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Jubilee 2000 anniversary: call for photos and memories

On the 16th May 1998 70,000 people took to the streets of Birmingham and formed a “human chain” around the city which was then hosting a global summit with world leaders. The crowds of ordinary people were calling for debt cancellation for the world’s most indebted countries.

Were you there? Do you have any photos or memories of the day? This spring we will celebrate and reflect on the 20-year anniversary of the action described as ‘a tremendous inspiration.. a defining moment in history’ by the ex- President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo, who was in attendance.

How did it feel to be there? Who did you travel with or meet? Did the event have an impact on you? If you’d like to share your experience of the day, or the campaign in general, we’d love to hear from you! Please email [email protected]

How the Jubilee Debt Campaign was born

Standing on the shoulders of decades of debt-justice activism in the Global South, the late 90s saw the issue of debt injustice – particularly that owed from the global south to the global north, become one of the most significant political issues of the era because of the Jubilee debt movement. Between 2000-2015 the global Jubilee campaign won $130 billion of debt cancellation for developing countries.

Jubilee Debt Campaign was borne out of this activism. In the last decade the debt crisis has “come home” to Europe, and today we understand that debt cancellation is just one part of the complex picture of debt justice for countries around the world. We continue to work in heavily indebted countries in the Global South, including Mozambique and Ghana, alongside our allies in countries, as well as now also working with Greek allies and on the issue of personal debts here in the UK.

  • rob harper

    I’ve still got the tee shirt from the day. I played trombone, together with my friend Spock Morgan on saxophone, Megan from the Applejacks (60s band) and a guy from Japan. We played for about 2 hours in Granville Street. It was a wonderful day. It led to us playing for the start of a march to Scotland for the G8 meeting a year or too later. . I wrote a song called ‘We’ll March to the G8’ to the tune of ‘Dear John’.

  • Peter Hart

    I’ve still got the reed whistle I bought to add to the noise!

  • Peter Willcox

    I remember going on the coach with several churches from Letchworth Garden City, and being presumptuous enough to lead some worship. We sang hymns and worship songs, and lots of people found relevant Bible readings, and poems. Once there my abiding memory of the MC at the rally being concerned that Claire Short, who was up next, wasn’t present. “I’m here,” she cried, striding though the crowd in her high heels. A great day

  • Vincent Ashwin

    Three things struck me about Birmingham:
    1. The demonstrators were of all ages, from toddlers to pensioners.
    2. Many demonstrators were middle-age middle-class church-goers who had never been on a demo before. They were appalled by the oppression faced by the indebted.
    3. My son was in his first term at uni. He went on his own initiative – though we met there. I was so proud!

  • Chris Turner

    Went with others from our church. It was a great idea and great occasion in the chain.
    Work well on the rich nation political gathering too

  • Rosie Hopkins

    I was in my last year at university and went with friends. It was the first major demo I’d been on. I remember the hopeful atmosphere; we really felt we could make a difference.

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Jubilee Debt Campaign's registered charity number is 1055675