Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 22nd October: LGBT Rights with Pizza and a Trip to The Arches

October 20, 2013 in information, main, newsletter by Ruth

Hey everyone,

We are back in Committee Room 1 in the QMU on Tuesday at 5pm.

Read the blog of what happened in last week’s meeting on our conflict minerals campaign. If you missed this then you can still take action in writing to David Newall – all of the details are in the presentation which is now on our website.

Attached is a list of events happening at the CCA which are all related to human rights and some of our chosen campaigns. Scroll down to see what’s coming up.

Student Conference

We have filled our places for the London Student Conference in November BUT are on stand-by for an update of spare places that may be passed on to larger groups like ours. If you wanted to come but didn’t book your place, then let us know and there is a chance that you can still come with us! More information on the conference itself can be found here.

Next meeting

We are continuing our LGBT photo campaign on Tuesday as well as starting our banners and posters for our ‘Love is a Human Right’ Jamnesty gig on Wednesday 20th November. Ali and Dom and are going to take the meeting giving a short presentation on the persecution of the LGBT community in Russia as is the focus of our current campaign.

After the meeting, we are heading to see ‘Stef Smith: Cured’ at The Arches 7.30pm. You can buy your ticket in advance from here but there is an additional £1.50 charge, otherwise you can hopefully get one on the door.  During the meeting we will organise some pizzas for those who want or you can head early and get food from somewhere and meet us at The Arches, it is entirely up to you. If you’re sticking with us though, we’ll be leaving at 6.45pm to get the subway into town.

Tuesday 29th – Guest speakers

Our campaigns officer Dom is STILL working very hard to get someone from Equality Network/the Scottish Transgender Alliance/Patrick Harvie MSP (or all of them!) to come and talk to us about LGBT rights and UK based campaigns.  We’ll keep you posted, but fingers crossed.

Pub Quiz THIS SUNDAY

Jana and Duncan have been writing the rounds, and if anyone wants to bring home-baking for the cake stall then that would be lovely. We’ll also have our tote bags that members worked hard to make a couple of weeks ago, so come along on Sunday and bring friends. We are making it £3 entry per person, of which £2 will go to us and £1 will be added to the winning pot.

‘Love is a Human Right’ Jamnesty

We have had a date and venue change for our fundraiser gig and that has been due to capacity issues. We are now having it at The Halt 2 on Woodlands Road on Wednesday 20th November. This venue is a much better size and still has a stage area for performers as well as a separate bar.

See you Tuesday in the QMU!

Ruth

Our promotional partner, the CCA, has put together a list of relevant events happening from now till December:

Download Upcoming-Events-at-the-CCA-Sauchiehall-Street.doc (DOC, 33KB)

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Glasgow University’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI)

October 20, 2013 in cfci, main by Ruth

At our meeting on Tuesday 15th October we looked at our conflict minerals campaign that we ran last year, and are continuing this year. ‘Conflict minerals’, namely Gold, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten, form the direct the link between the technologies that we use every day, including mobile phones, laptops, and cameras, and one of the worst conflicts in the world right now. Our electronic goods need these minerals to function but at the moment they come with the cost of human lives.

The CFCI is a global student movement that takes a consumer-directed approach to demanding an end to this conflict. It focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo where some of the most grave human rights abuses are taking place throughout the process of mineral extraction under the control of armed rebel groups. These armed groups operate by locating a mineral rich area, forcing the people off the land to build a mine and setting up boundaries to control access in and out, as well as fighting for control of pre-existing mines. Once control of a mine has been established, the local people can be forced to work in the mines for as little as $2 a day or nothing at all. These armed rebels often set such high taxes for anyone wanting to leave the mining area that it prevents people from escaping and effectively keeps them hostage.

This conflict has been ongoing for over two decades, during which time over 6 million people have been killed, hundreds of thousands of women have been raped, children have been recruited as child soldiers as well as being forced to work in the mines and local communities have been used as slave labour and terrorised by armed groups who are making an estimated $144 million each year in the trade of conflict minerals.

As part of Enough Project’s ‘Raise Hope for Congo’ campaign, the CFCI aims are to raise awareness of these atrocities on campus and demand that our universities amend their investment and procurement policies to prioritise companies that are taking steps towards a ‘trace-audit-certify’ system to ensure that the minerals used to make their electronic goods are not coming from conflict areas.

You can look through the presentation to see what we discussed and watch friends of the Congo’s documentary ‘Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth’ which we showed at the meeting.

Last year we got the SRC to pass a motion, made our own campaign video for a Conflict-Free Glasgow University and started a petition to David Newall and Anton Muscatelli, requesting a change in procurement and investment policy. We also contacted various MSPs to support the campaign, resulting in a Motion being launched in the Scottish Parliament by Patrick Harvie MSP who also came on campus to be interviewed about this movement.

At the end of the meeting, members wrote letters to David Newall to ask that he continues to work with us to pass a resolution in support of the CFCI at the University of Glasgow and help put pressure on companies to invest in sustainable and ethical sourcing of their minerals. We will also start working towards another demonstration on campus and documentary film screening to continue to raise awareness
of the situation in Congo and the power that we have as consumers to bring about change.

Week 4 Presentation: CFCI

October 15, 2013 in cfci, information, presentations by Rob Hallam

Ruth by Ruth

Meeting on Tuesday 15th October- Conflict Minerals, The Student Conference and our Pub Quiz!

October 14, 2013 in information, main, news, newsletter by Ruth

Hello everyone, sorry this is so late.

**IMPORTANT: there has been a double booking for our usual slot in Committee Room 1 so we are moving to the ST ANDREWS BUILDING ROOM 443A at the bottom of Gibson Street, opposite The Old Schoolhouse. There will be someone inside to show you where to go.**

First things first, congratulations bakers and crusaders – what a success on Thursday! We certainly marked International Day Against the Death Penalty, raising £121.30 and collecting over 60 signatures for Reggie Clemons: a great start to the year. Thanks again to those of you who stood in the beautiful sunshine/freezing shade to help out.

In summary:

Tomorrow’s meeting – Conflict minerals and the crisis in the DRC

We shall be taking a break from LGBT rights for this week and looking at our conflict minerals campaign. We need to get this back up and running before David Newall (our Secretary of Court) starts thinking that we have disappeared.  I will take you through the Conflict Free Campus Initiative’s mission and give an overview of the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and how we as consumers are linked to this deadly conflict through the technology that we use every day.

Tuesday 22nd – LGBT rights continued, pizza and ‘Cured’ at The Arches

Presentation on LGBT persecution in Russia. This is when we will take a closer look at the situation in Russia decide how best to use our photos and publicise our ‘Day of Silence’ solidarity action.

I know that some of you didn’t make last week’s meeting and therefore haven’t participated in our LGBT photo campaign, but don’t worry, because we will continue with this the week after. In the meantime, we shall be adding photos of the SRC, GUSA and hopefully the QMU and GUU to the bundle.Also at this meeting we will need to make our visual props for our ‘Love is a Human Right’ Jamnesty in November so we’ll have the paints out again.

This is the day that we were hoping to go and see ‘Stef Smith: Cured’ at The Arches in town. Since it starts at 7.30pm, a brilliant suggestion was put forward for us to grab some Dominos ‘Two for Tuesday’ action during the meeting so that we can head into town together after the meeting. I am currently waiting for a reply about getting a group discount for the play, so will get back to you with that – without discount, tickets are £8.

Tuesday 29th – Guest speakers

Our campaigns officer Dom is working very hard to get someone from Equality Network/the Scottish Transgender Alliance/Patrick Harvie MSP (or all of them!) to come and talk to us about LGBT rights and UK based campaigns.  We’ll keep you posted, but fingers crossed.

Student Conference – book your place!

We will be finalising numbers on Tuesday so that we can book our travel so let us know by then if you are coming!

Dates: 2nd-3rd November 2013

Location: Amnesty International UK HQ – London

Cost: £20 + travel

Fun to be had: Are you kidding? 250 students in the same place at the same time, I guarantee it will be one of your most memorable experiences at university.

There have been several people interested in heading down to London for the Student Conference, which is great. We have 8 places to fill so get cracking and book your place here. Also let us know if you are planning to come and we can all arrange our travel together.

These Amnesty weekends are truly inspirational and empowering.

This year’s agenda includes:

  • Syria: ‘I can still see hope’
  • Afghanistan: Violence against women
  • Sri Lanka: Torture and impunity
  • Northern Ireland: Failure to deal with the legacy of past human rights abuses
  • Looking to Amnesty’s future

As well as this, there will be workshops and campaign actions to get involved with, not forgetting a social event on Saturday night. We shall also be collecting our award for our Secret Policeman’s Ball 2013!

[If you are unable to attend the Student Conference in November, remember that Action for Change happens in March. This is a similar weekend in terms of structure and workshops, but will have different speakers and talks and campaign actions. ]

PUB QUIZ – Sunday 27th in Jim’s Bar

We are all set for our pub quiz – all we need is for you to bring friends. We are making it £3 entry per person, of which £2 will go to us and £1 will be added to the winning pot.

Game on.

See you (somewhere) tomorrow,

Ruth

 

 

Ruth by Ruth

GU Students for a Free Tibet Society – First Meeting!

October 11, 2013 in information by Ruth

Hi everyone,

This is a follow-up to the Tibet meeting that we had on 2nd October. For those of you who couldn’t attend, Theo’s documentary highlighted the ongoing suffering of Tibetans following the Chinese occupation of Tibet which very sadly has resulted in over 100 self-immolations. We also had Amie from Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) UK talk to us about how students are getting involved to raise awareness of the situation in Tibet as well as campaigning for Tibetan freedom and independence.

The hopeful outcome of this meeting was that we could start a GU Students for a Free Tibet group, so below are details of how to get involved. Also, Amie has provided an overview of the activities that she coordinates to give you an idea of the opportunities that would be available to you through SFT UK.

If you want to join, add yourself to the planning group on Facebook (or email us if you don’t have Facebook):

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/169987623148922/?fref=ts

 

The first meeting will be next week.

 

Website: http://edinburghunitibetsociety.blogspot.co.uk/p/history.html

[from Amie]

Okay so for starters, every year in the first weekend of Novemeber there is the Students for a free Tibet UK conference which brings together activists from all over the country to get concrete skills training for tibet. This year it’s at the University of Sussex on the 2nd and 3rd November!

Here are just some things you can expect from the workshops:

– Non Violent Direct Action – Campaigning – Sustaining / building your university group – Activism and technology – Fundraising – Updates from Tibet – And some amazing guest speakers

Tickets are £12 (early bird sale) however prices will go back to £15 in 3 weeks time so get your tickets fast!! This will include food, workshops and crash-pad accommodation for the weekend.

You can buy your tickets by making a donation with the reference “SFTUK national conference” and your name.

http://www.sftuk.org/donate-us/

For more info contact: info@sftuk.org

——————————————-

Next thing would probably be the Annual Demonstration on March 10 which we have every year going from the Mound to Chinese consulate in Edinburgh. This march is seriously getting bigger and bigger so next year we hope to rev it up again. March 10 is the biggest day in the Tibet support calendar as it marks the day that China officially stood to occupy Tibet and the people rose up with a nationwide uprising. Unfortunately this led to a brutal crackdown and some half a million Tibetans were killed, imprisoned or sent into exile. So each year we do make it big!

—————————————-

And THEN, can’t believe I never even said about INDIA!

We have a FB page for people interested coming on our 2 week summer program to India to connect with the Tibetan community in Exile. Here’s the link/info

https://www.facebook.com/groups/161151737422794/?fref=ts

Welcome to the opportunity to discuss the incredible experience of the Edinburgh University India programme.

This is a once in a lifetime journey to Dharamsala, India; the seat of the Central Tibetan administration and the heart of the Tibet Freedom Movement in Exile. Here we are fortunate enough to take part in a 2 week Activism program hosted by Students for a Free Tibet India who give us in depth experience into the reality of issues affecting Tibet today, and how we can take effective action back home in Scotland. Whilst over there, we are blessed to meet so many leaders and Freedom fighters of the Tibetan struggle and to gain more inspiration and determination for the cause than ever before.

And you can find more info on it like what we do out there etc on website!

—————————

I hope many of you get involved! I will certainly attend the first few meetings to help support the society finding its feet.

Ruth

 

Photos from Death Penalty Stall and Bake Sale

October 10, 2013 in main, photos by Rob Hallam

Thanks to everyone who baked, came along and helped out and signed our petition!

Week 3 Presentation: Coming Up

October 9, 2013 in presentations by Rob Hallam

Ruth by Ruth

Meeting Tuesday 8th October: Let’s Get Down To Business

October 5, 2013 in death penalty, events, information, main, news, newsletter by Ruth

Hope you’re all having a good weekend!

If you missed my update earlier this week, our chosen campaign for October is LGBT rights with a focus on Russia. You can check the website for our full list of campaigns for 2013-2014, as well as all the campaign action ideas put forward last week.

I am trying hard to keep the newsletters brief, but there are just so many exciting things I don’t want to leave out. For those of you who are too busy to read it all, I’ve written a summary just for you.

  • At Tuesday’s meeting we are splitting the committee rooms according to upcoming events
  • The elections are taking place at 6pm with drinks afterwards at the Old Schoolhouse on Woodlands
  • LGBT events (scroll down)

Here’s the plan for Tuesday:

Committee Room 1 – Campaigns

‘End the Death Penalty’ demo preparation

Our first demo will be next Thursday 10th October, which is of course International Day Against the Death Penalty.  We have some banners made in previous years and some AK-47s (of the cardboard variety) that we can put to good use so we need everyone who is free on Thursday to contribute ideas for an effective demonstration on library hill. We will be bringing along paints, sheets and cardboard to continue from past creative efforts.

LGBT Rights in Russia

We will begin our first campaign with a photo action as suggested by someone last week. We will have Robert (our website manager) along with his super expensive camera to take photos of us sending messages of solidarity to LGBT students on our campus and in the wider community.  We can also use this photo action to send a message to the Olympic Committee which has ignored Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter which states:

‘Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement’.

Our third photo action shall be focused on Vladimir Putin’s violent persecution of the LGBT community in Russia which we discussed on Tuesday which, believe it or not, is the same day that it was announced that he has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.  A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!!! Oh dear.

Committee Room 2 – Fundraisers

This room shall be finalising our list of events for the year and planning our first semester fundraisers:

Bake sale alongside Thursday’s demo

We still have GU Amnesty tote bags that we can have on the stall as well and hopefully more will arrive by Tuesday for us to paint.

Pub quiz in October

We need to finalise our date for this and delegate responsibilities for running the quiz.

‘Love is a Human Right’ gig night in November, for which I am pleased to say that we have already recruited some acoustic talent!

Nikola will be looking for help with poster designs for our pub quiz and gig night.

Elections for Ordinary Board Members

The elections will take place at 6pm. Anyone who wants to stand for OBM but can’t make 6pm, please get in touch either via email or Facebook and we will try to make some arrangements.

Afterwards we shall head to the Old Schoolhouse for some more socialising.

LGBT Events

The Glasgay festival has officially begun and there are a whole lot of events taking place between now and 9th November.

In particular:

Tuesday 22nd October – ‘Cured’ 7.30pm @ The Arches

‘Inspired by real accounts of conversion therapy, two performers, Julie Hale and Mary Gapinski, uncover the stories of four women in a brand new play about love, identity and The Golden Girls.’

I think this event looks really good and happens to take place on a Tuesday after our meeting – if people are keen then we can go as a group. Tickets are £8.

Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance event:

Thursday 17th October – ‘Including Intersectional Identities Film and Discussion Event’ 2pm Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

‘The films focus on Minority Ethnic LGBT and Disabled LGBT intersectional people and include their ideas on how services can better include them. A discussion about including intersectional identities in services will follow the screening.’

This event is free but places are limited. If you don’t have classes on Thursday at 2pm then give this a look.

 

Well done for making it to the bottom,

Ruth

Ruth by Ruth

Today’s Meeting Summary

October 1, 2013 in campaigns, events, information by Ruth

Hey everybody,

Since some of you had to leave early, here’s a quick recap of what happened at the meeting today.

We voted for our campaigns for this year with the results as follows:

Our Campaign for the Year: Conflict Minerals as part of the Conflict Free Campus Initiative (CFCI), a creation of Enough Project’s ‘Raise Hope for Congo’ campaign.

First Semester Main Campaigns: LGBT Rights with a focus on Russia (October) and then Women’s Rights with a focus on India (November).

Second Semester Main Campaigns = Guantánamo Bay (January) and then Human Trafficking (February/March).

Although we appear to have more time next semester, the Secret Policeman’s Ball will leave us short on time for campaigns in February, which is why we opted for just two main campaigns again.

The full list of campaign suggestions were:

  1. Destitution and Forced Evictions
  2. Guantanamo Bay
  3. Right to Education
  4. Asylum Deeker and Refugee Rights
  5. Tibet
  6. LGBT Rights (Russia)
  7. Pussy Riot
  8. Human Trafficking
  9. Women’s Rights (India)
  10. Violence Against Women (in the UK)
  11. Organ Harvesting in China
  12. Conflict Minerals
  13. Death Penalty
  14. Water Rights/Land Rights

We will try and cover the remaining campaigns at various points throughout the year as one-off meetings.

I am very excited for our chosen campaigns! As I said, LGBT rights, human trafficking and
Guantánamo Bay have never been a main focus for GU Amnesty (not since I joined anyway) so it is
great to be doing these. For now though, here are the suggestions for our first campaign:

  • Day of Silence– ‘The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.’
  • Events in partnership with LGBTQ+, the Equality Network (including something discursive),
    and the 4 student bodies but particularly GUSA and GUSSC in relation to a campaign in the run up to the Winter Olympics.
  • Attending events in the Glasgay festival.
  • A photo campaign in support of the LGBTQ+ at our university/globally and against Russia’s anti-gay crackdown and the Olympic Committee’s inaction.
  • ‘Love is a human right’ gig night, hopefully with the GU Band Society, as a combined campaign and fundraiser.
  • Visual demonstration on campus (somebody suggested creating an image using the Olympic rings and someone else thought of playing the Russian anthem).
  • Letter writing, as always.

These ideas were FANTASTIC and we will begin contacting the various organisations to see what we can arrange.

We will be having a bake sale outside the library next Thursday 10th October for International Day against the Death Penalty. We will need everyone who is available even if it’s only for a couple of hours to help run the stall and to take part in a demo. We will spend some time at our next meeting organising this.

Elections – we are hoping to start next week’s election at 6pm so that we still have time for a regular meeting. However, we will obviously double check at the start of the meeting to make sure that everyone who wants to run can stay from 6pm onwards, and if not we’ll begin before then.

Finally, it’s our Tibet meeting tomorrow in the Boyd Orr 6(6.30 start)-8pm. I’m glad so many of you are coming along, I’ll see you there.

Ruth

Week 2 Presentation: Campaigns, Fundraisers, Events

October 1, 2013 in presentations by Rob Hallam