I have come to think that organisations such as 38 Degrees, Change.org, and SumOfUs which exist mainly on the web, provide “instant” communication, and response (sometimes perhaps a little too much like a knee jerk response) are involving people in a way that political parties don’t, and seem seem to attempt. We often hear that people are disenchanted with “politics”, but my contact with these organisations seems to indicate a great interest in the world around, and a great willingness to have a say when it appears that something amoral or unethical is taking place, or about to take place. So I here append the contents of an email received today (edited very slightly to change it from a personal message to more of a passive voice) which sums all the above up quite nicely.
“Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn on the TV or log onto Facebook, big business is once again pushing an agenda that maximizes profits over workers’ rights, consumers rights, and basic human rights?
Whether it’s earning record profits while the rest of us languish in debt or causing environmental crises and then covering them up; whether it’s working employees to death or wiggling out of every tax and regulation the government can manage to pass; or… The list just goes on and on! You name it, and corporations are behind it. And instead of being held accountable, CEOs are getting richer by the second while the rest of us hope to make it to our next paycheck!
But the world doesn’t have to be this way. Because we have a secret: We own the corporations that are causing all these problems. They rely on us to buy their products. They count on us to buy their stock. They need us to work for them. Without us, these massive corporations have no power.
That’s where we — the SumOfUs — come in. By taking action this week, you have joined a new movement of individuals from all over the world, uniting together to demand that corporations put people over profits.
Here’s what we stand for:
- Governments that answer to citizens – not corporations;
- Fair treatment of workers and the right of every human being to make a living, safely and ethically, for themselves and their families;
- The right of ordinary consumers to buy products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably and transparently;
- The right of communities to manage and protect their own environment and natural resources;
- Business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by short-sighted greed.
Here’s some of what we’ve done:
- We helped save the Indonesian rainforest from the ‘world’s least sustainable corporation.’
- We enouraged Rio Tinto to drop its involvement in the controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska — a mine that would destroy the world’s largest sockeye salmon run.
- We made Joe Fresh (CAN) River Island (UK) and Woolworths (AU) sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord!
- We halted the sale and production of angora fur products at Zara, Topshop, and Asos.
- We helped workers in Chicago buy their factory when it was about to be sold off for scrap;
- We created a massive thank-you card to Starbucks when it was under attack for supporting gay marriage, helping kick off a wave of public pro-LGBT actions by corporations;
- We helped defund the climate change-denying Heartland Institute so much that it was forced to cancel its annual climate denial conference;
- We helped fund striking Walmart workers, ensuring that their families would still be fed while they walked off their jobs in protest;
If you, like us, are fed up with corporate power over our lives, and want to be a part of a movement to hold corporations accountable for their actions, then you’ve found the right home. Please help us out by taking a moment to select “Always display images from SumOfUs.org” at the top of this email. Approximately once a week — sometimes less, but let’s be honest, corporations aren’t getting any less evil — we’ll send you an email with something you can do to stand up for people over profit. Together we’ll build campaigns and pressure major corporations and win real victories that improve real people’s lives.
We are the SumOfUs, and together, we can build a just society for all.
– Taren, Kaytee, Paul, Angus, Martin, Hanna, Ledys, Anne, Camille, Jon, and the rest of the team.“
SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in what you can afford. (The Author of this blog supports SumOfUs but has no other pecuniary connection with the organisation whatsoever.)