Friday, June 03, 2005

[Global Poverty] Miles Per Hour bid to Make Poverty History

World debt campaign boosted by Marathon Pedalling Haringtons
03 June 2005

AN intrepid Leeds family are preparing for the cycling trip of a lifetime as part of the Make Poverty History campaign. Their epic journey will take in Kenya, Tanzania, England and Scotland and culminate at the huge anti-poverty demonstration taking place in Edinburgh on July 2 just days ahead of the G8 Summit in Scotland.

The leaders of the world's eight richest nations will gather at Gleneagles to discuss ways of helping the Third World. Coun Roger Harington (Lab, Harehills), his wife, Ginia, and their children Aidan, 28, Katya, 26 and Dominic, 20, fly to Nairobi on Sunday. Coun Harington and his children will join 12 other cyclists in riding through Kenya and on to Tanzania. Ginia will be part of the back-up team providing support to the cyclists. Along the way they will visit projects run by Christian Aid and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (Cafod).
After cycling hundreds if miles through Africa, the group will then fly back to the United Kingdom to prepare for the second leg of their journey. They will leave London on June 24 and pedal to Edinburgh to join thousands of other activists campaigning for fairer trade with the Third World, cancellation of debt and the donation of more aid.

While Coun Harington will arrive in Edinburgh by bike, other protesters are turning to more unusual forms of transport. A rickshaw team, led by Bill Phelps, will travel from Southampton to Edinburgh, passing through Leeds on June 25. Coun Harington said: "I have to be honest and say there is a large element of self interest in this. All our family enjoy cycling and this is going to be quite an adventure. "We also feel strongly about the Make Poverty History campaign and this journey presents us with an opportunity to show our support. A suitable response to the problem of poverty from the leaders of the world is long overdue. Chancellor Gordon Brown has made debt cancellation a priority although a great deal more needs to be done."

Bob Geldof this week announced the line-up for Live 8, a series of concerts around the world to coincide with the G8 Summit. Madonna, Coldplay, Sir Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams are among the stars taking in the biggest music event since Live Aid 20 years ago.