MedactJul 08, 2020
Healthy Prescription for a Green New Deal: From Advocacy to Action (live from COP27)
Streamed live from the COP27 climate talks in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – Medact members brought together a panel of activists from the global movement for health and climate justice to discuss the need for a transformative Green New Deal that centres the health of people and planet! Speakers include: Asad Rehman – War on Want, UK Omar Elmawi – Stop EACOP, Kenya Erika Arteaga Cruz – People’s Health Movement, Extractive Industries Circle, Ecuador Jon Bonifacio – Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Philippines Chaired by Dr Abi Deivanayagam, member of Medact and Race & Health.
'The Suspect' Author Talk with Rizwaan Sabir & Tarek Younis – July 2022
What impact has two decades’ worth of policing and counterterrorism had on the state of mind of Muslims in Britain? The Suspect draws on the author’s experiences to take the reader on a journey through British counterterrorism practices and the policing of Muslims.
Join Rizwaan Sabir and Tarek Younis for discussion on the traumatising effects of Sabir’s surveillance, arrest and detention for suspected terrorism.
Writing publicly for the first time about the impacts of these experiences, Sabir argues that these harmful outcomes are not the result of errors in government planning, but the consequences of using a counterinsurgency warfare approach to fight terrorism and police Muslims.
To resist the injustice of these policies and practices, we need to centre our lived experiences and build networks of solidarity and support.
Buy The Suspect now from Pluto Press: https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745338484/the-suspect/
Sign our pledge to challenge Prevent and uphold the duty of care: https://www.medact.org/2022/actions/health-workers-against-prevent/
Read our report – 'False Positives: the Prevent counter-extremism policy in healthcare': https://www.medact.org/2020/resources/reports/false-positives-the-prevent-counter-extremism-policy-in-healthcare/
Read our report – 'Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs': https://www.medact.org/2021/resources/reports/racism-mental-health-and-pre-crime-policing-the-ethics-of-vulnerability-support-hubs/
Read our report – 'The Public Health Case Against the Policing Bill': https://www.medact.org/2021/resources/briefings/public-health-case-against-policing-bill/
Join the Medact Securitisation of Health Group: https://www.medact.org/membership/groups/securitisation-of-health/ Join Medact as a member: https://www.medact.org/membership/
Global Health Watch 6 Launch Event – 30 May 2022
Listen back to the event celebrating the publication of the sixth edition of Global Health Watch.
Hear from speakers who contributed to this essential volume, which integrates rigorous analysis with stories of struggle and hope for radical transformation, at this once-in-a-generation moment of focus on the issue of health justice.
Speakers include:Dr Chiara Bodini, co-editor of GHW Members of the Medact Research Network: Roman Gnaegi, Catia Confortini and Michael Orgel Dr Annabel Sowemimo, sexual and reproductive health doctor and founder of Decolonising Contraception Dr Lauren Paremoer, senior lecturer in the Political Studies Department at the University of Cape Town and member of PHM South Africa Rhiannon Osborne, medical student, organiser with Health for a Green New Deal and Stop Cambo, and member of People’s Health Movement UK.
Global Health Watch (GHW), now in its sixth edition, is the definitive alternative voice on health. Published since 2003, with contributions from activists and academics from around the world, GHW6 integrates rigorous analysis of the social, economic, political and environmental determinants of health with stories of struggle and hope for radical transformation.
The book has been co-produced by People’s Health Movement, Medact, Third World Network, Health Poverty Action, Medico International, ALAMES, Viva Salud and Sama.
This event was held in collaboration with Health Poverty Action, People’s Health Movement UK and People’s Health Movement Scotland—please check out their work!
A People’s Economy: the fight for health and economic justice
The online launch of three brand new pamphlets developed by members of the Economic Justice & Health group.
These booklets explore the key campaigning areas of secure housing, tax justice and liveable incomes, and provide an informative resource for those looking to fight against economic and health injustice.
Hear from a great line-up of speakers on the issues covered by the booklets:
A decade of austerity policies and vast cuts to public finances have contributed to worsening health for people and communities that are marginalised by our current economic systems. As members of the health community, our work is as much about caring for those in immediate need as it is about advocating for and building new societal systems in which all are able to live well and thrive.
Download the digital booklets in advance of the event here: https://www.medact.org/2022/resources/briefings/a-peoples-economy-booklets/
Alternative Training on Prevent in Healthcare #4
It is possible to create a society in which our collective safety and wellbeing are prioritised. Developing trusting, healthy relationships with all of our patients is essential to this work.
However, Prevent – with the government’s stated aim of identifying “vulnerability to radicalisation” – compromises all of this, and is a source of harm and increased marginalisation.
Why is the NHS the only healthcare system in the world with a legal obligation to engage with such a strategy? What aren’t you being told about Prevent in safeguarding training?
Learn more in our series of online Alternative Trainings on Prevent.
This training will seek to shed light on some unanswered questions about Prevent. We will hear from:Latifa Akay—writer, producer and Head of Collective Care at Act Build Change. Prior to this, Latifa worked as Director of Education at Maslaha. She is a trustee at the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, Ameen—a GP in east London, and a member of Medact’s Securitisation of Health group, Mashal Iftikhar—a member of Medact’s Securitisation of Health Group and an NHS doctor training in psychiatry. She is passionate about health equity in mental illness and the intersection of criminal justice with mental health services.
This event recording is particularly aimed at people who work or are training in, study, or who have worked in health.
The public health case against the policing bill – Briefing launch event, 15 November 2021
Read the briefing: link.medact.org/PolicingBill
Watch this event on YouTube: youtu.be/hqDFFtF7nMA
The government has misleadingly branded the racist and dangerous PCSC (Policing) Bill a “public health approach” to combating serious violence. But health workers in the Medact Research Network have debunked these claims in a new briefing.
Written to support the huge groundswell of opposition to this bill in the #KillTheBill movement, the briefing explains why the measures in the Bill – greater police powers, repression of protest, harsher prison sentences, erosion of confidentiality and increased criminalisation of Gypsy and Traveller communities – will actually harm public health and entrench discrimination.
We aim to articulate and amplify radical public health voices against the Policing Bill’s approach and explore potential alternatives.
In this event recording, hear from health workers who are members of our Research Network and involved in creation of the briefing, as well as four fantastic speakers who discuss public health in the context of crime, policing and prison:Lola Olufemi – Lola is a black feminist writer and researcher, author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power and Experiments in Imagining Otherwise. Alongside writing, she is a member of ‘bare minimum‘, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective. Lola also facilitates reading groups/workshops, occasionally curates, and is volunteer co-ordinator at the Feminist Library in South London. Kelsey M – Kelsey is a feminist, abolitionist organiser based in London, resisting state violence and working to explore and build transformative justice and community-led responses to violence. As a facilitator with grassroots collectives she delivers workshops exploring community accountability, bystander intervention, power, and tools for campaigning and movement building. Chelsea McDonagh – Chelsea is a researcher, Irish Traveller activist and writer. She speaks on a wide range of issues affecting Gypsy and Traveller people including education, health, policy and politics. Chelsea is one of the co-founders of the Rom Belong programme, a KCL Widening Participation programme for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils and is passionate about improving opportunities for young people. Kavian Kulasabanathan – Kavian is a paediatric A&E doctor and researcher at the University of Oxford. His interests span socio-political determinants of health, particularly pertaining to race and class, alongside community-centered models of care. Kavian organises with PHM-UK and Race & Health collective.
Presenters cover topics such as the future implications of the PCSC bill, different visions of public health, new approaches to care, and approaches to ‘serious violence’ and socio-economic issues that don’t rely on punitive or carceral responses. This is followed by a Q&A from the live audience.
Alternative Training on Prevent in Healthcare #2
On the 25th May 2021 we held our second Alternative Training on Prevent in Healthcare to explore what you aren't being told about Prevent in safeguarding training.
The training shed light on some unanswered questions about Prevent and we heard from:Members of Medact’s Securitisation of Health Group (SHG) Susan Wright ─ a crime and human rights barrister acting for defendants, NGOs and other organisations on a range of public law matters Reem Abu-Hayyeh ─ Campaigns and Policy Lead: Peace and Security at Medact Dr Lyn Jenkins ─ a retired GP/ ophthalmologist, bereavement support volunteer, and heading up In My Own Bed Please, a lobby group advocating for improved palliative care at home in emergencies
Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs (report launch)
On the 19th May 2021, we held an event to launch our latest report Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs. The report is based on documents obtained through a series of long-running Freedom of Information requests and exposes how a counterterrorism police-led project blurs the boundaries between security and care in disturbing and dangerous ways.
At the report launch we were joined by guest speakers:Dr Hilary Aked – Medact’s Research and Policy Manager Dr Tarek Younis – Cultural and critical clinical psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University Dr Charlotte Heath Kelly – Reader in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick Vicki Nash ─ Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Mind
You can read the full report here: http://link.medact.org/racismmentalhealth
Urgent Briefing: Why We All Have a Duty to Kill The Bill
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSC) is a dangerous piece of legislation that undermines our fundamental rights, threatens all our safety, and implicates health workers in the expansion of violent police powers. Medact and Docs Not Cops have joined the Kill The Bill Coalition to stand in solidarity with everyone targeted by the Bill and fight back against these harmful policies.
On Monday 26th April 2021 we held an urgent briefing to discuss the public health impacts of the PCSC Bill, what the Kill The Bill Coalition is building towards and what health workers can do to get involved.
Many thanks to our panel of guest speakers:Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper, a research associate in sociology at University of Greenwich. He organised with The Monitoring Group and Black Lives Matter UK. He is author of Black Resistance to British Policing (Manchester University Press). Shanice, a feminist activist involved in direct action, community organising and the movement to #KillTheBill Chelsea McDonagh, an Irish Traveller with interests in education, policy and research Dr Hilary Aked, Medact Research Manager, who holds a PhD in political sociology and specialises in investigative research on topics including the pro-Israel lobby and the Prevent counter-extremism policy in healthcare.
The public health case for the Green New Deal (briefing launch)
The Health for a Green New Deal campaign seeks to build mass support in the health community for a transformative Green New Deal and to organise health workers and students to advocate for a just transition to a zero-carbon society.
The Medact Climate & Health research cluster has been working on a briefing that sets out the public health case for a Green New Deal and sets out key actions that health workers and students can take to organise.
On 8th April we held an event to launch the briefing and we heard from a range of guest speakers and Medact activists from across the country, including:Dr Helen Stokes Lampard – The Chair of the Academy of Royal Medical Societies, and Chair of the Board for the National Academy for Social Prescribing. Guppi Bola – The chair of Joint Council For The Welfare Of Immigrants and author of the influential ‘Reimagining Public Health’ report published by Commonwealth. Hannah Martin – co-director of Green New Deal UK who are campaigning across the UK for a transformative Green New Deal. Dr Andrew Harmer – A senior lecturer at the Centre for Global Public Health, Medact member and one of the briefing’s co-authors. Dr Anya Gopfert - A public health registrar, Medact member and one of the briefing's co-authors.
Alternative Training on Prevent in Healthcare
It is possible to create a society in which our collective safety and wellbeing are prioritised. Developing trusting, healthy relationships with all of our patients is essential to this work. However, Prevent ─ with the government’s stated aim of identifying “vulnerability to radicalisation” ─ compromises all of this, and is a source of harm and increased marginalisation. Why is the NHS the only healthcare system in the world with a legal obligation to engage with such a strategy? What aren’t you being told about Prevent in safeguarding training? We hosted a training session for health workers to shed light on some unanswered questions about Prevent. At the training we heard from: • Members of Medact’s Securitisation of Health Group (SHG) • Dr Tarek Younis ─ a cultural and clinical critical psychologist and lecturer in psychology • Marcelo Camus ─ member of Medact’s SHG, a social practice artist and co-founder and organiser of the Social Art Network • Reem Abu-Hayyeh ─ Campaigns and Programme Lead: Peace and Security at Medact
Health Versus Wealth? UK Economic Policy and Public Health During COVID-19 (briefing launch)
On the 16th February 2021 we held the online launch of of our latest briefing ‘Health Versus Wealth? UK Economic Policy and Public Health During COVID-19’.
The briefing considers how a false dichotomy between public health and economic wealth has contributed to the pandemic taking such a tragic course in the UK. It also considers how cuts to essential health and social services over decades and decades have torn at the social fabric of our communities ─ and what can be done right now to mend this fabric and build up our social immunity.
We heard from a panel of experts on the subject, including:
• Professor Christina Pagel, Professor of Operational Research at University College London and member of Independent Sage
• Christine Berry, trustee of Rethinking Economics, fellow of the Democracy collab and contributing editor of Renewal journal
• Dr Monica Sharman, an NHS junior doctor based in Yorkshire & Humber , Medact member and co-author of the briefing
• Daniel Carter, Research fellow in social epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Medact member and co-author of the briefing
Read the briefing: https://link.medact.org/healthvswealthbriefing
Sign up for email updates from our Economic Justice & Health Group: http://link.medact.org/economicjustice
Sign up to email updates from our Medact Research Network: https://link.medact.org/researchnetwork
Find out more about joining Medact as a member: https://www.medact.org/membership/
Action Call: Building the Health Movement for a Green New Deal
On the 9th July 2020 we held an Action Call to build the Health Movement for a Green New Deal.
We discussed the what, why and how of building the health movement for transformative climate justice and were joined by special guest speakers:
Guppi Bola – Former Medact Interim-Director, Chair of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, researcher and public health strategist with a background in economic justice campaigning.
Dr Stephanie Davis Le Brun – Clinical psychologist working in older adult mental health services and a member of the North West branch of Psychologists for Social Change.
Here are some useful links shared in the Action Call.
Form to book a Health for a Green New Deal campaign session:
‘Reimagining Public Health’ report by Guppi Bola:
‘The Green New Deal doesn’t just help climate. It’s also a public health new deal.’ by Abdul El-Sayed
Just Recovery letter - Psychologists for Social Change North-West
False Positives: the Prevent counter-extremism policy in healthcare (report launch)
On the 2nd July 2020 we held the online launch of our latest report ‘False Positives: the Prevent counter-extremism policy in healthcare’.
This report brings together new research that seeks to shed light on the implications of the Prevent duty in UK health services.
Prevent is a controversial strand of the government’s counter-extremism strategy that obliges public service providers and workers to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.
We heard from a panel of experts on the subject, including:
Read the report and key findings: https://www.medact.org/prevent-report
Read our Peace & Security Campaigner’s article on mental health and deaths after police contact: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ournhs/mental-health-and-deaths-after-police-contact-why-senis-law-is-welcome-but-mo/
Read our Campaign Assistant's blog on the expansion of policing powers during the coronavirus pandemic: https://www.medact.org/2020/blogs/policing-the-pandemic/
Read black feminist organiser and Global Health academic Sarah Lasoye’s blog on the police’s use of tasers: https://www.medact.org/2019/blogs/on-tasers-policing-and-imagining-new-responses-to-violence/
Sign up to our Securitisation of Health mailing list:
Find out more about joining Medact as a member:
The arms industry in the era of COVID-19: lessons for the future
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the UK, it became clear that the NHS was not sufficiently equipped or staffed to respond to the crisis.
In March, the government put out a call for industry to convert its production to manufacture crucial medical equipment, such as ventilators and PPE for frontline workers. To date, a number of arms and defence companies have responded to this call – alongside existing companies that manufacture medical equipment and others.
Workers at Lucas Aerospace called for exactly this kind of arms conversion back in 1976, when they produced an Alternative Corporate Plan – now known as the Lucas Plan.
In this webinar we discussed what a ‘just transition’ from industries that cause destruction to those that support peace and public health could and should look like.
Thank you to our expert speakers:
* Dr. Stuart Parkinson – Executive Director of Scientists for Global Responsibility
* Phil Asquith – Chartered Engineer and former Chairman of the Lucas Aerospace Combine, Burnley site
* Dr. Andy Haines – Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health at LSHTM
* Hilary Wainwright – Founding editor of Red Pepper Magazine and co-author of ‘The Lucas Plan: A New Trade Unionism in the Making?’
* Sam Mason – Policy officer at PCS Union and member of the New Lucas Plan project
We apologise for the connectivity problems that obscured the later part of Hilary's talk!
Sign up at medact.org/emails to find out more about Medact's work bringing a health voice together for peace.
*(Dr Stuart Parkinson said that 1,000 direct jobs were lost in the UK arms industry at the end of the Cold War - it was actually 100,000)
David Powell At Healthy Planet, Better World - "Kenya's Progress On Inequality & Sustainability"
John Lanchbery At HPBW - "The Paris Agreement: Game Changer Or More Hot Air?"
Kate Raworth At HPBW - "Why It's Time For A New Version Of Human Prosperity"
Kevin Anderson At HPBW - "How informed hope and action can Trump despair"
This ambitious agenda demands rates of mitigation far beyond anything evident in history and seldom countenanced by policy makers. Set against such a profound challenge, the presentation will interpret the opportunities and barriers for urgently accelerating the transition to a decarbonised future and consider the scale of impacts should we continue to choose procrastination over meaningful action.
Kinari Webb At HPBW - "Radical Listening: Saving Lives And Rainforest In Borneo"
Corinna Hawkes At Healthy Planet, Better World - "Global Food System Challenges"
Annie Quick At HPBW - "Equality And Sustainability: Where Does The UK Stand?"
Lisa Page at HPBW - "Heat & Health: Measuring the Public Health Impact of Climate Change"
Hugh Grant-Peterkin at HPBW - "Groups under Pressure" - and follow-up discussion
Sally Weintrobe at HPBW - "Some effects of current culture on mental health"
David McCoy on the Impacts on Health - Sheffield Fracking Masterclass
Joanne Hawkins on Regulation - Sheffield Fracking Masterclass
Patrick Saunders on the Risks to Human Health - Sheffield Fracking Masterclass
A3 - The Humanitarian Imperative to Ban Nuclear Weapons
SPEAKERS: Monika Zach (Austrian Embassy, London), Dr Beyza Unal (Chatham House), Rebecca Sharkey (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), Wilbert van der Zeijden (PAX) and Maaike Beenes (PAX). Chaired by Dr Frank Boulton (Medact).
A2 - Challenging Nuclear Deterrence Theory
SPEAKERS: Kate Hudson (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), Paul Ingram (British American Security Information Service) and Richard Norton-Taylor (The Guardian). Chaired by Dr David McCoy (Medact).
E3 - Gender, Militarism and Violence (Part Two)
SPEAKERS: David Brockway (The Great Initiative) - with extra facilitation from volunteers from the Great Initiative, Hannah Wright (Gender, Peace and Security Advisor, Saferworld) and Julie Brethfeld (Conflict and Security Advisor, Saferworld).
E2 - Gender, Militarism and Violence (Part One)
SPEAKERS: Hannah Wright (Gender, Peace and Security Advisor, Saferworld), Julie Brethfeld (Conflict and Security Advisor, Saferworld), and Dr Julia Welland (University of Warwick).
C3 - Assessing the Health Impacts of War and Violent Conflict
C2 - On the Frontline of War and Violent Conflict
SPEAKERS: Fikr Shalltoot (Gaza Medical Director, Medical Aid for Palestinians UK), Olivia Blanchard (‘Medical Care Under Fire’ Project, MSF), and Dr Stuart Gordon (London School of Economics). Chaired by Fawzia Gibson-Fall (Kings College London).
E1 - The War on Drugs
SPEAKERS: Martin Drewry (Director, Health Poverty Action), Danny Kushlick (Director, Transform Drug Policy Foundation) and Jamie Bridge (Senior Policy and Operations Manager, International Drug Policy Consortium). Chaired by Natasha Horsfield (Advocacy Officer, Health Poverty Action).
D2 - Climate Change and Conflict
D1 - The UK Arms Trade
SPEAKERS: Sarah Waldron (Campaigns Coordinator, CAAT), Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei (Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy), Andrew Feinstein (Author, The Shadow World) and Kat Hobbs (Outreach Coordinator, CAAT). Introduced and Chaired by John Chisholm (Chair, British Medical Association Ethics Committee).
D3 - Controlling the International Arms Trade
SPEAKERS: Martin Butcher (Arms and Conflict Policy Advisor, Oxfam International), Dr Paul Holtom (Deputy Director, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University; former Senior Researcher, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) and Elli Kytomaki (Associate Fellow, International Security, Chatham House).
B1 - New Weapons and Remote Warfare
Terror in Africa and the Middle East, as well as the ethical, transparency and accountability issues that this brings.
SPEAKERS: Richard Reeve (Director, Sustainable Security Programme, ORG), Paul Rogers (University of Bradford; ORG/Remote Control Project), Caroline Donnellan (Remote Control Project) and Andrew
Noakes (Nigeria Security Network). Chaired by Fiona Godlee (Editor, British Medical Journal).
B2 - Biological and Chemical Warfare
SPEAKERS: Dr Christian Enemark (Aberystwyth University), Timothy Stafford (Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute) and Simon Rushton (University of Sheffield).
Corporate Capture of Health Part 1
Vijay Mehta on The Economics Of Killing
Vijay is a renowned author and global activist for peace, development and human rights, and is Co-Founder and Chair of Uniting for Peace. His new book on The Economics of Killing was published by Pluto Press in 2012 and describes how the Military Industrial Complex works, its links with global financial crisis and the role of Western governments play in perpetuating conflicts.