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Newsletter 2014-12-01: Write For Rights and End of Term

December 1, 2014 in information, main, newsletter by Rob Hallam

And so, it’s upon us. The last meeting of term.

There’s a mixture of joy and sadness in this, as in all things. Joy, because we’ve done some great things these past few months; and sadness because there won’t be any more GU Amnesty meetings until January. Joy for the anticipation of Christmas and the holiday season, and sadness for the looming threat of exams.

Joy for the efforts of ours that make a difference:

“I am so grateful for everything that people are doing in the UK to help me. The letters I have received give me hope. When I hear about the level of support and everything that is being done for me by Amnesty International, it makes me the nappies man on Earth.”

Moses Akatugba, in prison in Nigeria for eight years facing execution (via Justine Ijeomah)

And sadness that there is still so very much to do in the world. Keep lighting those candles.

After such an awesome week last week with so many things on, this will be relatively short – and my apologies for being somewhat tardy – newsletter!

This Week: Write for Rights!

Tuesday 2nd December 2014 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

Write for Rights Banner

This week we’ll be taking part in Amnesty International’s ‘annual write-a-thon’, otherwise known as Write for Rights. The tagline goes write a letter, change a life (you might also see ‘save a life’); and the idea is that every December people around the world take an action (see links above) or write a personal message to one of 12 individuals or communities at risk.

We will be hearing a few presentations on some of those features in this year’s selection (again see first Amnesty UK link above), and then people can choose to write one or more messages for those or the others featured this year.

We’ll also be asking for some feedback on this semester in terms of campaigns and events. So if you feel something went well, or – just as importantly – if you were disappointed by something or felt it could have gone better, please come along and let us know. All feedback is welcome; and you can do it anonymously if you wish.

We’ll be heading down to Jim’s for an end-of-term social afterwards, and we’d love for you all to come along :)

Jamnesty – Success and Thanks!

Jamnesty & Flag Woo
(Difficult to pick just one photo out of all the amazing ones of people enjoying themselves, bands and the wonderful decorations so I went with this one)

Wow.

I think everyone who went would agree: Jamnesty was awesome! Firstly I’d like to say thank you to the artists and bands who provided us with some awesome sets:

and to the DJs for entertaining us in the afterparty:

*(Apologies if I got any of those links incorrect – there’s a couple of overlapping names!)

I’d also like to thank everyone on the Jamnesty subcommittee without whom Jamnesty would not have happened. Not only did a lot of effort go into making the venue look beautiful – I think you’ll agree! – on the night; but even more work went into the run-up in terms of flying, postering, seeking raffle prizes, making decorations and lots more besides. Big kudos for these guys.

And lastly, our thanks to Stereo for providing such an awesome venue, and to the local businesses who provided the raffle prizes (please support them!).

The bar has been set very high indeed for next year, and that’s a great thing.

My stamp still hasn’t quite faded

Reclaim the Night 2014

This year’s Reclaim the Night march was again extremely well-attended. Thanks to everyone who came along and took part, and to Ruth for taking most of the photos on the night. Violence against women still sadly happens in this day and age, here and around the world. It is a topic we can perhaps return to next semester.

Reclaim the Night 2014

One of Ruth’s excellent photos from Reclaim the Night 2014

Coming Up

GHRN & Amnesty UK Present: My Body My Rights

Monday 8th December 2014 2-5PM, Gannochy Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical School Building

MBMR El Salvador Infographic

This is a solidarity event with women and girls in El Salvador:

El Salvador has one of the world’s most punitive abortion laws, with abortion a crime even when a woman’s life is at risk. Every year, thousands of women and girls are being driven to the brink of death by the country’s absolute ban on abortion, which carries a prison sentence of up to 50 years for ‘aggravated homicide’.

Featuring keynote speaker, Morena Herrera, Director of Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto (Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion) based in El Salvador. The event will be followed by a reception. If you would like to attend, please register on the Eventbrite site.

Amnesty International’s recent report On the brink of death: Violence against women and the abortion ban in El Salvador, documents how in some cases women who have had abortions or miscarriages have been prosecuted and jailed for up to 50 years for “homicide” or “aggravated homicide” after being reported to the police by their doctors.

This is also something that will work as a good intro to what we may be covering next semester, so I would encourage you to go along if you can!

Thanks for Reading

Since the kittens and puppies went down well last week, and since there’s still the stress of exams to look forward to, I thought I would up the ante by two this week:

rabbit-mouse-kitten-puppy

Lovely.

Alexander the Great came up in conversation (and on the radio) a few times this week, and so I thought I’d share a gif I found tracing his progress.

AlexandertheGreat

It doesn’t really do the incredible feat justice, but there you go. As an aside, when tracking it down I found that it’s much easier to find pictures of Colin Farrell than about one of history’s greatest military leaders. So there you go.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Newsletter 2014-11-23: Food Banks, JAMNESTY and Reclaim the Night

November 24, 2014 in actions, events, main, newsletter by Rob Hallam

Special Notice

We are continuing our food collection for Maryhill Food Bank. Please bring along cans, jars and packets of food as you have been so generously doing. MFB have a particular preference for certain items that they typically run short of, so if you could bring any of the following in particular that would be even better: puddings, cereal packs, porridge, nappies, wipes, tinned fruit, pasta sauces, sweetcorn, peas, baby food jars or kids clothes. Thank you for continuing to support Maryhill Food Bank so generously!

Maryhill Foodbank support a lot of people with the food and items they give out. In the middle: the boxes of food generously donated by you guys!

Maryhill Foodbank support a lot of people with the food and items they give out. In the middle: the boxes of food generously donated by you guys!

Here we are with our second newsletter powered by MailChimp! I appreciate everyone’s patience while we work through the teething problems- last week’s newsletter initially went out unformatted, but a little wind-like coding brought a template into usability! The template still needs a bit of tweaking to get the margins lining up prettily, so continued patience is appreciated. As usual we would strongly welcome feedback; you can find our contact details on the website, or if you are reading this in email form you can simply hit reply!

I’d like to extend a huge thanks to Julie Webster who came down from Maryhill Food Bank to give us the thoroughly interesting and enjoyable talk and Q&A session. It drove home both how important the work they do is and how much of a difference it – and we – can make. A big well done to Seb for getting that organised! Enthusiasm for this campaign and our support is clearly still high, so I have high hopes for our collaboration with the SRC and other groups to do a big food drive!

I also want to say a big thanks to Joe for organising and Harry and the Hendersons for coming along to our lovely Jamnesty Preview Social last week! We got to hear some excellent tunes, which I look forward to hearing again on Wedesday!

This Week

It’s a big one with lots on this week folks!

Tuesday 25th November: Jamnesty, Different Aspects of Food Banks and LGBTI+/Homelessness

Tuesday 25th November 2014 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

This week’s meeting will have a few different aspects relating to what we’ve been looking at with food banks, while still being new and fresh:
– A little spiel about what to expect from Jamnesty, with a last chance to buy tickets!
– A brief overview of the situation homeless people face with regards to food
– An intro and discussion of challenges facing LGBTI+ people who are homeless (with photo action)

Lastly, our intention is to visit supermarkets to do some food collection- we have asked Julie Webster for some guidance on this, so don’t be intimidated :-)

Please also remember to bring along any plastic bottles you might have which we can put to good use for Jamnesty decorations!

Wednesday 26th November: JAMNESTY!

Wednesday 26th November 7PM, Stereo, Renfield Lane

It’s here! This week, it’s Jamnesty time:

Jamnesty Poster

It’s gonna be great

Everybody has been working so hard on this, I know it’s going to be a great night! We’ve all been looking forward to this for a long time, and here it is now. If you don’t have your ticket already, you can buy them online. We’ve got folks high-tailing back from London to make it to the night, so set aside some time and come along!

Thursday 27th November: Reclaim the Night

Thursday 27th November 2014 6:15PM, Starting at Botanic Gardens

Reclaim the Night 2013 (Crop)

Last year’s Reclaim the Night march… we totally didn’t miss the start and join in by intercepting the people marching. Nossir.

If you’ve read any of the newsletters for the past month you’ll already know about this march, but this is coming up this week on Thursday. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the march, and this year’s theme is women’s safety on campus. The march will take place from the Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road and will proceed to the STUC on Woodlands Road via University Avenue. After, there will be a rally at the STUC with speakers including Denise Mina, patron of Glasgow Rape Crisis centre and Vonnie Sandlan, NUS women’s officer.

More information is available from the Glasgow Rape Crisis website.

You can see photos from last year’s march which we took part in after a Tuesday meeting.

Coming Up & What’s On

End of Term: Christmas Caroling and Social

Day TBC

We’ve still to confirm a day for this, but we’re aiming for a couple of weeks from now. Every year we have a Christmas social and go out and sing some carols. We may hold both of these on the same afternoon/evening this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more details to follow. If you’re worried about singing or coming along to these as you don’t know folks too well please have no fear! We’re no orchestral choir (speaking for myself here!), and regardless of ability it’s a good way to get to know the rest of the lovely folks in the society.

Light Against Darkness: Syrian Children’s Art Exhibition

St Mary’s Cathedral, Great Western Road, 21-30 November 2014

Light Against Darkness

An example of the art on display in ‘Light Against Darkness’ at St Mary’s Cathedral.

“The whole thing moves from the darkness and trauma of war to the light of the return to happiness and life.”
Brian Larkin, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre

If you have 20-30 minutes to spare this week I would strongly encourage you to go along to the art exhibition featuring the work of Syrian refugee children at St Mary’s this week. We were in attendance for the launch on Friday (partly due to the relevance for our Syrian Refugee Week in January) and the art is incredibly moving.

Picture the usual crayon or paint drawings of kids, the type you would have done back in school. Houses, people, cars. Except here, the houses are broken. The people are lying down, surrounded by red. And instead of cars, there are tanks. Much of the art has captions to go with it. ‘I want to go home but it’s no there anymore’. ‘We hid in the basement but my grandfather was hit in the leg with shrapnel’. ‘I miss my town but I see it all the time on the news’. Heart-rending stuff.

I don’t want to describe it further as my words cannot do the experience justice. It’s not far (closer than Munros) along Great Western Road; about a block past Kelvinbridge subway. I’m not sure if Brian Devlin of the Children’s War Museum will be there through the week, but if he is – and I’m sure he would introduce himself – have a chat to him as well, as he can tell some of the story behind the exhibition.

There’s a related article on BBC News.

Photo Action for Prageeth Eknaligoda

One of the things we’ve been wanting to do this year is more online actions- things folks who cannot make the meetings can do from home (or the library!). Since people seemed interested in this, I thought I would include a photo action sent to us by Jim McDonald, the Sri Lanka Country Specialist at AI USA (you may have seen him post on our page before). Here’s the message:

Friends,

Prageeth Eknaligoda, a disappeared Sri Lankan journalist/cartoonist, is one of this year’s featured AIUK’s Write for Rights cases. See http://amnesty.org.uk/write-rights-prageeth-eknaligoda-sri-lanka

Besides writing the Sri Lankan government and sending a solidarity message to Prageeth’s wife Sandya, I’d ask that AIUK activists participate in a photo action for Prageeth. I’ve set up a dedicated page on Flickr for him; see http://www.flickr.com/photos/whereisprageeth. I’d like to get as many photos as possible on the Flickr page by Jan. 24 (the fifth anniversary of his disappearance), at which time I’d share the photos with Sandya and the Sri Lankan government.

Directions on how to do the photo action, along with a sample sign, can be found at http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/AI_SL_flickr_photo_action_kit.pdf. People could use the sample sign or create their own signs saying “Where is Prageeth?” (in English or another language). As the directions say, photos can be emailed directly to the Flickr page. Or people could just send photos to me through Facebook, email them to me at jmcdonald@aiusacs.org, or send them to me through Twitter (@jmccdon).

Thanks a lot for any help anyone can give on this action. Take care.

The Flickr page has 275 photos at time of writing- let’s add GU Amnesty’s finest effort to that! Show them that Glasgow cares. Here’s my contribution:

Action for Prageeth

Instructions are in the Amnesty USA link above. We’ve nearly 1000 subscribers to this newsletter, so grab your phone or camera, write #WhereisPrageeth and send the snap to Flickr. If you’re tweeting, mention @guamnesty and we’ll give it an RT!

I should also mention that our friends over at the Strathclyde Uni Amnesty group are doing a film screening tomorrow, Monday 24th November at 6PM in the Lounge on Level 5 of their Union (it’s a big union!). The film is No Fire Zone – Killing Fields of Sri Lanka so if you are interested and have time I would recommend popping along and saying hi from us!

Strathclyde will also be taking part in the photo petition above – let’s get a whole bunch of photos in solidarity.

Request for Comments: FAQs

One of the great ideas our Website Officer Siuan had recently is to get a page started to answer some frequently asked questions; things like “What is a typical weekly meeting like?” or “How can I be involved?”. So to that end we’ve created a page for FAQs!

We’re still gathering the questions and writing the answers, so if you have a suggestion or a question, please either email us or use the form on that page. Thanks!

Thanks for Reading

With everyone stressing out about exams, I thought this week’s ‘thanks for reading’ bonus reward value loyalty points members club perk should be something suitably anodyne:

Dog And Cat

D’aww

Not enough for you? Alright, have another one:

Dog and Cat 2

A particularly snuggly ear to be sure

And with that, I think the internet might have exploded. For those of you with deadlines who appreciate feline-based incentives, you might want to have a look at Written? Kitten! which rewards meeting word counts with cute kitten pictures. Everybody wins!

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Newsletter 2014-11-14: Food Banks Q&A, Jamnesty Preview, Newsletter Update

November 14, 2014 in main, meetings, newsletter, spb by Rob Hallam

Special Notice

Special notice: We are still collecting for Maryhill Food Bank this week, so please keep up the generosity and bring along cans and packets of food on Tuesday at 5! Thank you!

The newsletter got sent out without formatting due to an oversight in settings, so this will probably be the second copy you receive- apologies for that! The template needs a bit of tweaking, but this will suffice for this week.

Welcome to another instalment of the newsletter! Hopefully this week the newsletter will actually reach more than half of our lovely subscribers (that’s you!); if you were following the situation or are subscribed to the mailing list with a Yahoo or Hotmail address, you’ll know that the newsletter wasn’t delivered last week. My apologies to anyone affected by this. In the meantime, we’ve moved to MailChimp for newsletter delivery.

There will be a bit of a transition while we get used to how MailChimp works. The design of the email version of the newsletter may change a bit, but hopefully delivery should be rock solid. If you have any feedback or want to report any issues please do contact us.

Last week saw the kickoff of our third chosen campaign for the first semester: food banks. This is a completely new campaign for us, so it’s really exciting to start getting our teeth into it. A big well done to Rebecca and Seb for putting together an interesting and varied meeting! It was extremely provocative. Those that missed the meeting or would like a reminder can find more info in our weekly blog writeup.

As I promised in the last newsletter, I will try and keep this as brief as possible, so on with the show!

This Week: More on Food Banks – Q&A and the Situation Elsewhere; Then Crafting!

Tuesday 18th November 2014 5PM, Committee Room 1, QMU

Maryhill Food Bank

Last week we saw the video wherein Julie Webster talks about Maryhill Food Bank, the running of it, some of the cases of people who use it and so forth. This Tuesday we’re hoping to get her along to the meeting to do a brief talk and Q&A session, which is a great opportunity to learn more about food banks in general and Maryhill Food Bank in particular. Get your thinking caps on for those questions!

We will also have a brief talk about the situation on food banks elsewhere- Sarah’s mention last week of laws prohibiting the feeding of homeless people caused a not inconsiderable amount of consternation, and we’ll take the opportunity to revisit that in a little more detail.

Lastly, we are at time of writing only 12 days away from Jamnesty! So after the food banks chat there will be a crafting session to bank the big banner for the night. If you could also save and bring any plastic bottles you have, we could really use those for decoration! Thank you.

Jamnesty Is Getting Near

Wednesday 26th November 2014, Stereo, Renfield Lane

Jamnesty 2014 Banner

You may have seen a number of brave souls enduring the wind and rain on Library Hill, going around shops and cafes and handing out one of our lovely fliers:

Jamnesty 2014 Flier FrontJamnesty 2014 Flier Back

These awesome folk are the people doing the flyering. Big time kudos to them all! If we want to pack out Stereo – which we do – we need to make people aware that this big amazing event is happening on the 26th. So if you haven’t already get inviting’! If you have them, please bring plastic bottles along to the meetings so that we can use them for decorations.

Jamnesty Social & Preview: MINI-JAM with Harry & The Hendersons and Twister!

Twister!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/673470369433251/

So as above you’re all undoubtedly inviting your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and people on the street, telling them to buy tickets and spread the word further. But they’re not sure about the music, or how cool we are. Maybe they think it will be a night of proselytising? Well, you can allay their fears! We’ve got a preview social for you.

Come along and hear one of the fabby bands playing on the 26th – Harry & The Hendersons – and join us for bingo, twister, drinks and possibly more!

If nothing else, come along on the 26th and enjoy yourself :)

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Meeting

Wednesday 19th November 2014, 4PM, Fraser Building

We’re only a few weeks away from the end of term, and the Syrian Week is pretty close to the start of semester 2. The week is taking shape, but if you or someone you know would be interested in being involved in organising events for the week there is a meeting this Wednesday at 4 in the Fraser Building. Please feel free to come along even if you haven’t before.

International Women’s Week 2015

IWW

It’s a while away yet – International Women’s Day is March 8th – but the planning for International Women’s Week 2015 will be starting soon. As with last year there will be an organising committee forming to coordinate all the various events, and if you’re interested please let us know by email. Otherwise keep an eye on Facebook as we will be posting information on meetings etc there.

It’s a great opportunity to be involved in a big-impact very visible event or the whole week of events, and last year there was a big team made of up of lots of different societies so you’ll have platy of support. Don’t be shy!

SPB Poster Competition Winner, Kaitlyn Hair!

We have a winner in the Secret Policeman’s Ball 2015 Poster Competition:

SPB 2015 Poster Competition Winner

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Hair for her winning entry! It’s bold and eye-catching, which is just what we want in a poster for a bold night of comedy! Kaitlyn wins two tickets to the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Well done to all the other entrants too; the quality of entries was high and it was a tough choice this year, as ever.

Upcoming Events

These are reminders from last week, but since most folk didn’t get the newsletter I reckon this is fair game.

GHRN: Sakharov Prize 2014

Thursday 20th November 5.30PM, Room 916, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow

Since this is coming up through the Glasgow Human Rights Network, I thought I’d mention it as it may be of interest to some to go along and hear about the nominees.

The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded every year to honour exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression. This year the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, who helps thousands of rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Students on the MSc Human Rights & International Politics course will set out the case for each nominee for the Prize. This will be followed by a Q&A session, a public debate and vote.

The discussion will be followed by a wine reception. Everyone is welcome. If you would like to attend, please register on Eventbrite.

These events are a good way to meet other folks involved in human rights work and research; or network :)

Reminder: Reclaim the Night March

Thursday 27th November 2014, Starting at Botanic Gardens 6:15PM

I mentioned this in a previous newsletter, but it’s worth bearing in mind.

This year’s march will take place on Thursday 27th November (that’s the day after Jamnesty!) with assembly at 6:15 PM outside Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road (opposite Oran Mor).

You can see photos from last year’s march which we took part in after a Tuesday meeting.

Thanks for Reading

Given the news this week, I thought the following image would be appropriate:

The image shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov 12, 2014 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel.

The image shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov 12, 2014 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR

1

For the first time, humanity has landed a robot on a comet. We have automated robots on the surface of Mars – Opportunity has been going for over ten years at this point – and now we have a robot on a comet. We may see a lot of terrible, desperate things as an Amnesty International group, but the way I see it is this is one of the things that makes you proud to be a human. Nice work, ESA.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Food Banks and Poverty, Poverty and Food Banks

November 14, 2014 in Blog, information, main by Rob Hallam

Difficulties often come hand-in-hand, like poverty and the use of food banks. This week saw the kick-off of our food banks campaign, which is something we’ve not looked at in any detail in my many several some years with GU Amnesty. Way back in the campaigns meeting one of the reasons suggested in favour of choosing food banks as a campaigns was the locality of the issue: in 2009 there was one Trussel Trust food bank in Scotland; in 2013 there were 42, with another 17 in development (1). Recent public events in Glasgow have seen en-masse donations to food banks, underscoring a level of interest and appreciation of the issue from the public. At least, that’s the hope.

Food Banks in Scotland Infographic

In Scotland food banks and related services have expanded greatly even in the last few years.

The issue is both huge and uncomfortable. In the UK, estimates put the proportion of the population below the poverty line at 1 in 5. This is nearly 13 millions people, or nearly two-and-a-half times the population of Scotland. Those numbers are shocking, but can be hard to relate to; so let me put it a different way. Let’s say there were around thirty people at the meeting on Tuesday. If the group is representative of a national average (which I don’t think we are, but that’s not important here), it would be likely that one or two of the people you were sitting with at your group’s table is in poverty. Now, there’s admittedly a fair amount of hand-waving and inaccuracy in there, but the point is: one in five in poverty is huge.

Not quite as large but just as uncomfortable is the number of people using food banks in the UK. Sources put it at around 1 million, and we’re not alone: compare with 1.5 million in Germany. That’s a million people who most likely have a choice between a food bank, or going hungry. A choice between going hungry, and the potential social stigma associated with using a food bank- to be accused of being ‘too lazy to work'; ‘wanting something for free'; or the loss of pride felt at being unable to provide for themselves and their family. These aren’t choices any person anywhere should have to make, much less in the prosperous UK. It’s bad enough that the UK has been accused of violating the basic human right to food as a result.

Why have we gotten to this stage? One of the common definitions of poverty, includes those living at or below 60% of median household income (2). While this is both somewhat arbitrary and indirect, it would in itself point to a reason that an ever-higher proportion are in poverty: widening income disparity. But this still says next to nothing about the causes of poverty. There is a veritable laundry list of reasons put forward: disability, illness, racial discrimination, lone parent, or simply a person being born into poverty means it’s much more likely that they will remain in poverty. Tougher financial times will also have a significant impact on the standard of living, disproportionately so at the bottom end of the scale. One of the big reasons that came up in both videos we saw (Breadline Britain and Julie Webster discussing Maryhill Food Bank) was that benefit changes, reductions or even delays mean people are put in a situation where they may have to seek help with food.

Trussel Trust: Reasons for Food Bank Use

Stated reasons for accessing food banks vary

I could continue to quote statistics from the meeting we had on Tuesday – 4 million kids living in deprivation; 2.5 in damp homes; 1.4 in homes that aren’t adequately heated; it goes on – but the case is clear enough. Fortunately, as ever with our campaigns, we can do something about this. This being a campaign with a very local focus, we can perhaps do even more than we could otherwise. It was extremely heartening to see both the generosity of food donated, and the enthusiasm for continuing to drive this forward. Breffni O’Connor voiced both her and the SRC’s support for widening the campaign for food donations; both she and others had some great ideas for how to go about this. There is potential for Glasgow University to come together and do something meaningful and of tremendous benefit to the community.

I really hope we do.

Email / Newsletter Issues Update

November 9, 2014 in information by Rob Hallam

Update: We’ve moved to MailChimp. Hurray! You can see the email that was sent out here.

(Apologies for the cross post- not everyone’s on FB or Twitter so wanted to be sure as many people see this as possible)

Howdy folks, we’ve had an issue with the newsletter here on this lovely Sunday morning. Seems that there’s some network issues and just about every provider bounced the email.

Could anyone who sees this post who is subscribed reply below and let us know if they received the (email) newsletter? Given the number of delivery failures we’ll probably end up re-sending it and I don’t expect many replies, but thanks in advance!

Apologies for the inconvenience- your patience while we sort this little hiccough out is much appreciated! In the meantime, have a picture of a kitten to keep you going.

Kitten!

Newsletter 2014-11-08: Food Banks, Crafting Session and Upcoming Events

November 8, 2014 in information, main, newsletter by Rob Hallam

Special Notice: Food Bank Collection

Special notice: We will be collecting food on Tuesday for Maryhill Food Bank as part of our food banks campaign. Please bring cans or packets of food to the meeting on Tuesday at 5PM. More info in This Week section. Thank you in advance.

Goodness gracious me, it’s the second meeting of November already. This semester is really flying in.

Human trafficking is a huge subject which we’ll hopefully get the chance to return to at some point, otherwise hopefully everyone has had a chance either in the meeting or thereafter to see The Dark Side of Chocolate which we screened on Tuesday. There’s more info available on the website on human trafficking which is well worth a read if you want to explore the subject further; which I would strongly encourage you to do.

Just a reminder or heads-up for those who weren’t at the meeting, there is a crafting / discussion session (provisionally) Sunday 9th November 5PM for a human trafficking demo / flashmob. This will likely be held in one of the committee rooms in the QMU. If you’re coming along please fill in the Doodle so we know how many to expect! Remember you can check our group for updates for these things- this is separate from our Facebook Page, so if you aren’t a member, please request to join.

Lastly, there’s been a couple of gradual trends in the last couple of months: newsletters getting longer, and meetings starting later. These are both totally on me. There’s a lot of information to keep people up to speed on, so the newsletter can balloon; and wanting to start the meeting when there’s enough people arrived.

I can appreciate that it’s frustrating if you arrive on time for 5 to have to wait for others to show up, so we will be starting meetings more sharply from now on. It’s still okay to show up a bit late, of course, if you’re out of a lecture/lab/tutorial late or delayed or whatnot, but the meeting will be kicking off! :)

I will also try to keep the newsletters as short as possible. The variables are what’s on in a given week, and upcoming events can be one or two one week, and five or six the next. I try to ‘front load’ the newsletters by putting the most important info early on, and I divide it into sections with headings and contents so you can see at a glance what the gist of it is. But there can be a lot to get through, so I will try and minimise that insofar as possible. For those of you reading this who are concerned- don’t worry, the end-of-newsletter ‘thanks for reading’ rewards will stay :D

With that ironically-lengthy prelude out of the way, on with the show!

This Week: Food Banks – Collection and Intro

Tuesday 11th November 2014, 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

Maryhill Food Bank Banner

Facebook event: invite your friends for this one, we’re hoping to make the collection big!

As I mentioned way back at the start of the newsletter, we will be collecting for Maryhill Food Bank this week. Basically this means we will have boxes at the meeting, and we would like to encourage you to bring food along for donation- preferably cans, jars or dried packets please! Beverages and toiletries are also useful; please see Maryhill Food Bank’s donations page for a list of suggested items.

We will also be screening a documentary (Breadline Britain) to give an overview of poverty in the UK and how people can end up forced to rely on food banks. After that there will be a presentation from Rebecca and Seb on the subject. Breffni O’Connor will also be coming along to chat on food bank plans.

I am really excited for this campaign and the immediacy of what we can do; I hope you guys are too.

A Quick Post-Student Conference Update

As I mentioned in the meeting, Sarah and I popped down to London last weekend to attend the 2014 Student Conference. As all the talks, workshops, campaigning and news could fill another newsletter entirely, we will come up with a way to properly and succinctly debrief you all!

In the meantime, you can have a look at our Twitter feed for the copious live-tweeting that went on; or have a look at the #studentconf hashtag.

If I could convey only one thing though, it would be that it’s a fantastic weekend and I regret waiting so long to go!

Jamnesty Preview – With Games!

Sunday 16th November 2014, Scran @ QMU (TBC)

jamnesty-preview

So you’re all undoubtedly inviting your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and people on the street to Jamnesty 2014, telling them to buy tickets and spread the word further. But they’re not sure about the music, or how cool we are. Maybe they think it will be a night of proselytising? Well, you can allay their fears!

We have provisionally planned a preview acoustic set in Scran in the QMU next Sunday (16th November). There’s a bar, there’s music, and there might be one or two (very casual) games to get you in the Jamnesty mood!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for an event and more details.

CFCI Meeting

Wednesday 12th November 4PM, Fraser Building

If you’re interested in CFCI, there is a meeting this week on Wednesday at 4 in the Fraser Building. On the agenda:

  1. Campaign strategy for Motion.
  2. Film screening with Earthmovies: ‘Blood in the Mobile’.
  3. Website launch.

Upcoming Events

Aside from Jamnesty 2014 (which you can buy tickets for!), there are a few things coming up in the next couple of weeks which may be of interest.

‘I Am A Leader': Leadership Talks

Wednesday 12th November 7PM, GCU Campus

We got a message in about this event and it looks good- just a pity it’s not happening next semester as part of our work on International Women’s Week! Details:

As part of the ‘I Am A Leader’ campaign, Caledonian Women are running a series of talks on the topic of women in leadership. The speakers for our first event are as follows:

  • Claire Lightowler; Director of the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice.
  • Karyn McCluskey; Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.
  • Mairi Damer; Ex-BBC radio producer and broadcast journalist turned communications trainer, media adviser & copywriter.
  • Adele Patrick; Lifelong Learning and Creative Development Manager, Glasgow Women’s Library.

Our speakers have been given free reign over what they talk about but we have suggested a theme of “What I would tell my twenty-one year-old self”. Everyone is welcome to come along and listen to our wonderful guests.

We will be serving food and drink during the break. At this point, please feel free to mingle and have discussions with our speakers, members of Caledonian Women and any other interesting folk who you come across.

Or see the event page on iamaleader.co.uk for more info.

National Demonstration for Free Education

Wednesday 19th November 2014

This first one isn’t directly Amnesty-related, but the future of education is important so I am including it here for you all to make your own individual decision on. Breffni O’Connor, in her capacity as SRC President, asked us to mention this:

The SRC have decided to attend the National Demonstration for Free Education which is happening in London on November 19th. Free Education is something that we need to continue to obtain to ensure Universities are as accessible as possible for all. We will be marching with students across the country for a fair, free, and well-funded education system across the UK.

There will be a pre demo meeting to talk out the plan of action for the day and to prepare for the demo.

We can only go to London if we have a full bus

More information can be found here: https://boxoffice.src.gla.ac.uk/product/national-demonstration-free-education

While we don’t officially endorse this demonstration it is a sufficiently important issue that everyone should be aware of, and we know that you are all capable of coming to your own conclusions on the issue.

GHRN: Sakharov Prize 2014

Thursday 20th November 5.30PM, Room 916, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow

Since this is coming up through the Glasgow Human Rights Network, I thought I’d mention it as it may be of interest to some to go along and hear about the nominees.

The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded every year to honour exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression. This year the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, who helps thousands of rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Students on the MSc Human Rights & International Politics course will set out the case for each nominee for the Prize. This will be followed by a Q&A session, a public debate and vote.

The discussion will be followed by a wine reception. Everyone is welcome. If you would like to attend, please register on Eventbrite.

These events are a good way to meet other folks involved in human rights work and research; or network :)

Reminder: Reclaim the Night March

Thursday 27th November 2014, Starting at Botanic Gardens 6:15PM

I mentioned this in a previous newsletter, but it’s worth bearing in mind. There’s now a Facebook event too!

This year’s march will take place on Thursday 27th November (that’s the day after Jamnesty!) with assembly at 6:15 PM outside Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road (opposite Oran Mor).

You can see photos from last year’s march which we took part in after a Tuesday meeting.

Thanks for Reading

Given my desire to keep things short, I’d better draw things to a close there. But before you go, another Thanks For Reading bonus, this week from a set of photos I look of the fireworks on Glasgow Green:

Fireworks Glasgow Green 2014

This, along with the rest of the set, was taken from a car park just beside Strathclyde Distillery. And now you know.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Interview with William Francome, writer of ‘In Prison my Whole Life’

November 1, 2014 in Blog, death penalty by Rebecca Corbett

After our screening of  ‘In Prison all my life’, I spoke to film-maker and writer William Francome about what happened to Mumia Abu-Jamal, issues of racial tension in the US and his new project ‘The Penalty’ that will be starting raising money on Kickstarter on 6th November and looks to be released in early 2016.

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Prison_My_Whole_Life#mediaviewer/File:Inprisonmywholelife.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RC: I understand that Mumia’s death sentence was revoked after the film was released, can you bring me up to date on what’s happened?

WF: While we were making the film was being made his death sentence was vacated but he had to stay   on death row because the state pulled an appeal to keep him on death row. After the filming it finally went through the courts and his death sentence was vacated. In America you have two phases of a trial in a death penalty case, you have a  guilt phase and a sentencing phase. He is still considered guilty of the crime but not sentenced to death. So he is still imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole, so he will still stay in prison until he dies of old age and he has no chance of getting out, currently.

RC: You mentioned that he has a limited chance of getting out or a free trial still, why is this?

WF: It is very difficult to appeal court cases in America. I feel myself that there were some serious issues within his case, but the courts have essentially said that they do not feel that is the case. You have to prove that a certain fact would have been strong enough that it would have swayed a jury one way or the another. That’s not the easiest thing to do, it’s often conceptual. In Mumia’s case the judge, in his PCRA (Post Conviction Relief Act) hearing, came out of retirement  specially to hear the case – the same judge that had heard his case in the beginning. Considering one of the main issues of him having a fair trial, was the bias of the judge, it was kind of ridiculous to have the same judge. I know that Mumia was hopeful that he would get a new trial, that’s where we left the film, we thought he might get one and in the end he didn’t. While he is no longer on death row, he still feels like he is serving a death sentence, he still considers it to be a travesty and that he is innocent and that if he had his day in court  he would have been able to get his fair trial that we didn’t think he had and that Amnesty don’t think he had. Whether he shot the policeman or not, I don’t know but what I do know is that he didn’t have a fair trial.

RC: What was the experience of making ‘In Prison All My Life’, was it a big learning curve?

WF: Yes definitely, I was at university when I wrote down the idea for the first time. Originally I had written this idea for a film and no one was interested, my sister was working at ITV and she pitched it there and to some other people and I kind of gave up on the idea. Two years later my girlfriend Katie was like, ‘let’s do this’ and then we decided we were going to do it. We got very lucky, Colin Firth and his wife Lydia got involved, they heard about what we were doing and they wanted to help us do it. It was a fantastic experience, it was very stressful and it was a learning curve but we had some fantastic people on board and some people who were really dedicated to making this film and to letting me have this vision and go on this journey. I was able to go off and meet these people and ask the questions I wanted to ask.

RC: Do you think things have progressed in the US or does it appear to be quite stagnant?

WF: I do definitely think things are changing, I think now we are seeing a level of debate around the death penalty that we have never seen before. Mumia’s case was the loudest and it was the most famous in the late 90s,  in 1998 you had a 80% approval rate of the death penalty in the US but now it’s down to 53/54%. That is a huge swing in twenty years, a significant 30%,  and I think a lot of that is to do with exoneration particularly DNA exoneration. I think that people are understanding, ‘well god if there’s one innocent person than that’s probably one too many and how much is it costing us?’ I think that people have pretty much acknowledged that it costs almost three times as much to have someone on death row and to executed than to leave them in prison for life.  I think that the general public is understanding a lot more, I can definitely tell that there is a shift and once you get to a point when you’re around 50% then it’s time to think that it is a fundamental issue in society  and surely we should look for a unanimous rather than a case of 50% either way.

RC: 53% still seems quite high, why do you think this is?

WF: I think there is all sorts of historical situations and reasons, I also think popular support in the UK is probably not as far off that as you think. I think people in America think that it is appropriate for people who have done horrendous things. I am not going to tell people what they should or should not agree with it. I think people think the death penalty is quite often an abstract thought of ‘someone deserves to die for doing this horrendous thing.’

When you actually explain to people,  it costs this much money and this is how many people who have been found to be innocent, and the issues of getting a fair trial in America, (especially if you’re poor or you’re some sort of minority), I think having something like an execution as the ultimate punishment suddenly seems like quite a major thing and I think when people begin to understand that their abstract idea of the death penalty really changes.

RC: Do you think that getting a fair trial in the US is still a big issue?

WF: Yes totally, there are endless people who’ve been innocent ended up on death row and in every case you hear the same thing time and time again: ‘I had a bad attorney’, ‘I didn’t have enough money to put up a good defence’, ‘the cops were racist’, or ‘I falsely admitted after two days of interrogation’. We had are these same problems crop up over and over again. I think what we are seeing with the 1000 people that have been exonerated from the Innocent Project is not just exceptional cases, but that there was a massive problem with injustice. Most people clean out because they’re too terrified whether they’re guilty or innocent, if you’re facing 100 years in prison  but are told that if you plead guilty you’ll get 10 years in prison then even if they’re not guilty you’ll still plead out. There are some serious serious issues with the American justice system. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to get a fair trial but I would not say it is a flawless system by any means.

RC: Do you think there is still a problem with racial prejudice in the US?

WF: Totally, I think there completely is. I think many of people wanted to see the election of Obama as America suddenly becoming this post-racial nation that had dealt with its’ race and history. But at the end of the day black men are still locked up in a way that is unprecedented in anywhere else in the world. We’re in a time where prison is a solution to a lot of society’s issues and people just get banged up to deal with whole sections of society. I think particularly in poor urban nations, policing is a completely different situation. For young black males, their experience of the criminal justice system is totally different to what I would have got as a young white teenager growing up in suburban America. I think those issues are still definitely there, even though we have elected a black president and the odd people who can surpass the issues the wider issue is still there. I think that it is very hard to change those, unless you really invest and change things through education, through policing, through jobs. Unless you tackle those issues you will see the same issues over and over again.

RC: Is lack of representation still a major issue?

WF: I think it’s a lack of equality on multiple levels. If you do not have a certain level of education, and your parents did not have access to a certain level of education so they did not have as good jobs so you then have the problem of poverty. This is very broad brush strokes, but say you have a lower level of health, and a lower life expectancy and you have less opportunities and access to jobs. And say you’re in an area where you have less access to jobs and you’re policed in a certain way because you’re considered to be more dangerous and scary than other parts of society. Whether that is by black or white police officers. I think it a multitude of issues that all get compounded together, the overall effect is still a very unequal society.

RC: Can you tell me a bit about your new film, more death penalty (!) what led you to continue with this topic?

WF: (Laughs) I promise this will be the last death penalty project! Last year, I drove across America with my co-director and a couple of producers  we made ten films on the road. (The project is called ‘One for Ten‘) They’re all online and are free to download. It was a project that we wanted to be open to the public and it to be as interactive as possible. However, after this we still had a few more questions and in this privileged position with these relationships we had made we wanted to do another project answering these questions. In America it seems to be a really important point with the death penalty, we’re approaching the 50% mark, and I think when you approach the 50% mark then we really should be talking about this a bit more deeply. So we wanted to make a film that answered all these questions.

RC: What is different about your new film? 

WF: In this new film The Penalty, we are going to be talking to people about it from all sides, and we’re following three major characters.  This one guy who was on death row and was released after 15 years and who has got his life back on track, a lawyer who is trying to prevent his client from being executed by one of these new drug cocktails, and the third and final story which we are still looking for which is a family who are waiting for the execution of a loved one. We really want to look at it from all sides and look at what the reasons are for having it and what the reasons are for not having it. We don’t want it to be a campaign piece saying this is what you should think, we really want people to ask themselves questions. We think people often think of the death penalty as an abstract term so the worst of the worst people who have done the most horrendous things. I think often that is not the case, and the reality is a lot more complex. We just want to show those people and ask them: ‘what do you think now?’ and is this the sort of society you want to live in.

[Further updates will be made with the rest of the interview! Another three/four questions to follow.]

Dr Marco Goldoni: A discussion on racial issues and the law

November 1, 2014 in Blog, information by Rebecca Corbett

Passing through a major station, wearing a back pack because you are on your way home, you are stopped and searched. No one else around you is searched or even appears to be considered. Why are you stopped? Is it because you have brown skin and fit a certain stereotype, you hope not. However sadly the police on duty has decided you fit the classic ‘terrorist’ description. Therefore your bag, instead of containing clothes and your reading for the evening, must be carrying some form of explosive.

A woman was stopped and searched, her husband was left unquestioned and when she asked; ‘why did you stop me?’ The police officer replied: ‘well, obviously because you are black.’ She took it to court, stating that it was a violation of Article 14 of the Spanish constitution. However her complaints were discharged saying that it was not an issue of racial discrimination, but instead based on factual evidence that had showed that certain ethnic groups were more likely to commit a crime.

Ethnic profiling is still used by both American and British police forces with no justification as is acts of prejudice within policing decisions, education and limited access for ethnic minorities. This breaks and breaches Article 14 of the American constitution and also the Humans Rights Act.

In a discussion led by Dr. Marco Goldoni at our meeting on Tuesday 28th October, he outlined a few major issues of racial prejudice in law cases. As well as the issue of ethnic profiling, he explained that in most cases of racial differentiation your “identity is externally determined by external forces.” He  used the example of slavery to explain this, as during this period African Americans were “assumed to be part of a certain work force” solely because of their racial identification. (Consider the situation in the film 12 Years a Slave).

Even though law has declared a removal of prejudice, on all grounds of race (as well as gender and sexuality) this does not mean that laws can be twisted and prejudices can exist outside of the law. One situation, Goldoni explained, falls down to urban development.

Take this an example: Imagine a high school is being built in a suburb to help with local education as there is a shortage of schools in the area. The school is built far enough away from the communities largely made up of ethnic minorities that it is not accessible by foot, instead you need to get a car or a taxi. How about if you cannot afford a car or a taxi? Public transport links happen to have been cut to this certain high school. With no available public transport, the new school, that is built in a leafy suburb, is only accessible to those with a certain level of income, as they either own a car or live in the surrounding area. This shows how public services can be limited by decisions based on prejudice in urban planning.

The issue of race, Goldoni explained, is that it is always going to be a plural term and it will always depend on a hierarchy. This hierarchy positions ‘white’ at the top of the ranking, as a ‘clean’ and ‘pure’ race, declaring all others ‘impure’. The fact that this is even a topic for discussion shows that while it is the 21st century and people can talk to each other on the other side of the world through a computer screen, the Western world socially still has a long way to go.

Maybe we should all just take a leaf our of Sweden’s book and remove the word race from our constitution? However, whether the word is used or not, Goldoni reminded us that unlike citizenship which can be tested for and given or in the case of Malta even sold, race is something “you will never be able to escape” as there will “never be a market for race.”

Newsletter 2014-10-31: Pub Quiz Success, Human Trafficking and Updates

October 31, 2014 in main, newsletter by Rob Hallam


Boo!

November is nearly upon us- where did October go? It’s practically Christmas already…

This week’s newsletter is coming to you all slightly early as I and other dignified delegates are London-bound for the Amnesty International Student Conference 2014! We’ll come back informed, motivated and excited (even moreso) about all things Amnesty.

Let me start by thanking everyone who came along to the Pub Quiz- although one team scored the most points*, in my view you are all winners for having braved the howling wind and rain on Sunday to come and support one of our fundraising nights. Pat yourselves on the back. Of course I’d also like to thank Joe and Seb for doing an excellent job of hosting, all the people who wrote questions, ran last-minute printer dashes, brought decorations along, helped mark, took photos, and everything else which helped the night run smoothly. And another well done to Joe for coordinating it all! Early tallies look like we raised over £200, so it was a very successful night!

  • I was later informed that the winning team re-gifted their winnings! You guys are the coolest; and I’ll sign papers to that effect!

I’d also like to extend our gratitude to Dr Marco Goldoni for kindly coming along to give us that very informative talk. I found the issues and conundrums raised fascinating and useful for framing future discussion around the role of the law in relation to race and human rights.

Lastly for this intro, I’d like to say congratulations to Ruth over at the Coalition for a Conflict Free Glasgow University (GU CFCI) for putting on an excellent conference. The speakers were very informative, with a broad base of the subject being covered. It seemed to inspire the folks who were there on Wednesday, and roll on the next Senate meeting! We will continue to support the CFCI, but if anyone is interested in working on that directly, get in touch with the group via their Facebook page and Ruth will get you involved.

This Week: Human Trafficking

Tuesday 4th November, 5PM QMU Committee Room 1

Human trafficking

This week we’ll be looking at Human Trafficking, our next chosen campaign for the first semester. We are trying to confirm another guest speaker for Tuesday, and we may also have a film clip to show you.

It’ll be another exciting meeting for our second campaign of the year (as chosen by YOU)!

Jamnesty Tickets On Sale Now!

Wednesday 26th November, 7PM, Stereo, Renfield Lane

Jamnesty 2014 Banner

I’m delighted to announce that tickets for Jamnesty next month are now available online. It will be a fab night of music and DJing for £5 (£4 without afterparty) which is a damn good price per hour of entertainment.

With music to blow you away from Chrissy Barnacle, Hannah Jackson, The Van T’s, Harry & the Hendersons, and Sunshine Social; and featuring DJing ’til 3 from Flore De Hoog, Heavy Daze, and DJ Hushpuppy.

Join the Facebook event and invite your friends. It’s going to be a big one – get booking now!

Reminder: SPB Poster Competition

Friday 31st October

Just a reminder that this week is the deadline for submitting entries to the SPB poster competition. The details are in a previous newsletter which you can find on our website.

The deadline is 31st October 2014 and the grand prize is two tickets to this year’s SPB. Plus the whole bunch of kudos and exposure of having your design plastered around the West End and online. We’ve had a couple of entries already, so get cracking! (If you can’t quite make it for Friday, send them in over the weekend and we’ll still consider them).

Please send your entries to spb@guamnesty.org.uk; and good luck to all entrants!

Syrian Refugee Week Update

26th Jan – 1st February 2015

Just a quick update on a meeting that the coalition held for the Syrian Week that’s being held at the start of next year. We are in the process of firming up events; the hope is that in collaboration with the other societies involved to have one each day. It’s very exciting to have other societies onboard and keen to organise things too- the collaborative spirit! The events that have been suggested so far include:

  • An introductory lecture
  • A workshop on the asylum seeking process in the UK that Syrian refugees would face
  • Documentary screening and Q&A
  • Panel discussion
  • Fundraising ceilidh
  • Pub quiz!

There may be more events added to this list as more societies get involved. We heard that the SRC are happy to endorse this as an official week of events, which is great news!

Thanks to Oxfam, GRASS, Unicef, GU Catholics Society and CFCI for coming along and getting stuff planned; and to Alex for chairing the meeting!

Submission to Smith Commission

Friday 31st October 5PM 2014

Smith Commission

We’re doing a short-but-important submission for the Smith Commission, as I mentioned at the meeting this past Tuesday. While we want to stay away from any thorny political issues; but given the Rights Referendum campaign that went on during the indyref we felt this was a huge opportunity to reinforce the call for and importance of human rights as part of any settlement process.

Update: We have submitted our recommendations, which I attach a copy of here.

GUAmnesty-SubmissiontoSmithComission

We would encourage individual members to read others submissions and make their own voice heard, which can be done through the Commission’s website. Let us know if you submit anything!

Online Petition: Urge DoJ Action on Lethal Force

Apropos of the work we’ve been doing on Ferguson, including all the great letter-writing everyone did, we thought it would be worthwhile to do an online action to follow this up as well. From Amnesty USA:

The ongoing protests in Ferguson Missouri have ignited a national conversation about the persistent and widespread pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by police across the United States, including unjustified stops and searches, ill treatment and excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force.

The U.S. government must do more to ensure policing practices nationwide are brought into line with international human rights standards, including the use of lethal force, and to address systemic racial discrimination. The Department of Justice has failed to collect accurate, comprehensive national data on police use of force, including the numbers of people killed or injured through police shootings or other types of force.

Go ahead and sign the petition now.

Thanks to Sarah for pointing the petition out!

Reclaim the Night March

Thursday 27th November 2014, Starting at Botanic Gardens 6:15PM

Reclaim the Night 2013 (Crop)

This is a month away but it’s worth getting on everyone’s radar now, which is code for “I hope you enjoy being reminded about this for the next four newsletters”.

This year’s march will take place on Thursday 27th November (that’s the day after Jamnesty!) with assembly at 6:15 PM outside Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road (opposite Oran Mor).

I’ll give more details closer to the time, and we’ll be looking for folks to come along and carry banners or candles. It’s a fairly short march but it always has a good atmosphere, so whether you’ve been before or not come along!

You can see photos from last year’s march which we took part in after a Tuesday meeting.

More Photo Updates

In case you missed it, the pub quiz photos were published from last week.

Because of the talk by Dr Goldoni on Tuesday and the group work afterwards I only managed to take one photo on Tuesday!

The photos from the Conflict in the Congo conference hosted by GU CFCI will go up on their Facebook page soon, but in the meantime please enjoy one sample below!

Pub Quiz
Meeting 6
Conflict in the Congo Conference

Thanks for Reading

This week’s bonus comes to us courtesy of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies / University of Wisconsin-Madison, where one of the many visualisations they produce is a composite total-precipitable water graph:

Map of world showing total precipitable water

(click for bigger version)

Now ain’t that real purdy? You can see more on the MIMIC-TPW page.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Pub Quiz 2014 Photos!

October 31, 2014 in events, main, photos by Rob Hallam

Thanks to everyone who braved the terrible weather on Sunday to come along and make it a great night. We’re totalling up the counts still but it looks like we made over £200; in part thanks to everyone’s generosity; and moreover the winning team re-gifting their winnings! You guys rock! In fact, you all deserve one of these:

GU Amnesty Star

Feel free to use that wherever. Essays, Linkedin, CVs…

Photos (thanks to Alex for taking these!):