Saturday’s Epson Derby marked 100 years since suffragette Emily Davison ran onto the course and was killed by the horse of King George V. There is still debate about whether she intended to be a human sacrifice for her cause or whether she was just trying to disrupt the race, but what is not in doubt is the bravery and dedication it took her and those of her generation to earn women the right to vote.
Many suffragettes were mocked, abused, blacklisted, imprisoned and died before The Reform Act was passed in 1932 and women were finally allowed to vote.
Another one of the great injustices of our time is world hunger. There is enough food for everyone to be fed, but while in some parts of the world there is enough for obesity to be a problem in others, people die from lack of food and are stunted by malnutrition. One in eight people on the planet go to bed hungry. That’s 868 million fellow human beings.
Although it seems an insurmountable problem, people who work with and for the world’s hungry have come up with four issues which if addressed by the leaders of the G8 could start to make a real difference.
These issues are: tackling tax dodging, ensuring government and corporate decisions regarding the food system are transparent, guaranteeing enough development aid is given and stopping poor farmers being kicked off their land.
The G8 meets in Northern Ireland on 17 June and the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign – a coalition of more than 200 organisations including Christian Aid, Tearfund and the Church of England – are urging the UK government and the other leaders to tackle the scandal of our generation.
This Saturday, 8 June, thousands of people will be choosing to stand in solidarity with the world’s poor at a rally in Hyde Park as a physical reminder to our elected leaders that we demand they act.
On stage will be an eclectic mix of people from across the cultural spectrum, all speaking on why this is a big deal. Bill Gates, Rowan Williams, Myleene Klass and the broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky among others.
The campaign is also supported by an array of Church denominations and Christian organisations, and a large proportion of the crowd will be people who have come from the ecumenical service held in Methodist Central Hall that morning.
As a Christian, attending this event and doing my bit to help those less fortunate than me is an expression of my faith. Jesus calls us to love our neighbour. With arguments over women bishops and equal marriage swirling around the Church at the moment, what better witness for our generation than to stand up for justice and the hungry?
See you on Saturday?
The Big IF ecumenical service takes place in Methodist Central Hall on Saturday at 11.30am.
The Big IF rally in Hyde Park takes place shortly afterwards at 2pm.
For more information visit www.christianaid.org.uk/if.