Loan sharks resurface at Greenbelt Festival
10 September 2007
IMF and World Bank loan sharks were back out in force at the Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham on the August Bank Holiday weekend, offering dodgy loans with the slogan 'If you can't pay - your children will'.
The sharks helped bring in a Greenbelt record of over a thousand signatures on our Lift the Lid on Bad Loans
petition. The presence of Secretary of State Douglas Alexander at the festival, as both a participant and a presenter, gave a particular resonance to the campaign, which calls for rich countries to investigate the dodgy loans they gave to oppressive regimes and for arms sales in the past, and cancel all ‘illegitimate’ debts that the world’s poor are still paying back.
Jubilee Debt Campaign's stall in the G-Source marquee was also the site of much discussion, with particular interest being shown in the Jubilee Schools
and Jubilee Congregations
initiatives (as well as the briefcase full of money, lying tantalisingly half-open on the table...).
Ann Pettifor's workshop on 'The coming first world debt crisis' and Billy Bragg's performance where he had participants chanting 'Drop the debt!' to a Bob Marley tune also helped keep people talking about debt over the weekend.