100 Campaigns that Changed the World examines important social and political campaigns that have made an impact, changed policies, practices or behaviours. By talking to those at or near the centre of the campaigns it looks at how they operated and why there were successful.
Music is by Alex Gordon.
Peter has been campaigning since the 60s on issues of human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom, and global justice. From the late 70s onwards, he proposed a single, comprehensive Equal Rights Act to harmonise the uneven patchwork of equality legislation. This proposal was eventually secured with the passage of the Equality Act 2010. In 1994, he named 10 Anglican bishops and urged them to “Tell The Truth” about their sexuality; accusing them of homophobia and hypocrisy. Four years later interrupted the Easter Sermon of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, in protest at his opposition to gay equality. In 1999, in London, he ambushed the motorcade of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, attempting a citizen’s arrest on charges of torture. A repeat attempt in Brussels in 2001 resulted in him being beaten unconscious by Mugabe’s bodyguards. He coordinated the Equal Love campaign from 2010, in a bid to overturn the UK’s twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships – helping win same-sex marriage but, not yet, opposite-sex civil partnerships. He is Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation https://www.petertatchellfoundation.org/
The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 when it emerged that many British people who arrived from the Carribean before 1973 were being wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, and in some cases wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office. Guy Hewitt exaplains how the campaign to get justice for the affected was a kind of campaigning 'perfect storm' and how his heterodox background helped him play a leading role.
Close Guantánamo Bay
Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center and in this episode we talk about his role in the long running campaign to close the prison on the US military base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. To date, Clive has helped secure the release of 69 prisoners from Guantánamo Bay (including every British prisoner) and still acts for eight more and he talks candidly about the challenges he has faced and how he and other overcame them.
In November 2015 London's Metropolitan Police was forced to apologise to seven women "tricked into relationships" over a period of 25 years by officers from two undercover police squads. The officers involved - just some of 140 officers who took part in such operations - had eventually vanished, leaving victims feeling as if – in their words - they had been subject to "psychological torture". The disclosures led to the closing of the units concerned, and the setting up the Undercover Policing Inquiry under retired judge Sir John Mitting.
One group representing at least 30 victims of such practices, which my interviewee in this episode is associated with is Police Spies Out of Lives who work with other groups and jointly operate a campaign called Spycops, which aims to bring out the truth and get justice for the victims to ensure that such activities never take place again.
The Campaign to Abolish the Slave Trade
This podcast features back to back interviews with two experts on the slave trade and the British campaign to end it: Dr Richard Huzzey, Associate Professor of History at Durham University and Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. the two Richards talk about aspect of the campaign to end the slave trade, and what lessons there are for modern campaigners.
As a side note, Richard Huzzey is a co-author of a report commissioned by Friends of the Earth about how campaigners can learn the lessons of past campaigns.
HIV Campaigning in the 2000s
in the 2000s AIDS campaigners took the issue of access to free drugs for HIV and AIDS global ... and won. With Kirsty McNeill and Simon Wright from Save the Children UK.