by Stuart McWilliam, Campaign Manager, Oxfam Japan
Today, I’m in Sapporo, Japan, where I can see helicopters circling the area. Policemen and reporters are everywhere: the G8 leaders must be coming to town!
G8 countries are trying to cope with increasing oil prices, food inflation and a slowdown of their economies, but the poor are worse off. As the G8 leaders meet from 7-9 July, Oxfam will be calling on them to make poverty issues central to their discussions. But to reach that goal, we need to do some campaigning!
“Stuart’s introduction to Japan”
I’m at Odori Kouen, the main park in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaidō, for our first performance. It’s a scorching 30 degrees, our ‘big heads’ are dripping with sweat and have big sweat patches on their kimonos, but there are loads of photographers, journalists and TV reporters, so I’m feeling great!
The message we want to get across today is that the G8 leaders shouldn’t come to the Hokkaidō summit and treat their visit as a holiday. So that’s why on our first day of campaigning action, our big heads are performing as karaoke artists: G8 leaders, stop fooling around: action now! We want you to work hard and take decisive action against poverty.
“Day 1 of campaigning: Oxfam’s first performance and the peace rally”
So what else is happening this week? I’m having a quick shower first. But then it’s on to the alternative G8 summit on Sunday July 6th, more performances throughout the week, including one with Bill Nighy, and of course our verdict on the G8 outcomes.