Online pressure group rallying cry

The online pressure group which recently claimed victory in the fight the sell-off of Britain’s forests is training its sights on a raft of new issues – including library closures, rich tax dodgers and Rupert Murdoch (pictured) – and calling on its 500,000 members to decide its next target.
Staff and volunteers at 38 Degrees will draw up a shortlist of the most popular causes, then urge members to vote on what to do next, signalling the huge power online groups now wield.
In a rallying cry email marketing campaign, the group said: “In just the past few weeks 38 Degrees members have saved England’s forests from being sold off, stopped a giant US-style cow factory farm being built in the UK, and prevented billionaire Donald Trump from evicting local people from their homes to make way for a luxury golf course. In the past we’ve helped stop cuts to valuable services like the BBC and NHS Direct.
“All these successful campaigns were chosen by 38 Degrees members who then worked together to make them count. So now we need to decide what we do next. So, how could we be ramping up our existing campaigns? Could we be doing more to save our NHS, or to stop Rupert Murdoch’s plans to take over BSkyB? How can we push George Osborne to stop giving tax dodgers such an easy ride?
“What new campaigns could we work on together? Library closures? Cuts to Disability Living Allowance? Stopping changes to planning rules that could mean more woodlands get chopped down and built over? Backing pro-democracy protests in Libya? Bankers’ bonuses? Should we be doing more to get ready for the AV referendum, Scottish, Welsh and local elections in May?”
Last week the group ran an online poll to determine how it would fight tax avoidance schemes and is now planning to run a series of “Artful Dodger” tax ads in newspapers on Budget Day.

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