The all-night vigil and protest is being organised by the Trade Justice Movement - a coalition of over 60 NGOs representing over 9 million British people. They're calling on the UK Government to stop forcing poor countries to open up their markets to unfair trade, and to respect the right of countries to decide on trade policies that would help end poverty and protect their environment.
The event is part of a Global Week of Action for trade justice with demonstrations and events planned in over 70 countries across the world, in every continent including seven of the G8 countries, and will include mass protests by millions of Indian citizens in 25 state capitals across India. Many groups are expected to also focus on the basic rights to food, a livelihood, water, health and education, with specific days set aside for each concern.
The protest in Whitehall will run from 10pm to 8am the following morning and will include a noisy dawn procession past Downing Street, as well as music and dancing through the night. Ten thousand candles and an array of spectacular lanterns will light up the night sky and giant art installations will be constructed during the event.
Glen Tarman, Trade Justice Movement coordinator, said: "Thousands of people are already planning to come and stay up all night in solidarity with all those impoverished by the obscene world trade system."
"People have had enough of the way global trade is run in our name to benefit rich countries and hurt poor ones. We want to wake politicians up to this fact. This event, ahead of the G8 summit in Scotland this summer, is a chance to show our government that we want action for trade justice not free trade."
The all-night protest in Whitehall to ‘wake up the government’ is also organised as part of the Make Poverty History coalition campaign. The UK coalition brings together over 200 charities, campaigns, trade unions, faith groups and celebrities who believe that 2005 offers a unprecedented opportunity for progressive global change. The campaign is organising a mass demonstration in Edinburgh, expected to attract at least 100,000 people, the weekend before the G8 Summit in July.
Globally other coalitions of groups are also mobilising ahead of major summits including the Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York in September, the Summit of the Americas in Argentina in November, the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong in December, and of course the G8 Summit in Scotland in July.
April 15th 'Wake Up to Trade Justice'
All-night Protest to ‘wake up the government’
Trade Justice briefing "Stop Forced Economic Liberalisation"
UK Government 'part of the problem' for developing countries in 2005
Full pdf Briefing
Global Week of Action (10th - 16th April)
Global Call to Action against Poverty
Make Poverty History