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UK Bus Tour, Part IV: Leeds – Stirling, May 22nd – 29th 

Wednesday, May 27th 2009 


The night before we were more tired as we used to be, maybe our walks around Sunderland on Tuesday were much more efficient that we had thought… I am not sure, but whatever it was made us get up before 10 AM without any problem J. That was going to be the last morning we had breakfast in The George Hotel in Osborne Road, Newcastle. 

We took all our stuff with us again after 3 days at the same place with new destination: Glasgow! The biggest city of Scotland! It took us 3 hours to get there with the super-van driven by Miha (as usual), maybe more because the GPS sometimes got crazy and changed our route… very funny. But anyway, in the middle of the way we stopped the van in some private property in order to see the remains of the Hadrian’s Wall, the wall that marked the northern boundaries of the Roman Empire in Britain. While some of us were taking pictures on it, the rest of the group stayed at the van just in case the owner of the house complains about our parking… 

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At the same time the van was being invaded by loads of  animal manure smells every 10 minutes, I was looking at everyone of us. Half of the group was sleeping with sunglasses covering their morning faces, Thomas was typing his day on the blog with the laptop, Casper was checking our route on the GPS and Miha was driving perfectly as always… 

We reached Glasgow at 2.30 PM. I still do not know how but we could park the van in one of those streets. Quickly we took all our promotion material and looked for Caledonian University in order to stay there 3 or 4 hours doing campaign. During those hours we met more people than any other day, why? Because we had such a great stand in front of the library. Actually it was a very good idea because students had their finals on that week, so lots of them were studying over there. A bunch of them approached to us to get to know what we were doing. 

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We got lunch at the cafeteria, splitting the group in two teams. I think street action that day was one of the best we had in the whole week. Although young people might not know about politics as much as old people could know because of the experience in life, it seems to me that they are more open-minded so it was easier talking to them about European Elections and encouraging them to vote the fourth of June. Some of the old people I found on the streets during the tour think that European Elections are a waste of time because nothing is going to change… that is what I am talking about… 

But hey, we had a new surprise! Thomas brought a new girl into the group while he was holding one of the posters on the streets. She introduced to us (she was from Czech Republic) claiming that she wanted to help us because our work was so nice J 

After our street action, we were taken to the European Restaurant in the centre of Glasgow by Marco, one serbian friend of AEGEE living in Glasgow, who took us to watch the UEFA Champions League Final: Barça – Manchester (It is not necessary to say who won it… hehe – just in case Barcelona! -). 

After the game we went to the hotel, changed our clothes and got ready for an international party in some cool club. I do not have to point out that we danced like party animals (as always) and we had lots of fun… Even going to bed late, we know the next morning we will do our best for sure!  

 

Belén, AEGEE-Alicante

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Relaxed and starched after a short night in the youth hostel of York and British breakfast we left York, the second city of our UK Highland trip, in the morning to get to the third place: Durham.

Having found the University of Durham again we prepared our promotion material mainly the holy three B’s: bracelets, balloons and badges. Ok we also had stickers, beer mats and printed information about the elections by the way…Preparation for street action

After some energizer-games we met Anthony Crowther from the Durham Students’ Union. Kate, the girl we already met the day before in York, joined us and we went to the canteen of the university where we could gain some more experience in traditional British lunch: Yorkshire pudding and crumble for example.
Mario, Alicia, Belen, James, Jussi
The weather still was very fine and so we had a guided tour through the campus of Durham with Anthony explaining us how the University works, what the students can do, where they can live and in which academic building the European Union has invested.

The group couldn’t always follow the information, as every minute was used for promoting the European elections. Once we passed a meadow with many students sitting on the grass and enjoying the good weather. Half of the campaigning group then spread out and ‘invaded’ the little park giving away balloons and bracelets and reminding the people to vote on June the 4th.
Y Vote 2009 UK Tour Part IV
After a little walk through a beautiful natural park with a bucolic river we came to a special place: the setting where was shot a part of the Harry Potter films.
When we had finished the tourist part of this day we went into town for some new street actions. As it was a sunny Sunday many people where in the centre and many voters could be reached. But the participants had to face some negative and frustrating turning-aways and rejections. Twice people throw our gifts back in the faces of two of us and you could see some information we gave to people on the street. So at the end of one hour nobody but Mario and Thomas had the energy and the motivation to keep on talking to people.

For the evening the parents of Kate invited us to their house to have a barbecue in their beautiful garden. We really enjoyed this time and this place within in the group by playing the murderer-game and listening to Thomas who played the viola… 🙂
The musician
Later we all went back to the bus and Miha drove us safely as always to our next accommodation: the George Hotel in Newcastle…

 

Carolin, AEGEE-Passau

Most interesting excepts from the closing debate in Edinburgh, with major European issues, such as climate change, economic crisis and the Lisbon treaty, EU agenda through British perspective and the latest developments in the UK politics and their influence on the European elections. Our panel included Mr Struan STEVENSON, MEP (Conservative), Ms Elspeth ATTWOOLL, MEP (Liberal Democrats) and Kirsty CONNELL (Labour); moderated by Dragan Stojanovski, President of AEGEE.

Check out the Y Vote UK blog at http://uktour2009.wordpress… and don’t forget to vote at the European Parliament Elections, June 4 – 7, 2009!!!!

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!!!

Dear Young Europeans,

The European Parliament elections are taking place right now – between June 4 and June 7. Y Vote 2009, AEGEE’s nine-months-long, Europe-wide effort to persuade first-time voters to make informed choices at the elections, is summing up the results of our work, at the final convention in Edinburgh.

Today we present you the 4th part of the list of issues that in our opinion matter the most for young people and Europe, and our expectations for positive changes in the next five years. We hope that you will spread them around your friends, family and beyond, and that they will help you in making your choice on the Election Day.

Today’s topic is: Why Vote on Europe in the world?

The document is available in 10 languages:

Dutch | English | German | Greek | Hungarian | Italian | Polish | Romanian | Slovenian | Spanish

Why vote on Europe in the World?

Because the European Union today:

–    Serves as global role model in tackling climate change through its own measures and international efforts, supports the use of renewable energy and promotes sustainable consumption and production behavioral changes to ensure sustainable development
–    Leads the way as the world’s biggest provider of development aid, helping democracy, human rights and market economy to function in practical terms in the emerging societies around the globe, and contributing to the fight against extreme poverty and diseases, aftermaths of conflicts and natural disasters and for the fulfillment of the millennium development goals

Our vote can make a difference
. In next five years we want European Union to:

–    Work closely together with them Members States on a common approach in foreign policy and more active role in tackling global political concerns and security threats.
–    Enhance its role in offering assistance and cooperation to the developing world, particularly in particularly in fighting poverty and climate change and supporting environmental protection and fairer trade regulations.
–    Support the cooperation with the other parts of the world in the area of youth work, as a further form for both promotion of European values and the European assistance to the emerging civil societies.

Check out the Y Vote UK blog at https://uktour2009.wordpress.com and don’t forget to vote!!!!

One more day

One more day

As the voting is about to start British voters are angry over expenses scandal in the British Parliament. Their discontent towards the mainstream parties might result in a seriously low turnout and more votes for the UK Independence Party and the far right British Nationalist Party.

Our message stays the same – European Parliament matters and young people in the UK should take their stand on the European Politics. Let’s hope for the best, and let’s keep campaigning – only one more day.