It’s been the busiest week EVER. Every day has been chocked full of events and prep for events as thousands of activists all over Northern Ireland have joined forces to highlight the crazy horror of human trafficking during ‘No More Traffik’ week.
I have sensed such a thick atmosphere of unity and strength in our wee country over this issue and it’s amazing to see individuals and communities rising up to do something. My hope is that Northern Ireland can demonstrate a model of unified activism on this and show other countries how real change can happen on this issue.
Over the week there have been flash mobs (watch it happen here!), there have been forums, the launch of Northern Irelands first All Party Group on Human Trafficking in Stormont (our government), concerts, graffiti, skimboarding (yeah, I still don’t know what that is – but I’m pretty sure if I tried it I’d break my face), stories of hope, documentary screenings and on Thursday night Craigavon A.C.T. and The A21 Campaign collaborated to highlight a more global side to the trafficking world.
Fashion and chocolate. Things I am passionate about in equal measures.
Over 200 people flocked into our venue at The Dock Cafe in the new Titanic Quarter of Belfast to feast on a BBQ of sausages and fairtrade buns and cakes. That was about 100 more people than we expected (amazing but CHAOTIC!) and the place was BUZZING!
Above: Laura & I with the boys from The Meat Cleaver who donated all the BBQ meat. Such awesome guys.
Students from Belfast MET made amazing pieces of fairtrade/ethical/upcycled clothing for a fashion show and then we shared stories of people who have been trafficked into both the fashion and chocolate industries around the world. Check out this dress made of recycled fabric and coffee bags!
We then challenged the crowd to not just be moved, but to ACT. Over 200 people signed a pledge to eat only traffik-free (fairly traded) chocolate. Over 200 people signed letters of pressure to our Justice Minister to call him to help us challenge the chocolate companies that are using sources where trafficked children are exploited and abused on farms.
Above: Awesome activists signing the pledge
These are our new Craigavon A.C.T. info cards about the Chocolate Campaign.
It was a truly amazing night.