Jeremy Corbyn launches Peace and Justice Project with calls to action
- Credit: Project for Peace & Justice
The Project for Peace & Justice was launched by Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn with an online rally on Sunday (January 17).
Among the speakers lined up for the event, streamed on YouTube, were public intellectual and activist Noam Chomsky, Unite the Union general secretary Len McCluskey, and Labour MP for Coventry South Zarah Sultana.
The former Labour leader sits at present as an independent MP. Although he was reinstated to the party, current leader Keir Starmer has yet to reinstate the whip following Mr Corbyn's response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's investigation into antisemitism in the party.
Four areas of work have been announced as part of the new project, focussing on supporting communities affected by "austerity, the pandemic, and the new recession"; the relaxation of intellectual property laws so that Covid-19 vaccines reach poorer communities around the world; free public interest journalism and opposition to media monopolies; and the environment.
Mr Corbyn said: “The pandemic is intensifying three deep, connected and global crises: the climate emergency, an economy that generates inequality and insecurity faster than prosperity and freedom, and a global order that holds back the vast majority of our planet’s people and is dangerously breaking down.
“But we have both the ideas, and the power when we come together, to overcome these crises, and build a world of peace and justice. What our movement does today will be felt for generations to come.
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“Our role in the Peace and Justice Project will be to champion those ideas and support the movements that can turn those ideas into reality. Because if you refuse to argue for your side, our opponents win by default.
“So many of the ideas we need to make the 2020s better than the 2010s were developed in and around the Labour Party in recent years, by outstanding thinkers, but more importantly by demands of our movements, and the skills, knowledge and needs of the communities affected.
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“We will build on these policies, taking them further, adapting them to the post pandemic world, so that our movement can turn the dial towards peace and justice.
“As we launch today, we will focus on four areas of work, and we want you and the movements you’re involved in to take part.”
Other speakers scheduled for the launch event were youth climate activist Scarlett Westbrook; Ronnie Kasrils, who was a minister in Nelson Mandela’s government; former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis; and Baroness Christine Blower, former National Union of Teachers general secretary.
The project's mission statement says it aims "to bring people together for social and economic justice, peace, and human rights, in Britain and across the world".
"The Peace and Justice Project will back campaigns, commission reports and develop progressive networks in Britain and across the world," it states.
"The Peace and Justice Project will work with labour and social movements and provide platforms to those campaigning for change for the many, not the few."
On Sunday further details of four areas of work were announced.
The project will aim to work with foodbanks, mutual aid groups, social organisations, and trade unions to help UK communities affected by austerity, the pandemic and the recession.
It plans to launch a petition "pressuring the UK Government to drop their opposition to intellectual property laws being relaxed, to speed up the vaccine rollout in the Global South".
It will campaign against Rupert Murdoch planned News UK TV launch, as part of its opposition to corporate monopolies in the media.
Referencing Labour's Green New Deal, the project said it will build a network of campaigners to develop "bold and concrete plans" ahead of the COP26 climate conference in November.