnessing not just a financial crisis, but a global systemic crisis with environmental, social, economic and democratic dimensions. Banks need to be held fully accountable for the impacts they have on the environment, food prices, destruction of biodiversity, climate change. To tackle this crisis we need a radical departure from the current economic and social model."

Apr 01, 2009

calls for urgent action from world leaders ahead of G20 summit

by PhilLee — last modified Apr 01, 2009 02:40 PM
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Thousands of protesters descended on European cities calling for green jobs, fair distribution of wealth and climate issues to be addressed by the G20 leaders.

foe ewni demoThe first of the protests took place on March 28 when 35,000 people marched for jobs, justice and climate with the 'Put People First' coalition of which Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) is a founding member. As part of their involvement, EWNI arranged for several climate activists to speak at the rally, including Biana Jagger, Tony Juniper and Father Joe Komakom. They spoke powerfully and eloquently about the urgency of the climate crisis and the impact of climate change on the poorest people in the world.




There were additional protests from Friends of the Earth member groups across Europe, including actions in France and Belgium under the name 'We Won't Pay for Your Crisis'.


Friends of the Earth International strongly supports the coalition's call for a fair, sustainable route out of recession and for an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future. The G20 summit was a meeting of the world's leaders which aimed to agree coordinated action to address the current economic crisis, as well as a blueprint for future reform of the world financial system. We demand that world leaders break with the failed policies of the past and embrace a new system that seeks to make the economy work for people and the planet.


finance and climate march parisWhilst the G20 summit itself was hugely disappointing – the world’s leaders failing to take any significant action to address climate change, the continuing global financial crisis and its impact on some of the poorest people in the world –  throughout the UK's G20 presidency EWNI will continue to call for real action on green jobs, and economic and climate justice.


  • Find out more about the Put People First movement -



  • Find out more about the Stop G20 movement in France -



Photos: Protesters from Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland in London. In Paris people impersonate bankers in offshore tax havens while others march through the streets.