Never use animals, children or balloons
by Patrick Klerks, Online Campaigner, Oxfam Novib
Today is the last day before the G8 summit begins and I am once again faced with the eternal wisdom: “When you’re doing a public performance, do not use animals, children or balloons”. At first it seemed like a good idea to have a thousand balloons on the square in front of the Sapporo Convention Center, representing one million wishes sent from people around the world asking for an end to poverty, as part of the Japanese tanabata festival. As we soon found out: concrete and balloons don’t mix. But as campaigners always have a plan B, C and D, all turned out great in the end, as you’ll see in the video below.
A few hours later, it was time for our health performance: our big heads were dangling a check in front of healthworkers, representing the financial promises the G8 leaders made back in 2005 at Gleneagles. This is a really important issue, because G8 leaders are trying to break their aid promises. We decided to do this performance to make sure G8 leaders know we won’t let it happen.
Now I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that this is a good reason to get our message out even louder: action NOW! And if things need to get loud, one brings in Bill Nighy. He’ll be our spokesperson at the Big Letters performance (Big heads, Big letters, get it?) tomorrow, explaining why the G8 must make it clear to the rest of the world where and how they will lay out their plans to get back on track to meet those 2005 promises.