As more refugees flee Syria, Europe has not allocated many places for resettlement. Countries like the U.K. decided not to sign up to the UNHCR programme which has been implemented to support Syrians.
Produced by Roger Hamilton-Martin, Natasha Tsangarides and Phillip Nye.# vimeo.com/97407118 Uploaded 137 Plays 0 Likes 0 Comments
31 Oct 2013 | by Nadira Tudor | #IPSTV ì | Aid - Original Feature
Patricia struggled for 12 months before she talked to anyone about her problems. She works as a supervisor at a local school, but her income does not allow her to buy food. Her only choice is to rely on handouts from charitable organisations.
Patricia George: “I’m finding it really difficult to cope. It’s not a nice way of life to lead and all I’m asking for is to have like some – how can I put it? – extra cash so I can at least stock my cupboards, my fridge, my freezer. I can eat. Maybe go out once in a while. Just lead the normal lives of somebody who’s working, instead of having to rely on friends and constantly keep asking for things. It’s not nice because it’s like you’ll get paid in one hand and in the next hand, it’s taken away from you because obviously, that’s gone on the bills and you think ‘How am I going to live?’. The food bank saved my life.”
This winter will be the first time since World War II that the Red Cross will start collecting and distributing food aid for those in need in the United Kingdom. A country that has a reputation for being wealthy is now in dire straits. The number of people resorting to food banks to feed their families has more than tripled. The Trussell Trust is the UK’s biggest food bank operator. They have said that they’ve distributed food to over 350 000 people between April and September 2013. The figures include nearly 120.000 children – that’s more people during those six months than in the whole of 2012.
Christine Ridgwell, Director, Greenwich Food Bank: “People you’ll be walking along the streets with and you would look at them and think “ They’re fine”, but actually they have no money and I think that’s one of the things in this country we find it really difficult to understand and appreciate. When you say “no money” we mean nothing. Not a penny. So talk about loo paper – you can’t buy that, but you can’t buy food to put inside your belly and make you feel good. It’s appalling that this is a situation in our country. I have been a social worker for over fourty years. I haven’t seen this level of poverty.”
The UK is just one of many countries that are struggling. Another report has suggested that Europe’s financial crisis has had a devastating humanitarian impact. However it is puzzling to the international communities as to why Britain is experiencing this crisis now? Could it be austerity measures taken to cut welfare or is this going to become a regular feature, where charities are having to hand out large quantities of food to reduce the problem?
Mora McLagan, Campaign and Communications Manager, Oxfam: “They’re not a solution to the problem at all. They are really just picking up the pieces of a frayed welfare system and the result of unemployment and low wages in the UK. They should never become a permanent fixture of the UK and they should not become part of the welfare system. We’re the seventh richest country on the planet. It’s scandalous that we have food banks in the UK and we’re becoming increasingly worried by their growth”.
Patricia George: “Everyone needs food to eat to live. We’re a….we’re kind of a rich nation, aren’t we? We’re quite a rich nation and to think that people are suffering this way is really not good. It does not send out a good signal around the world that Great Britain is in poverty.”
Red Cross officials are calling on European governments to try and find new ways to address the crisis. They fear that if collaborative action is not taken, then the threat of millions plunging into the depths of poverty and hunger is a risk too high to ignore.# vimeo.com/86992455 Uploaded 27 Plays 0 Likes 0 Comments
15 Oct 2013 | by Nadira Tudor | #Guantanamo ì | Armed Conflicts - Interviews
Reprieve‘s office is full of books explaining how the international justice system works and how to help those accused of the most extreme crimes. Based in London, the organization supports prisoners around the world.
Reprieve’s aim is to secure each person’s right to a fair trial, those mainly imprisoned for crime such as terrorism or murder. Many cases involve individuals stuck in death row and Guantanamo Bay.
Strategic Director Cori Crider talks to IPSTV Correspondent Nadira Tudor.
Cori Crider: You go and you meet your client. He has a face and a history, and a personality. It is not just trying to stop something, it is actually trying to defend him. It is about trying to achieve something for him, see him hug his family again. Remember, over half of the people left in Guantanamo today have been cleared for release. Sometimes, for most of the time they have spent in Guantanamo, someone from the US Government has been telling them, “You will go home any day”, for most of their imprisonment. As time went on and promises were broken, they stopped believing it. They say, “well, the world is obviously forgotten me and has forgotten my plight. What option do I have, but to refuse food and protest?”
Nadira Tudor: Why do the authorities then implement force feeding?
Cori Crider: According to the Defence Department this is humane and they have to preserve these people’s lives. They cannot let them commit suicide. I talk to my clients and they just don’t buy it, they say they are not trying to commit suicide. They do not want to die.
You just have to look at the way they do it: Prisoners have a restrained chair, which brochures describe as a padded cell on wheels. They chain a man arms to a chair, they chain up his legs. There is even a strap for his head and it is forced back against the back of the chair. A 100 cm plastic tube is passed up his nose down through his throat into his stomach when he is put against this chair.
Reprieve Guantanamo / IPSTV
Nadira Tudor: What was Obama’s administration attitude towards this issue?
Cori Crider: I remember sitting on a chair listening to Obama’s speech, when he signed the executive order, saying he is going to close the prison within a year. Obviously, this is not what happened. There were political resistances from Republicans after Obama took office and I am sad to say, and certainly my clients are sad to learn that Obama was frankly pretty weak.
Nadira Tudor: Do you think there are now changes in the second term?
Cori Crider: There have been suggestions that Obama is deeply troubled by his failure to close Guantanamo and the fact that it is still going. I think it is a stain on American’s reputation and on his consciousness.
One of my clients was ordered release by a judge. He was a kid, called Mohammed al-Gharani. He was taken to Guantanamo when he was fourteen-year-old. He was a kid from Saudi Arabia and he did not speak a word of English when he got there, but in the end he sounded like a kid from Cleveland. He was smart and irrepressible. He have been treated so badly in the time he was there, but he had a free spirit and managed to keep not only his spirit, but actually the spirits of a lot of his older fellow prisoners. He was just an amazing guy.
If you were an Arab or a foreigner of some kind in Pakistan or Afghanistan, after September 11th, you were very likely to be picked up and sold for a bounty to the United States. We have seen the bounty flyers – they basically have a picture of a bearded Arab, a picture of the same bearded Arab behind some bars and fistful of American dollars. And the flyer says: “We can pay for you and for your village to live comfortably with health care for the rest of your life if you just hand us the called terrorist”.
Afghanistan Bounty Leaflet / IPSTV
Nadira Tudor: Do you think that the work that you and your colleagues do actually makes a difference worldwide?
Cori Crider: When I go to somewhere like in Yemen, that has the largest number of people in Guantanamo and it is also a site of drone strikes and I say “Hello, I am from the United States, in fact I am from Texas, sorry for George Bush, sorry for Guantanamo, and actually I am pretty sorry for the drone war”, people respond incredibly and overwhelmingly positively to that.
Nadira Tudor: If Retrieve had a message, what would that be to the international community?
Cori Crider: The war on terror is wrong and it is counterproductive, but that also, all of us have the power to end it.
+ Watch more videos by Nadira Tudor# vimeo.com/86993588 Uploaded 60 Plays 0 Likes 0 Comments
03 Oct 2013 | by Apostolis Fotiadis | Themes #ab4agora ì | Civil Society - Original Feature
The 4th Biennale of Athens starts with one question – “And now what?” – aiming to bring audiences and participants, face to face with the fundamental questions of the Greek crisis experience.
For the next two months, it creates a social space named Agora within which it invites several to address these issues and engage in theoretical confrontations on how society reach to this point and even more, where do we go from here.
Zizis Kotionis, architect and artist: “This construction in its head contains a megaphone so the protestors and the demonstrators are inside it and they speak out loud. The meaning of it is parallel with the meaning of Agora, the ancient Greek Agora, which was basically not a commercial space but a space for speaking in public loud. ”.
Gina Rickard, artists, group ‘Design 99′: “ The machine room is meant to be a sort of an information hub for visitors and will broadcast and replay videos, documents and information about the Biennale. It is a large programme around it but it is also a conversation for us about the fact that this building might be falling apart but there is value in what is here. Part of it is revealing, what we see is value and part of it is impacting the space and talks about information and a kind of the market space. It is the old stock market building and for us now is a very interesting time for them to trade in Greece.”
Always organizing places of strong symbolisms, the Athens Biennale takes place every second year, it creates a platform for artists to meet with social and political? representatives, brings real provoking results and it has quickly become a reference point.
In a society like this one in Greece, where space for public debates is constantly shrinking and extremism spreads, the AB4 Group, the team of artists, curators and theoreticians behind the event, aims to reverse the current.
Polidoros Kariofilis, a visual artist and co-founder of Athens Biennale, says this year the event could not be an advertise for artistic events: “Important factors that make Biennale successful will be relevant to what is happening right now and therefore they can’t do something just in vitro. This used to be former stock exchange of Greece. Now we change this stock exchange into an exchange of ideas. We have initiate this open calls and this does not run only for artists but also it runs for people that would like to speak up”.
The father of Sociology, Emile Durkheim, describes society where institutions and values fail as a society in anomie.
There are moments when Modern Greece seems to be a place very close to this condition. The Fourth Biennale‘s propose to highlight the issues and discuss them is surely a good beginning to understand what is wrong and what to do about it.# vimeo.com/86714489 Uploaded 45 Plays 2 Likes 0 Comments
11 Sep 2013 | by Nadira Tudor | Themes #zerohours | Civil Society - Original Feature
Recent UK figures have revealed that a large number of employees are working on zero-hours contracts due to the global economic crisis and a general lack of available permanent jobs.
Ongoing work is never guaranteed, but employers want to establish that these staff are committed to their companies.
IPSTV UK Correspondent, Nadira Tudor explores how the demand for part-time workers could be an opportunity for those wanting to live and work in the United Kingdom and how citizens feel about the lack of employment security that they are now experiencing.# vimeo.com/83680667 Uploaded 9 Plays 0 Likes 0 Comments