#DemocracyNowHK Solidarity Photos

September 30, 2014 in actions, main, photos by Rob Hallam

Thanks to everyone who took part, you guys rock. Since the situation in HK is so fluid right now I thought it would be best that these get sent out as soon as possible. They’re being tweeted, and Milia has said she will post them to Facebook.

Reminder: There will be supporting rallies tomorrow on Library Hill and George Square.

Keep an eye on #DemocracyNowHK, #OccupyCentral and #UmbrellaRevolution

Photos from Meeting 2: Campaigns

September 30, 2014 in photos by Rob Hallam

Thanks to everyone who came along- another great turnout! We hope you found the campaigns chat inspiring; I know I did!

The decisions were very close – I look forward to going through the campaigns this semester 😀

Newsletter 2014-09-28: Campaigns Decisions, IOC Success and More

September 28, 2014 in main, newsletter by Rob Hallam

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the first week of term and the Freshers’ Flu is beginning to wear off. There’s a lot of exciting things that have been happening, are happening and will be happening, so read on!

Welcome to All Our New Members

Meeting 1

I’d like to start by saying thanks to everyone for coming along last week. It was great to see such a big crowd! It’s even more exciting that so many of the people I spoke to had specific areas or ideas that they were interested in. But whether you have a burning passion for a particular area, a general desire to help out or even if you weren’t able to make the first meeting it’s great to have you on board and there will be plenty going on to capture your imagination. I hope you all enjoy the ride.

It sounds like there was some good discussion too; and I’d like to say thanks to everyone who took part in the CFCI action. We’ll be sending off the photos along with the signatures when the petition goes off to court for consideration next month.

If you weren’t able to make it, no worries- feel free to have a look at the presentation for last week’s meeting (warning: speakers notes in the PDF may bear no relation to what I actually said) and do join us at 5PM this Tuesday!

This Week’s Meeting: Campaign Decisions

Tuesday 30th September, QMU Committee Room 1

This week we are going to be deciding what campaigns we want to prioritise. I’ve said before that collective decisions are a really important part of the group, and campaigns are a good example of this.

Campaigns are central to our work, they form the core of what we do. It’s important that members feel invested in what we’re focusing on, and that they are subjects that people are interested in – although I’m sure everyone would be interested in any human rights campaign!

So we all get an equal vote in the campaigns. If there are issues that you feel passionately about – from chatting to folk last week it seemed like a few were – it would be great if you shared your thoughts with us on Tuesday when we talk about the different options in groups.

Elections for Ordinary Board

Tuesday 7th October, QMU Committee Room 1

Remember remember, the… seventh of October. A week on Tuesday we’ll be holding elections for the position of two ordinary board members. This is a committee role which will really let you get your hands on organising things behind the scenes at GU Amnesty.

All you need to do in advance is have a short speech in mind; anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to tell us who you are, what you do and why you think you should get the position. We’re all friendly so don’t stress about speaking to us! Even if you are not elected onto the committee there may be other roles which would pique your interested, so don’t be disheartened- we’d still love to have your input 🙂

Campaign Success: LGBT Rights and the IOC

Olympic Rings

This week we got word that the IOC had updated its position on discrimination, which is excellent news! We’re proud to have played a part in this. From our hugely successful cross-union LGBT rights photo campaign to the pressure we also put on the Olympic sponsor Coca-cola in our poster which was part of our officially-supported and rather impressive Change.org petition, we stood up for these human rights.

It’s important to keep these victories in mind when choosing the campaigns this Tuesday and in the weeks beyond; we can make a difference. Never forget that 🙂

Raise Off Success

Last week I mentioned the Raise-Off, the UK student group competition to funraise and campaign for AIUK. Well, although Exeter won the prize for raising the most money overall – congratulations to them – once again our Secret Policeman’s Ball won the award for Best Fundraising Event! I’ve now lost count of the number of awards it’s won. It is a true reflection of the hard work and organisation put in by the SPB subcommittee, headed up by our VP Debbie White last year, the members and Billy Kirkwood. The night just wouldn’t happen otherwise- which would be a shame as it’s a damn fine event.

If you’re interested in getting involved this year, either contact us or mention it to me or Duncan or any of the rest of the committee at the meeting this week. We’ll get a group together and have a chat about what we’re going to do this year, and you can find out if it’s for you!

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the SPB last year, you all deserve this award 🙂

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Update

Last week GU Amnesty and representatives from other groups (Oxfam, STAR (now GRASS), UNICEF) met to update and plan what we can do to raise funds for and awareness of the difficult situation that Syrian Refugees find themselves in. We have made tentative plans for a ‘Syrian Week’ of informational and fundraising events early in the second semester (January 26th – February 1st).

We plan to meet again, and so if you are interested in what is going on in Syria and/or would like to be involved please contact us and let us know so that we can get you up-to-speed and added to the Facebook group.

Because of the (understatement alert) complex nature of the situation in Syria, the coalition intends to remain apolitical; one of the main areas of focus for GU Amnesty last year was the human rights situation and this continues to be the case. If you have any questions or concerns relating to CSR, please do get in touch and we’ll try and clarify.

Other Events and Information

Academics at Risk

Monday 6th October, 3-6PM, Glasgow University Concert Hall

There is an event which may be of interest put on by GU Settlement to inform people about the work of CARA:

The University of Glasgow, with assistance from GU Settlement, is hosting a CARA (The Council for At-Risk Academics) awareness raising event.

The Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) has provided protection and support to refugee and ‘at risk’ academics for over 80 years. The defence of academic freedom continues to underpin CARA’s work assisting academics who, for reasons of persecution and conflict, are unable to continue their research in their countries of origin.

The event will be chaired by Prof John Briggs (Vice Principal and GU Refugee Champion) and Prof Alison Phipps (GU CARA Rep/ GRAMNet).

A representative from GU Archives will discuss the historical role that the University has played in supporting dispossessed and displaced people and there will also be the opportunity for round table and informal discussion.

Cinema ho! GU Amnesty Goes to see Pride

Not an event as such but given our group interests, some of us were thinking going along to see the Film Pride at Cineworld on Thursday evening. It comes highly-regarded, so it should be a good trip and a chance for another informal social. Grab a bag of popcorn and come along.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/566709056790636/

Pride cinema trip!

Get in Touch

Prince Rupert's Drops

This newsletter’s ‘I read all the way though’ reward is a cool thing that came up in conversation this week: a Prince Rupert’s Drop. This are drops of glass with a thick end and a thin end: hammer on the thick end and you won’t do a thing. Snap a tiny bit of the thin end off and the glass explodes. I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking:

(link for those reading in email form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe-f4gokRBs#t=122)

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

Photos from Meeting 1: Welcome to GU Amnesty!

September 23, 2014 in photos by Rob Hallam

A big, hearty GU Amnesty welcome to everyone! It was great to see so many of you along; but apologies to everyone who had to sit on the floor. More chairs are in order for next week – although we borrowed several this week in fact!

We hope to see you throughout the year as we have some big plans! 😀

GU Amnesty Supports a Conflict-Free Campus – Photos

September 23, 2014 in petitions, photos by Rob Hallam

Thanks to everyone who took part-  fingers crossed for the motion when it goes to court soon!

 

Week 1 Presentation: Welcome to GU Amnesty!

September 23, 2014 in presentations by Rob Hallam

Meeting 1 – Welcome to GU Amnesty

(PDF for now, a powerpoint might be uploaded if keynote can export a version that isn’t horribly mangled by Google Presentations)

Newsletter 2014-09-20: Welcome to GU Amnesty!

September 21, 2014 in cfci, information, main, meetings, newsletter by Rob Hallam

Wow, what a week! A most warm welcome to folks new to the newsletter and the group, and thanks to everyone who came by the Freshers’ stall and those who took part in the CFCI petition- it was very heartening to hear from so many keen people! Thanks to all the people who helped with the stall too, you rock.

On the Freshers’ Fair stall

So as a busy Freshers’ Week 2014 draws to a close, it’s time for me to make good on the promises made at the stall and to give details of the first meeting of 2014-15 and some information on what’s coming up in the next few weeks. I’ll try and keep this first newsletter of term short!

Tuesday 23 September: First Meeting (and Social) – Who are GU Amnesty?

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1 (3rd floor)

Our first meeting of the year! Come along at 5PM to the Queen Margaret Union on University Gardens (just at the bend), then take the lift or the stairs (both straight ahead of you as you come in the door) up to the third floor, turn left and enter the first room on the right and you’ll find us there. We are fairly laid back, so if you cannot make it for 5 or have to leave early that’s quite alright.

Just a heads up: we expect this meeting to be quite busy. Given the number of signups we had in the Fresher’s Fair we tried to book an extra room in the QM, but they were full. Please bear with us and if it is packed we do apologise; we will try to get another room for next week if this is the case.

We’ll be doing a proper introduction to GU Amnesty – who the committee are, what we do, and what’s coming up in the next few weeks. Because we’ll be chatting about who we are and what we do at the meeting I won’t go into much detail in this newsletter, so on Tuesday you don’t get a repeat of what I’ve said. If you can’t make the meeting, the presentation I’ll be showing will be uploaded so you can peruse it at your leisure. Since there will probably be some questions at the meeting I’ll try and address those on here too. In the meantime though, you can find a comment I wrote about what a ‘typical meeting’ is on the website if you want to get a heads-up.

If you aren’t sure of how to find where we’re meeting or have any other questions, please either email us or ask on Facebook or Twitter.

QMU Map

Welcome to GU Amnesty – First Social @ Old Schoolhouse!

Tuesday 23rd September, 6:30/7 PM, Old Schoolhouse, Woodlands Road

Following on from the first meeting will be our first social of the year. We’ll walk down after the meeting, but you are welcome to join us straight there if you can’t make the meeting. If you don’t know it, the Old Schoolhouse is on Woodlands Road just at the roundabout, across from the St Andrews building.

Come along for a bit and say hi! One of things our members talk about is how good it is to hang out with Amnesty folks, and this is a great opportunity to do it. It’s also good to know the folks who will be be turning up to meetings, demonstrations and events.

The Old Schoolhouse also does food if you’re feeling peckish by then!

OS Map

Upcoming Events and Information

Election of Ordinary Board Members

Tuesday 7th October

I’ll talk a bit more about this at the meeting, but we will be electing ordinary board members in a few weeks time on 7th October. Have a think about if you want to stand for a position (there are two OB positions available), as you’ll be expected to say briefly why people should vote for you. Don’t stress though, everyone is friendly!

It’s a position with a flexible role, meaning you can get out of it what you want from it; and it’s good way to be more closely involved in the minutia of actually running the society. If you’re considering it but not sure and it all seems a bit nebulous don’t worry, there are a couple of weeks in which to make up your mind and well get a previous ordinary board to explain what’s involved.

Activist Mixer (Tomorrow/Sunday)!

Sunday 21st September, 5PM onwards, Curler’s Rest Byres Road

Short notice and reminder! There is an activist mixer on Sunday 21st September in Curler’s Rest on Byres Road (by the subway). Invitations have gone out to a number of activist groups on campus, so there will be a mix of different groups doing good work. It’s a great opportunity to find out about what other societies are doing, and to network; we as a group tend to work with a number of familiar faces so it’s useful to meet these good folks. Come along for a bit if you’re passing and say hi.

Next Week (Tuesday 30th September)

After the introductions this week we’ll be looking at campaigns on 30th. This will involve chatting about campaign suggestions and voting on what ones we want to prioritise. More details in next week’s newsletter!

For those of you who made it this far, reward yourself by watching a video of some goats balancing on a wobbling sheet of metal:


(link for those reading this in email form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58-atNakMWw)

Goats are awesome.

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.

Freshers Week 2014 Photos

September 20, 2014 in photos by Rob Hallam

Wow, loads of new signups! Thanks to everyone who helped out, who stopped by and chatted with us, and everyone else who is awesome 🙂

See you all at the first meeting!

Newsletter 2014-09-14: Freshers’ Week, First Meeting and Beyond!

September 14, 2014 in events, information, main, meetings, news, newsletter by Rob Hallam

We’re back! September has arrived and the new term is nearly upon us. This is a busy time for everyone and a really important time for us with new members and a whole bunch of events to kick off the new academic year.

Freshers’ Week

15-21 September 2014

Freshers’ week is one of the most important parts of the year for us- chances are high if you’re reading this that you’ve at least wandered by our stall during Freshers Week one September! If you’ve an hour to spare (or more), please come along– it’s a great way to meet the new faces who’ll be coming along this year and would really help us out. Get in touch with us either via email, Facebook or Twitter; or if you prefer you can fill in the Doodle: http://doodle.com/65zgchrx98mvgwun#table. Let us know, we’ll really appreciate it. If you don’t, well:

Stern Bird is judging you

But if you are able to lend a hand, then:

Happy Bird sez well done you

Avian persuasions aside1, if you can come along that would be great and we’d love to see you there.

The Freshers’ Fair Stall

16-17 September, 10-4, Randolph Hall

We have booked a stall which will be in Randolph Hall on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th September from 10 AM to 4PM. Wearing our best smiles we’ll be chatting to Freshers about what we do, our meetings and events, and generally looking like the society that everybody wants to join.

Collaboration with STAR & CB – ‘Journey to Safety’

Wednesday 17th September, 3-6 PM, Body Orr Building Room 213

One of the other things we’ll be helping with is a very exciting workshop on the asylum seeker process organised by STAR over the course of a few hours on Wednesday afternoon 3-6 in the Boyd Orr Building (room 213). It’s a really good way to get a quick feel for the process; it’s be done in previous years and extremely well-received. STAR Glasgow and Crossing Borders will be taking people through the stages.

If you’d like to come along and take part I’m certain you’d find it a useful and positive experience. Or if you’d like to help out we could use folks to take people from one station to another (no prep work needed- script you can read from provided!) that would be really helpful. Let us know as mentioned above.

Activist Mixer/Social

Sunday 21st September, Curler’s Rest, 5 PM onwards

Thanks again to Kit of STAR, there is an activist mixer on Sunday 21st September in Curler’s Rest on Byres Road (by the subway). Invitations have gone out to a number of activist groups on campus, so there will be a mix of different groups doing good work. It’s a great opportunity to find out about what other societies are doing, and to network; we as a group tend to work with a number of familiar faces so it’s useful to meet these good folks. Come along for a bit if you’re passing and say hi.

(Provisional) Activism Talk

Thursday 18th September, Afternoon

Although this is provisional, we are hoping to do a talk on activism on the afternoon of 18th of September. We’re discussing with the SRC what we can do, it would be good to see some familiar faces in the crowd if it does go ahead. Keep an eye on the website, Facebook or Twitter for updates on time and venue.

First Meeting of 2014-15!

Tuesday 23rd September, 5PM, QMU

Fun! Excitement! Presentations!

We’ll be kicking off the academic year with our first meeting on Tuesday 23rd September in the QMU at 5PM. We’ll be giving an overview of what we do for new members, introducing the committee and giving information about upcoming campaigns, events- which includes the election of two ordinary board members. This is a committee position which gives even greater opportunity to be involved in the planning and direction of GU Amnesty.

First Social of 2014-15

Tuesday 23rd September, 7PM onwards, The Old Schoolhouse, Woodlands Avenue

Following on from our first meeting we will be having our first social. This will be held at The Old Schoolhouse in Woodlands Road after the first meeting (roughly 7PM). If you don’t know where it is, don’t worry, it’s close by and we’ll walk you there. It’s a really good way to get to know folks – invariably the members of GU Amnesty are great folk to hang out with as well as outstanding campaigners!

Other Upcoming Events and Info

We already have a number of exciting things planned for Freshers’ Week and our first campaign, but there are plenty of other things going on which you might be interested in.

GHRN Events and Bulletin Information

If you haven’t heard of it, you should check out the Glasgow Human Rights Network.

The Glasgow Human Rights Network aims to bring together researchers, practitioners,
members of civil society organisations and policymakers who address human rights issues.

Their events can be very informative for those looking to go a bit deeper into human rights issues, especially those that see themselves either working, pursuing further education or researching in the field.

The latest bulletin had too many events to list here, but if you are interested you can find details on how to subscribe to their website, linked above. If there’s any difficulties finding the details, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you out.

I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club

21st September-10th October 2014

On September 21, 2011, the State of Georgia put Troy Davis to death despite a compelling case of innocence. To mark the 3-year anniversary of this travest9thy of justice, and to deepen and widen the discourse about the human impact of the death penalty and criminal justice system, we invite you to participate in a worldwide Community Book Club between September 21 and October 10, World Day Against the Death Penalty. Through hundreds of intimate gatherings across the country and the world, Troy’s story will reach and impact thousands of new people.

The case of Troy Davis is one we’ve campaigned on in the past, and it continues to be a focal point in the case for the abolition of the death penalty. If you’re interested, please take the time to have a look at I Am Tro Davis and the Community Bookclub. The death penalty is a campaign we will return to in October. If you’re interested in more information or the book please contact our campaigns manager Alex or the good folks at I Am Troy Davis above.

Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival

1-19 October 2014

There’s a film being screened on 9th October, the UK premiere of Beneath the Blindfold telling the stories of four torture survivors. As a heads-up, we have a death penalty-related event putatively pencilled in for the same day, but details will follow and it may be of interest.

Get in Touch

There’s lots on in the coming week or two, and even more beyond but this newsletter has to end somewhere! There will be more coming next week, and every week after that. Well done for making it to the end this time. Your picture rewards are the two birds included above.

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


  1. Photos taken in my back garden this week.