The Coldplay US concert tour has come to a close.
Over the course of two months and 33 Coldplay performances, 539 local Oxfam volunteers nationwide donned campaign t-shirts and grabbed clipboards to rally support for Make Trade Fair. With the help of Coldplay fans across the country, their quest was a tremendous success. The numbers tell the tale:
63,632 sign-ups to the Big Noise
14,311 postcards to deliver to the US Trade Representative
12 percent of total audience took action
539 local volunteers canvassed with us
Oxfam’s petition to Make Trade Fair, called the Big Noise, boasted 17.8 million signatures by the end of 2005. Signatures poured in from US venues as different as Coldplay concerts and Kansas church meetings. But poor people themselves, in countries like Zambia and Bangladesh, responded in the greatest numbers.Through grassroots events and high-level negotiating, Oxfam America campaigned to change the rules that prevent poor people from making a decent living. These included sponsoring a tour of farmers and agriculture experts from Mali and Senegal through US farming states, meetings with members of Congress and diplomats at the G8 Summit in Scotland, the UN meeting in New York, and the World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong. Oxfam worked with representatives from five countries at a shareholders’ meeting of Newmont Mining Corporation in Colorado, where they spoke directly to company leaders about the social and environmental costs of mines.
At the World Coffee Congress in Brazil, farmers from Central America and Ethiopia asked the US and other International Coffee Organization members to address industry problems that affect farmers’ incomes. Oxfam’s supporters and activists held events and sent thousands of e-mails, letters, postcards, and petitions to corporations and elected officials, asking them to: reform agriculture policy, protect sacred indigenous people’s lands, and buy fair trade.
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