Posted by: richard | 6 October, 2009

Tackling oppression

We had a good discussion about the actions we could take regarding oppression:

Direct campaigning (e.g. letter writing).  Would seem to be a simple act that we can do together.  We suggested finding one or more topics to tackle.

  • The chocolate/traffiking one (see previous post) seems to be an obvious one.
  • Perhaps also the Micah Challenge water campaign.
  • We also wondered about asking the mayor of Maisons-Laffitte why we never see homeless people (are they being moved on?) in the commune

Awareness-raising. Probably linked to direct campaigning.  For example,  the chocolate fondue parties to raise awareness of the chocolate/traffiking issue (as well as offer hospitality).

We could also do a “tunnel of oppression” with multiple issues and practical steps people could take.  We wondered whether Holy Trinity was the only possible venue and thought about the library, other churches, the town centre, etc..

We also came up with a few other ‘wildcard’ ideas.  For example, helping to expand the reach of an international campaign in France – e.g. recruiting churches to help, doing their web site, whatever. (Robbie said he’d do some research on this.)

We all had slightly different perspectives.  Personally I incline towards taking one issue (say, chocolate), and doing a mix of campaigning, awareness-raising and personal lifestyle change, and then moving on to another issue.  Blog your comments below or be forever voiceless!



  1. I was reading this today about calculating a “living wage” for garment manufacturers in Asia:

    But I probably don’t buy enough clothes for this to actually make a difference! Maybe better off sticking to chocolate, spices, tea & coffee …

  2. Following our discussion last night on the action done by “Stop the traffic” about chocolate, I phone Kraft Foods maker of the brand Milka (my favorite milk chocolate). The very nice guy I had on the phone assured me that Kraft foods dies not produce any chocolate woth child labour involved (apparently they checked the producer on a very fine scale …. the guy will send me their article) but he also told me that they are working on the fairtrade part of the production of the chocolate bar too but don’t have yet the label (expecting also an article from them on the subject).
    The guy from the callcenter seemed to find my question very appropriate and was not at all defensive. Ouf ! I might go on eating Milka dairy chocolate !

  3. Another call received from Kraft Foods (very professionnal indeed) saying they’ve sent me articles demonstrating that there is no child labour involved in their chocolate production and some other articles about the fairtrade subject. The guy from the callcenter encouraged me to have more consumers to mention these two subject (child labour and fairtrade) as he says it is really effective to move things inside the compagny

  4. Stop the Traffik said this about Kraft’s comments:

    “We received news yesterday about new plans from Kraft regarding their Carte D’or range and you can read a bit about this on our blog ( and on their own website ( It seems that they are making progress towards Rainforest Alliance certification but only for the Cote D’or range, not Milka.

    Despite what Kraft said to you below – and how convincing it sounds, we can only really be assured by the Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade certification. If a company was sourcing ethically then they would be the first to shout about it by one of these certification schemes! Without this certification, evidence suggests that child and forced labour is behind cocoa production.

    Things are looking up though – if Kraft are willing to certify its Cote D’or range, perhaps Milka will follow.”

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