Wednesday’s Demo, International Women’s Day and Arms Trade Treaty

February 25, 2013 in main by Martin Lennon

Hey everybody,

We have a busy few weeks of Amnesty fun planned – we’re doing a demo for our Conflict Free Campus Campaign, talking about the International Arms Trade Treaty and at the weekend it is the long billed Action for Change. So if you want to get involved you know where to find us Tuesday – 5pm – QMU – Committee Room 1.

This Week’s Meeting

This week we’re going to focus on the attempts to secure and international Arms Trade Treaty. The trade in arms and especially in small arms has a devastating effect on human rights around the worlds as weapons are use to suppress populations and to prop up brutal regimes. We are hoping that talks next month can finally bring into force a treaty that would mean this brutal trade is afforded the same level of seriousness as countless others (including bananas) already have.

Conflict Free Glasgow Demo

On Wednesday we are going to be on Library Hill collecting signatures for our petition for a conflict free Glasgow. The demo will run for most of the day, so if you can come for an hour or so between classes your presence will be greatly appreciated.

International Women’s Day Event 7th March

To mark international women’s day we are working with the GU Feminist Society and GU Oxfam to put together an event. The venue is yet to be confirmed but we already have confirmed talks from Rape Crisis Scotland and the SRC Gender and Equalities Officer, Frances Bell, will be giving us a presentation as part of the Get Savi campaign. The Facebook event will be up soon with more details.

Arran – April 13th & 14th

We are planning a fundraising trip up Goat Fell on Arran for the weekend of the 13th and 14th April. It’s a fantastic hike and shouldn’t be too strenuous, so if you are interested or simply want to sponsor us come along tomorrow and we’ll take your name down.

See you tomorrow,


Conflict Free Glasgow Petition & Human Rights in the UK

February 18, 2013 in main by Martin Lennon

Hey everybody, We’re got another still doing our best to keep up the pressure on the university to become a conflict free campus. With the SRC, Patrick Harvie and numerous other public figures on our side what we need now if to demonstrate how much support there is for our campaign on campus. So if you haven’t done yet please sign our petition online here or better yet come along and sign in person at our usual time and place at 5pm tomorrow in QMU Committee Roome 1. This Week’s Meeting: The meeting this week is going to focus on human rights issues that we face in the UK. We’ve been thinking that the meetings so far this year have been a wee bit arts and crafts heavy. So it’ll be more of a discussion orientated meeting. Coming Up: Action for Change is the weekend after next (1st and 2nd of March). It’s a really fantastic opportunity to learn some campaigning skills and if you are planning to stand for the committee next year, I really do recommend you come along. It’ll only cost you your travel expenses down to London, which if you book now will be about £20-30. See you guys tomorrow, Martin

Photos From The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2013

February 14, 2013 in events, main, photos, spb by Rob Hallam

As Martin said, the whole of Saturday was a great success. Thanks to everyone who made it possible; there were a lot of you who pitched in and made it what it was. (Photos after the jump) Read the rest of this entry →

Secret Policeman’s Success and Tomorrow’s Meeting

February 11, 2013 in information, main, spb by Martin Lennon

Hey everybody, I’ve got to say that Saturday was a rampant success even by our own already high standards.

Our first Scottish Student Conference was a succession of powerful and lucid speakers in front of an gather of activists from all over Scotland. The after party hosted by Philanthrobeats was the perfect end to a night that saw our Secret Policeman’s Ball raise a staggering £2248.85 – the highest total yet!

We’re going to have a meeting as usual tomorrow at 5pm in QMU Committee Room 1, but we’re going to take it relatively easy and head down to Jim’s after.

This Week’s Meeting

Since it’ll just a short meeting this week we’re just going to focus on an Urgent Action appeal from Amnesty International regarding the situation in Cambodia. It ties into quite a few things we have already touched on this year including women’s rights and forced evictions. We’ll head down to Jim’s afterwards to say thanks to everyone and who helped out on the Saturday night and try to take it a bit easy (if only this week).

Coming Up

There are a few good events to look forward to in the near future: 8pm Wednesday in Qudos – the GU Independence Referendum are having a debate on the Foreign Policy of an Independent Scotland. Regardless of your opinion on Independence this will be a talk worth seeing (even if only for our campaign video star Patrick Harvie MSP). On Thursday Philanthrobeats are hosting a night at the SubClub to raise money for anti domestic violence campaign One Billion Raising. Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of March is Action For Change – a fantastic training weekend at Amnesty International HQ in London. The weekend is free to attend and includes food and accommodation. It is a great opportunity to learn some campaigning skills and I can’t recommend it thoroughly enough.

See you tomorrow, Martin

Avatar photo by Ruth

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow

February 9, 2013 in actions, campaigns, cfci, main, petitions by Ruth

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CFGlasgow BannerWatch our campaign video on YouTube.

GU SRC Motion on Conflict Free Campus

Petition to: David Newall (Secretary of Court), Professor Anton Muscatelli (Principal)

Gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum are found in the electronic products we use every day, such as computers, mobile phones, and MP3 players. These minerals are now known as ‘conflict minerals’ because they are extracted from mines controlled by armed groups who use violence and mass rape to control local populations. These armed groups generate an estimated $144 million each year by trading in conflict minerals 1.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries worst affected by this illicit trade, with an estimated death toll of over six million2; and hundreds of thousands of women and children having been raped 3. Children are also forced into mines, undertaking heavy labour and 80% of the population lives on 30 cents or less per day 4. The sheer scale of this forced labour amounts to modern slavery.

This is a conflict that major electronics companies have known about for nearly two decades, yet little has been done to prevent the use of conflict minerals in our everyday technologies. While it is an inescapable reality that we are all going to keep using our mobiles and other essential consumer electronics, this should not be at the expense of fuelling the deadliest conflict in the world. Companies that use these minerals in their manufacturing processes must ensure that these minerals do not come with the cost of human lives.

Glasgow University Amnesty International has joined Raise Hope for Congo’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI), a global movement of students campaigning for peace and justice in the Congo. By encouraging university officials and stakeholders to commit to measures that pressure electronics’ companies to responsibly invest in Congo’s minerals sector, we are voicing the University of Glasgow’s collective demand for certified conflict-free products.

While we recognise that a more multifaceted and comprehensive plan of action is needed to solve the current crisis in Congo, ending the largely unrecognised illicit extraction and trade of conflict minerals will certainly remove a major economic incentive for numerous state and non-state sponsored militias. The direct link between war in Congo and the consumer products we use every day gives our University enormous power to demand change from electronics’ companies. By issuing a resolution supporting the conflict-free movement, the University of Glasgow would amplify and strengthen efforts calling for companies to trace, audit, and certify their supply chains to ensure their products do not support a minerals trade that is benefiting militia groups.

The University of Glasgow’s Sustainable Development Policy 5 states:

“The University of Glasgow recognises the significance of sustainable development in global, national and local contexts and acknowledges a commitment to the protection of the environment and the conservation of our natural resources.

“The University is concerned about the effects of its decisions and actions on the quality of life, the economy and world poverty, as well as the environment and natural resources.”

The University has agreed to adopt the following actions:

“To build partnerships and create local information networks for sharing experience and knowledge of sustainability, and to contribute to national and global discussions of sustainability issues”

We the undersigned call for the University of Glasgow to action the proposals set out in the SRC Motion for a Conflict-Free Campus, which are:

  • To call for the University to give priority to companies who implement due diligence when sourcing their minerals – tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold – from the Democratic Republic of Congo, when considering vendors for future electronic product purchases
  • To call for the University to express and foster a strong commitment to purchasing products that have been certified as ‘conflict-free’, upon considering the future procurement of electronic devices, once commercially available.
  • To call for the University to express a strong commitment to purchasing electronic products from companies that respect and promote human rights throughout the products’ lifecycle including the mineral extraction and trading phases.
  • To call for the University to issue formal letters of inquiry to contracted electronics suppliers on the status of company efforts to address mineral supply chain transparency and accountability.
  • Attempts to address these issues of transparency and accountability should pay heed to these guidelines, developed by the University of Pennsylvania Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, instructing companies to:
    1. Strengthen company management systems (including establishing and distributing a supply chain policy);
    2. Identify and assess risks in the supply chain;
    3. Design and implement a strategy to respond to identified risks;
    4. Ensure independent third-party audits of supply chain due diligence at identified points in the supply chain;
    5. Disclose publicly supply chain due diligence and findings.
  • If these approaches fail to bring change in a reasonable amount of time, the University should give purchasing preference to compliant companies as well as consider not renewing contracts and divesting from non-compliant ones.
  • To mandate the Students’ Association to do all of the above in their sourcing of electronics.

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow


We would like to see the University of Glasgow make the pledge to be ‘conflict-free’ as a step towards promoting peace in the Congo. This move would make the university the largest Conflict-Free University in the UK and a leader in the market for conflict-free products.

‘Conflict minerals’ - gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum - are found in the consumer electronics that we use every day, such as computers, mobile phones, and MP3 players. They originate in countries like Congo, where they are extracted from mines controlled by armed groups who use violence and mass rape to control local populations. It is estimated that over 6 million people have died since 1998, making this the deadliest conflict since World War II.

Glasgow University Amnesty International has joined the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, a global movement demanding that companies exercise due diligence and take responsibility for their supply chains by not sourcing minerals from Congo’s conflict-ridden mines.

We the undersigned request that:
The University of Glasgow actions the requests outlined in the SRC Motion for a Conflict-Free Campus thereby issuing a resolution supporting the conflict-free movement.


122 signatures

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GU Amnesty International takes over the QMU – this Saturday 10am to late

February 4, 2013 in events, information, main by Martin Lennon

p>Hey everyone, This week is the big one.

Our Scottish Student Conference, the Secret Policeman’s Ball and our After Party mobdro free download are all on Saturday. For one glorious day GU Amnesty International will take over the QMU. We’ll raise a lot of money, we’ll hear some fantastic speakers and we’ll have a nice wee boogie. Although Saturday is the climax of the week, we’ll still be in our usual place at the usual time hearing about another important Human Rights cause – tomorrow – 5pm – QMU – Committee Room 1.

This Week’s Meeting

Much of tomorrow is going to be us laying the final few plans for Saturday, but we’ll do our best to keep it as much like a normal meeting as possible.

– Debbie is going to give us a presentation about the IF campaign on human rights and poverty
– Siuan and Louise are going to be putting the final touches to the decorations for Saturday
– Elena and Me are going to sort out who wants to help out where on Saturday. There’s a lot of Mobdro Online TV setting up and clearing down we’re going to have to do on the day and the more help we can get the better for everyone.

GU Amnesty International takes over the QMU this Saturday

Amnesty International Scottish Student Conference: We’re delighted to bring you a day full of inspiration speakers and a fantastic opportunity to meet up with activists from all over Scotland. Starting at 10 we’ll have speakers on Scottish Gypsy Travellers, Falun Gong and guests from Amnesty International Scotland. The conference is on all day in Committee Room 1 so feel free to come any time. Secret Policeman’s Ball: Our pride and joy, the best comedy night on campus and the biggest student fundraiser in the UK. It kicks of at 7:30 pm in Qudos with tickets available on the door, but it could well be a sell out so I’d recommend getting yours early from the QMU Box Office or SPB After Party: We’re all going to head up to Jim’s after the comedy for a great night put on by GU Philanthrobeats and featuring some of the best DJ’s on campus. I’ll see you guys tomorrow, Martin

From the ‘Set’ of our CFCI Video

February 3, 2013 in cfci, photos, videos by Rob Hallam

Thanks to Patrick Harvie who came along and was patiently filmed. Patrick has been excellent for his support for our CFCI push and on other issues (you might be interested in his about page).