Autumn Conference 2023

Motion #13

Campaigns Commitee

Motion passed

Campaigning focuses

Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill – Ella’s Law

Over the past year Campaigns Committee has continued to support campaigning on the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, also known as Ella’s Law, coordinating with parliamentary Greens and with clean air campaigners (Clean Air London). As well as a campaign ‘flatpack’ for local parties we set up a national petition (nearly 10,000 signatures) and helped organise events, e.g. a photo-op with a cross-party group of peers during the 70th anniversary of the Great Smog of London.

Having cleared the Lords with strong cross-party support, the Bill is now being sponsored by Caroline Lucas in the Commons, and we have urged party members and petition signatories to put pressure on their MPs to support Caroline’s Early Day Motion. Getting parliamentary time has proved challenging, but the fact that there is now a fully fledged Bill that sets out a clear roadmap towards achieving clean air, supported by all the opposition parties, is likely to be significant for the post-Conservative future.

NHS and social care

In keeping with a conference motion enjoining the Committee to campaign on the NHS, we worked with our Health, Social Care & Public Health Spokesperson to develop messaging and campaigning materials around the acute crisis in health and social care, the aim being to highlight the party’s strong policies in this area and support for striking NHS workers.

After clarification of the party’s stance on Greens publicly supporting striking workers, a link to the flatpack was sent out in February in an email to local party officers, along with guidance on supporting workers on picket lines.

Environmental protection and the attack on nature

In response to a conference motion requesting Campaigns Committee to campaign for stronger environmental protections, the committee met in December with the party’s Natural World Spokesperson to discuss developing campaigning materials. We’ve since produced a leaflet highlighting the Green Party’s key policies on nature protection and restoration, and a campaign flatpack with materials and actions for members and local parties to highlight the sewage scandal in their areas.

Unite to Survive (April 21-24)

This broad-based coming together in Westminster of many different climate/environment-focused groups was an excellent opportunity to connect with people thirsting for political action on the climate and ecological emergencies. We were present on all three days, organised a meeting point for Greens (under a ‘Greens for Life’ banner), distributed thousands of leaflets highlighting Green policies on protecting and restoring nature, and worked with the event organisers to arrange multiple Green Party speakers on each day of Unite to Survive. Videos of their speeches were widely shared on social media.

Support for other campaigns

Campaigns Committee met in October with a representative of the Truth About Zane campaign and were able to support a large demonstration in Westminster at which Zane Gbangbola’s parents delivered a petition calling for an inquiry into their son’s death (caused by toxic gas released for a landfill site during floods in 2016). This was one event at which our multi-purpose banner (with adjustable messaging) proved useful; another was the big March for Rejoin in October.

We’ve reached out to Green Party campaigners for atonement and reparative justice for the transatlantic traffic in enslaved Africans, with a view to discussing how we could usefully assist campaigning in this area.

Planned future activities

Campaigns Committee is developing a pack of materials to help local party members organise people’s assemblies to focus their local communities on the need for climate action at local and national level, and we are organising a workshop around this at Autumn conference.

We also plan to develop a campaign flatpack focusing on the increasing dangers of toxic landfill sites in the context of the climate emergency and the need for a Zane’s Law to make sure that such sites are transparently identified and safely managed.

We have also set up a micro-site bringing together campaigning materials we have produced and inviting people (within and beyond the party) to join a newsletter mailing list, and this is something we plan to develop in the coming period.

Requests for campaigning support and recognition

In January the Committee met with a co-convenor of the Green Party Drug Policy Working Group to discuss possible support for this group in the area of reform to the laws around cannabis, and agreed to recognise and liaise with this group on an ongoing basis.

In March we met with the Green Party Asylum & Migration Policy Working Group, and agreed to recognise this group and assist it in campaigning activity going forward,

We’ve also had a request for recognition from a new Green Party group focusing on research into changes to constituency boundaries and possible implications of these for electoral strategy. The Committee felt this group did not have an extra-electoral campaigning focus and it was therefore not appropriate for Campaigns Committee to recognise it as a member’s working group.

Proposed revision to Extra-Electoral Campaigns Strategy

The role of the Campaigns Committee is defined in the Party’s constitution by reference to the Extra Electoral Strategy of 1995, which has not been updated for nearly 30 years and is no longer fit for purpose.

To address this, define a clearer remit for Campaigns Committee and to connect this more strongly to the party’s political goals, the Committee has consulted on and proposed a revision to the Extra Electoral Strategy. Two motions to effect this change were proposed to Spring Conference and are being taken forward to Autumn Conference.

Last updated on 2023-10-21 at 11:41