Quakers campaign to ‘Build Back Better’

Friends support drive to galvanise a green and just recovery from the pandemic

Quakers have been organising action to support the Build Back Better (BBB) campaign that was launched in April to galvanise a green and just recovery from the pandemic. Rebecca Woo, campaigns and advocacy coordinator for Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM), told the Friend that the New Economy group is also planning a programme of support for a cohort of about twenty to thirty Friends working to Build Back Better later this year.

‘It’s clear Build Back Better has struck a chord with many Friends, and we’re keen to know how we can best support you in your campaigning and community action’, Olivia Hanks, economics and sustainability programme manager for BYM, said in the New Economy newsletter.

‘We’re in the process of developing a programme of support and network-building opportunities for Friends working for a green and just recovery.’

According to a briefing set out by the New Economy group, the Quaker BBB vision includes: a fairer, greener economy; a peaceful world; a humane immigration and asylum system; and a transformative justice system.

It suggests ten ways in which Friends can take action. These include emailing MPs and citing a Quakers in Britain briefing that has been sent to MPs and peers on Quaker priorities for building back better.

It also suggests inviting their MP, MS or MSP to meet Friends to discuss the issue; joining up with other groups to build a local movement; hosting BBB events; contacting local councillors to discuss action on the issue; and signing up to the BBB campaign.

Friends can also join a campaign ‘to target companies that have a big impact on our economy and society, such as banks, energy companies, and those delivering public contracts in immigration and criminal justice’, says the briefing, citing campaigns such as ShareAction, Don’t Bank on the Bomb and Corporate Watch as examples.

Quaker Peace & Social Witness said it has also ‘made submissions to a number of parliamentary inquiries including the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee inquiry on “post-pandemic economic growth” and a consultation organised by the Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal’.

Olivia Hanks said that the summer series workshops ‘Build Back Better: it’s time for a new economy’ and ‘Lobbying for a better world’ were ‘both well attended, with participants sharing their thoughts on issues from basic income to community wealth-building and the Green New Deal’.

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