Shelter joins Put People First

6 April 2009

Put People First march

Shelter is a part of a new movement born on 28 March 2009. 'Put People First' saw 35,000 people marching through London and calling on leaders for an economy that delivers decent jobs and public services for all, an end to global poverty and inequality, and a green economy.

Read the Put People First policy demands

At a rally in Hyde Park, they were addressed by GCAP co-chair Kumi Naidoo, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, environmentalist Tony Juniper and trade campaigner Mary Lou Malig amongst others. They heard calls international action to deliver tax justice, trade justice, a Green New Deal in both rich and poor countries, and most importantly, democratic accountability of governments, banks and international financial institutions to deliver it.

Put People First is an unprecedented alliance of more than 150 unions, development, faith and environment groups, including Shelter. Members are united in calling on the G20 leaders to recognise that only just, fair and sustainable policies can lead the world out of recession, and that a return to 'business as usual' - with the associated poverty, inequality and climate change - is not an option.

Christian NGOs including World Vision and Tearfund started the day with an ecumenical service at Methodist Central Hall, overseen by the Bishop of London.

Delegations joined the march from around the world, including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Korea, USA, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, Canada and the Philippines.

The day's march is not the end of the campaign, but the start. The UK holds the chair of the G20 group for the rest of 2009 when the G8, the G20 and the United Nations all meet to chart a way through the recession. And 2009 ends with the vital Copenhagen climate conference.

These offer opportunities to win substantial change for poor people and the environment, and to advance the call for an economy that brings secure jobs, global justice and a safe climate.