Massive public response to government crackdown on BDS

22 February 2016 - 8:00am
Press release

Over 26,000 people have responded to a government consultation, rejecting plans to block local councils from deciding how to invest their members' pension funds. 

Under the proposals, announced in November 2015, central government will have the power to veto investment decisions made locally on ethical grounds concerning human rights, arms trade, fossil fuels and much else.

The consultation closed on 19 February and comes amid massive public outrage concerning the government’s sustained attempts to shut down democratic space. War on Want, in response, launched the campaign to ‘Protect Local Democracy’ alongside coalition of groups representing campaigns for justice in Palestine, fossil fuel divestment, anti-militarism and more.

Ryvka Barnard, Senior Militarism and Security Campaigner War on Want, said:

The government’s assault on our democratic rights and freedoms, is a clear attempt to clamp down on the growing power of the grassroots boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to end government and corporate complicity with Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

“The government’s plan to block local councils from deciding how to invest their members' pension funds is a very serious threat and completely anti-democratic. The campaign to protect local democracy has only just begun.”

Newcastle City Council passed a unanimous resolution promising to fight the government plan, while MPs, councillors, trade union leaders, and a number of high profile artists and public figures signed an open letter in opposition.

Note for Editors

Latest news

Migrant and Precarious Workers are Winning Britain a Pay Rise!

17 October 2017 - 3:00pm

Migrant and precarious workers are winning Britain a pay rise. Migrant and precarious workers are leading the fights to get organised. They are tackling precarious work, outsourcing and privatisation, the real drivers of low pay and insecurity at work.  Despite facing stigmatisation by a media that too often blames them for low pay and insecurity at work, they are standing up for themselves and winning. Their struggles tell an important story about how Britain can win a pay rise: by standing with migrant workers and ending precarious contracts.

Read more

Open Democracy: EU approval of Sri Lankan labour standards whitewashes abuse

17 October 2017 - 11:30am

Thulsi Narayanasamy, War on Want's Senior International Programmes officer for Asia & the Pacific reports on how the EU's so-called trade concessions whitewash ongoing violations in Sri Lankan factories - as well as the profoundly unequal terms of global trade, which prevents meaningful development for the global South. 

Read more

Join the conversation

Proud of our history standing for #justice with black communities in #UK & global South. Celebrating those partners… https://t.co/wDeDM37D5x 5 hours 20 min ago
RT @WarOnWant: Sir would you like to step on these villages like #bhp #mining operations do in real life? #bhpagm @WarOnWant @londonmining 13 hours 44 min ago
If you've enjoyed the #StopBHP coverage tonight, please lend your voice to the solidarity action: goodnight! https://t.co/9SXlWf6aBa 17 hours 33 min ago