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Spring Walk 2014: Edinburgh to Faslane

The Spring Walk for Peace will set off from the Scottish Parliament on April 1, 2014, and reach its destination – Faslane Nuclear weapons base – on April 7, 2014. Join the walk for any time you are available – for a few hours, days or for the whole week.

Why I’m joining the Spring Walk, by Iona Community member Brian Quail

Spring Walk 2014

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Wool Against Weapons

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Wool Against Weapons

Taxpayers Against Poverty

Taxpayers Against Poverty was founded through the following letter from Paul Nicolson (an associate of the Iona Community), published in the Guardian on 16th February, 2012:

A taxpayers’ alliance to promote social justice, by Paul Nicolson

Ministers at the Department of Work and Pensions repeat ad nauseam their mantra: ‘It is not fair for taxpayers to be asked to pay for the cost of spare bedrooms, or housing benefit which is high in central London because rents are high etc, etc.’ Therefore the poorest citizens are thrust into unmanageable debt by caps and cuts in housing benefit, possible eviction, forced migration, undue stress and misery. As a citizen who pays income and council tax, VAT and the excise duty on my evening glass of wine, I steam with indignation each time I am used by ministers to justify such draconian measures making people poorer.

I am glad my taxation is used to enable my fellow citizens, both in and out of work, to buy enough food, clothes, fuel, transport and other necessities, to pay council tax and the rent of secure homes, when they have no other means to do so; and bewildered by the short-sightedness of a policy which deliberately reduces the totally inadequate adult JSA of £67.50 a week by creating rent arrears, with debt-related mental health problems and high extra costs for a hard-pressed NHS.

The self-evident unfairness is the current policy of dumping national debt and deficit reduction on the incomes of the squeezed middle and poorest citizens, while the higher-paid taxpayers experience no financial inconvenience. Meanwhile the OECD reports that $11.5 trillion, including bonuses, is parked in overseas accounts and the Treasury is aware that £100bn of property in central London alone is registered overseas – both out of reach of the taxman. That really is unfair. I hope thousands will join Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP) to say so loud and clear …

– Rev Paul Nicolson

On 5th April, 2014, TAP will be one of the groups protesting outside One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge: ‘Fight for justice and protest against the Bedroom Tax and against the real “something for nothing” culture’:

From Taxpayers Against Poverty:

On the first anniversary of the imposition of the Bedroom Tax, Unite Community and other London Groups concerned with poverty and injustice are calling people together to protest against this disastrous policy outside One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge.

These flats are known as the wealthiest residences in the world. They have many empty bedrooms. The owners do nothing to earn the vast annual increase in market value. That is the real ‘something for nothing’ culture. The 85 flats sell for billions, only a few are regularly lived in or pay any council tax. Most are registered in the name of mysterious companies based in offshore tax havens – one sold for £56 million and charges £2 a year rent.

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Taxpayers Against Poverty

Iona programme change: City of Sanctuary Week now Open Week

The City of Sanctuary programme that was set to begin 31 May at the Abbey has been cancelled and is now an Open Week. If you’re interested in coming to the Open Week – or to any other week at the Abbey, Mac or Camas in 2014 – please contact Carol at: abbey.bookings@iona.org.uk

It would be lovely to see you – and summer is coming.

2014 Islands Programme

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Prayer and reflection

A peaceful land, by Kathy Galloway

Trident DC

© David Coleman

 

When one hun­dred thou­sand people
met to march from Glas­gow Green,
there were mil­lions more walked with them,
a cloud of wit­nesses unseen,
from the past and from the future,
and the cry on every hand,
‘Not in our name do you go to war,
this must be a peace­ful land.’

And how shall we teach our chil­dren
love of coun­try, pride of place?
Shall we say, we once were her­oes,
of a fiery, fight­ing race;
and for­get the stains of viol­ence –
people beaten, enslaved and banned?
Or shall we now be peace­makers
in a hos­pit­able land?

From the Pent­land to the Sol­way,
from the Forth down to the Clyde,
city streets and quiet places
and the turn­ing of the tide;
shall we rise on wings of eagles
soar­ing over wave and sand,
never see­ing beneath the sur­face
to the scars upon the land.

We are armoured and defen­ded
like an empire dressed for war.
But we face no threat or peril
and we don’t know what it’s for.
‘Take the mis­siles from the waters’,
it’s our dream and our demand.
Turn the weapons into plough­shares,
give us back a peace­ful land.

There’s a choice that lies before us.
How shall Scot­land best be known?
For the glor­ies of its his­tory
and its love­li­ness alone?
Or shall care for all earth’s people
be the song for which we stand,
and the flower­ing of our nation
as a just and peace­ful land.

– Kathy Galloway, from Gathered and Scattered: Readings and Meditations from the Iona Community, Wild Goose Publications

Gathered and Scattered

Wild Goose Publications

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One Response to E-Coracle March

  1. Angelika Schneider says:

    Thank you, Kathy!

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