Results of AGM

Hi GU Amnesty,

Thank you to everyone who came along to the AGM tonight. It was great to have so much enthusiasm for next year – I can only imagine the group going from strength to strength. Congratulations to you all!

Results are as follows:

President – Catherine Wright
Vice President – Sophie Kortenbruck
Secretary – Jessie Duncan
Treasurer – Martin Lennon
Fundraising Coordinator – Daniel Brown
Campaigns Coordinator – Elena Soper
Publicity Officer – Keleigh Morrison
Website Convener – Robert Hallam
Ordinary Board Members – Debbie White and Jane Miller

Well done to you all, we will arrange a mass committee hand over for sometime after everyone’s exams.

Also a huge congratulations to Daniel Brown and Sophie Kortenbruck for receiving the statuses of Amnesty King and Queen 2010/2011! This was due to their continuous dedication, effort and general loveliness this year – very well deserved.

King

King

I would also like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone in the group. The year has been hugely successful and we are currently in the lead for the raise-off with a whopping total of £2837.50! Everyone has worked continuously hard and it’s most certainly paid off!

Please note, there will be no more meetings this term. I will send out details regarding meetings for after Easter but as it will be exam period this will perhaps only be one or two to organise our final events of the year.

Our remaining events are as follows:

Wednesday 30th March: Protect The Human Gig (take 2). The 13th Note, 8pm, £4. http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=193415047359098

Week beginning 23rd May (exact day TBC around people’s preference): Annual sponsored cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh

Amnestea: Tea, Cakes ad socialising, will be trying to get a poll together for a preferred date: see http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_129754327078051

Good luck for the upcoming studying and exams everyone!

Thank you and best wishes,
Megan.

AGM Tonight!

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder that tonight is our AGM. Please come along to either stand for a position or use your vote and ensure we get a good strong committee for next year.

AGM: Tonight, 5pm, committee room 1, QMU
Immediately after: 6.15pm, end of term social, Common Rooms, Byres Road, food provided and drinks on tap!

The meeting will run as follows:

* Opening with presidents review followed by the treasurers report.
* The elections for next years committee will then take place in the following order:

1)President
2)Vice president
3)Secretary
4)Treasurer
5)Fundraising coordinator
6)Campaigns coordinator
7)Publicity officer
8)Website convener
9)Ordinary board member

* Anyone wishing to stand will be asked to say a few words and then leave the room for voting to take place.
* The evening shall be finished up with some closing words and finally we have a wee surprise!

Immediately after the meeting we shall be having our end of term social. Common Rooms on Byres road

Even if you can’t make the AGM do come and join us at the social and anyone running off to STAR, we’ll still be there after 7 so come on down!

Thanks,

Megan.

Week Beginning 14 March

Dear Amnestiers,

Firstly, for those of you who missed last weeks meeting, we were joined by Martha Wardrop from the Glasgow Green party. We were able to discuss some of the Scotland specific human rights issues and Claudia has written out a brief overview of her views. See below if you’re interested.

In the coming weeks:

* Tuesday 15th March: The Humanitarian crisis in Gaza: a forum. 5pm-7pm. Boyd Orr, Lecture theatre E (room 611)

* Tuesday 22nd March: AGM – the chance to run for/exercise your democratic right to vote in next years committee.

* End of term social for committee hand over, immediately after the AGM, 6pm, Common Rooms, Byres road.

The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: a forum

Israeli military offensive aftermath in the Gaza Strip

Join GU Amnesty International for a formal discussion on this issue. Our Guest Speakers are:

• Greg Philo – Glasgow university Sociology department. Providing background information on the crisis.
• Antonios Tzanakopoulos – Glasgow University Law department. Speaking about international war crimes.
• Kathy Galloway – Head of Christian Aid Scotland. Discussing the impact of the humanitarian crisis.

There will then be an opportunity for questions and discussion – followed by biscuits and refreshments!

Amnesty International believe that the situation in Gaza should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), as we call to pave the way for the UN Security Council to make such a referral.

The forum hopes to highlight some of these issues and provide an opportunity to call on the ICC before the next meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the 21st March 2011.

For more information see http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11503

Martha Wardrop Overview

Martha Wardrop – a brief (not exhaustive) summary of Tuesday’s meeting

Ms. Wardrop from the Green Party started off the meeting by giving us some background on her educational, volunteering and political life. She is a member of Amnesty International, is involved in Women’s Aid and actively campaigns against nuclear weapons, and particularly against the replacement of Trident.

Among the topics discussed were:

Human trafficking – she mentioned the existence of some organisations in Scotland that deal with victims of trafficking.

Gypsy travellers – Her views on the traveller community were towards the promotion of non-discrimination. According to Ms. Wardrop, the latter can be improved through the media, education, more funding (to, among others, allow for more available sites). She also views as important to give the gypsy travellers priority in terms of available land, instead of selling it to property developers.

Ms. Wardrop is strongly in disagreement with the use of tasers by the Scottish Police force. The possibility of distributing tasers instead of giving police officers adequate training and formation can seriously jeopardise the quality of the service of the police force and banalise violence.

On the issue of human rights, Ms. Wardrop demonstrated her awareness of international human rights violations and explained how the UK should be prepared to tackle these issues, both internationally and domestically as well.

Thanks and hopefully see you on Tuesday.

Best,
Megan.

Updates for Week Beginning 28 Feb

Friday’s sleepout was a huge success! Congratulations to all of those who saw it through to Saturday morning and helped raise awareness for the destitution of asylum seekers. Many thanks go out also to those who lent out sleeping bags, played uplifting music, dished out food and brought us some warming drinks! Huge thanks to Daniel Brown, Chrissy Barnacle and Colette O’Connor for all their organising efforts, it most certainly paid off!

Lots coming up over the coming weeks!

* Tuesday 1st March Meeting: Preparation for our “Scotland Stands for Human Rights” Q&A evening on the 8th of March. We shall be knowledging up and putting together some questions for the MPs and party members.
* Amnesty-STAR-Red Cross Ceilidh, Sunday 6th March, 7.30pm, £5, Qudos, QMU: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=129472320455227
* “Scotland Stands for Human Rights” Q&A evening, Tuesday 8th March, 5pm, Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre E (room 611), Sandra White MSP and Lisa Strachan, Liberal Democrat candidate for Rutherglen: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=138162552915994
* AGM, Tuesday 22nd March: Want to be on next year’s committee? The AGM is your chance to run for all of next years positions (more details below)
* Action For Change Weekend: Essential training for activists, Friday 11th March – Saturday 12th March, Human Rights Action Centre, London. One place left!

“Scotland Stands for Human Rights” Q&A Evening

May’s Holyrood elections give the people of Scotland our third chance to discuss and debate the values of the Scottish Government. GU Amnesty International are taking this opportunity to raise awareness of the key Human Rights concerns facing Scotland today by holding a Q&A session with two of our candidates. Sandra White MSP and Lisa Strachan, Liberal Democrat candidate for Rutherglen, have both kindly offered to answer your questions on campus.

The issues we will be focusing on will include:

1. The Scottish Government’s obligations under the European Convention on Trafficking
2. The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee
3. The role of Human Rights in Scotland’s international relations
4. Action to combat discrimination again Scottish Gypsy Travellers
5. Women fleeing violence with no recourse to public funds
6. Use of tasers by Scottish police forces

This will be a fairly informal event (biscuits and beverages provided!) so we hope you’ll take the opportunity to come along and get involved.

Tuesday 1st March meeting: We shall be delving further into the 6 issues outlined above so as to all be prepared next week with some good, thought provoking questions for our candidates.

Amnesty-STAR-Red Cross Annual Ceilidh

Every year, Glasgow University’s STAR, Amnesty International and Red Cross groups’ team up to host a ceilidh. The idea – to raise funds and awareness in a joint effort for the human rights abuses against refugees and asylum seekers everywhere. Come and DANCE FOR DIGNITY. Tickets are a bargain price of £5 for all you students with traditional music from the awesome, ‘Exploding Folk’ group. This is an event not to be missed! All proceeds are going to the Red Cross Refugee Unit so come along for a night of fun and for a worthy cause!

Posters shall be distributed at this weeks meeting so spread the word! I will also be asking for some willing volunteers to go raffle prize collecting later in the week.

The AGM

The time has come where we need to begin handing over to a new committee for 2011/12. Positions available are,

1. President
2. Vice President
3. Secretary
4. Treasurer
5. Fundraising coordinator
6. Campaigns coordinator
7. Publicity Officer
8. Website Convener
9. Ordinary Board Member

Anyone wishing to run for a position may nominate themselves or be nominated by another member. All candidates running for a position will then be given a minute to say a few words upon which will be asked to leave the room whilst voting occurs.

Voting will run from the top down. For example, if you wish to run for president but do not get elected you will then have the chance to run for vice president etc.

It would be great you all come along and vote- and indeed stand for a position. The society cannot run without a strong committee and the exciting new ideas they’ll no doubt bring.

If anyone is interested in hearing a little more about what each position entails, get in touch and myself and the rest of the committee will be happy to answer any questions!

Action For Change Weekend

For more information on the weekend itself go to http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103322796414806.

We are able to send 4 delegates and thus far have Sophie, Jessie and Martin confirmed. This means there’s one place up for grabs! If anyone is interested get in touch as time is running out to book up!

Thank you and hopefully see you at some of our many upcoming events!

Best,
Megan.

Week Beginnning 14 February

Hey guys,

* Tuesday 15th February: Meeting, 5pm, committee room 1, QMU: Still Human, Still Here Campaign in preparation for the upcoming Sleepout.
* Saturday 19th February: Andy Worthington talk and screening, “Outside The Law”. Edinburgh University, 5pm.
* Friday 25th February: STAR and AIUK Sleep-Out to End Destitution! 8pm, Wellington Church Steps, University Avenue (http://www.justgiving.com/starsleepout)

For more information on the Andy Worthington screening see below the Urgent Action.

Urgent Action Needed:

A Darfuri torture victim is today set to be deported back to Sudan, where she believes she could be killed, due to what her supporters claim is a “bureaucratic blunder” by the Home Office.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/torture-victim-fights-decision-to-deport-her-back-to-sudan-2213855.html

Direct your appeal to Home Secretary Theresa May: You are asking her to exercise her discretionary powers to stop the forced removal of Abeer Awooda. You can also direct your appeal to Nick Clegg

You can see two Model Letters below . You can copy, amend or write your own version – if you do please remember to include the following: Abeer Awooda, Home Office Reference: A1435223, is currently in detention @ Yarl’s Wood IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK Today Monday 14th February @ 15:00 hrs.

THANK YOU – PLEASE PASS ON.

————————————————————————————-

LETTER TO THERESA. MAY

————————————————————————————-

Att: Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 8760 3132
Email: mayt@parliament.uk

Subject: Stop Deportation of Abeer Awooda

Dear Home Secretary Theresa May,

Abeer Awooda, Home Office Reference: A1435223, is currently in detention @ Yarl’s Wood IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK Today Monday 14th February @ 15:00 hrs.

Ms Awooda is a 26 year old journalist writing for a Sudanese newspaper called Al Ayaam, who has been heavily involved in the student activist movement against the regime in Sudan. She has also been seen by the NISS wearing trousers in Sudan , which is illegal under Sudanese law. Between 2008 and 2010 she has been imprisoned and tortured in Khartoum numerous times as a result of her activism.

Ms Awooda arrived in the UK six months ago, her asylum claim was rejected, she appealed the decision and has been waiting for a decision on her appeal.

This imminent deportation is of great concern as Ms Awooda is an outspoken opponent of the Sudanese government and a victim of torture at the hands of the Sudanese regime and will almost certainly be imprisoned, tortured and possibly killed if returned to Khartoum.

Several hundred people have been killed in Sudan since the start of the year. The Khartoum regime is on high alert right now because of events in Egypt and Tunisia. It has already opened fire on protesters and arrested hundreds(many were journalists) in its attempts to stem dissent in recent weeks.

Abeer Awooda is a member of the Berti ethnic group, which is recognised to be a tribe from Darfur that has been targeted by the Sudanese government and therefore will be at great risk if sent back to Sudan.

Sudan a failed state, 3rd worst country in the world A state having little or no governance, endemic corruption, profiteering by ruling elites, very poor Human Rights, the government cannot/will not protect the population from others or itself, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement, institutionalised political exclusion of significant numbers of the population, progressive deterioration of welfare infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses) not adequate to meet health, needs, progressive economic decline of the country as a whole as measured by per capita income, debt, severe child mortality rates, poverty levels.

Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is the only sitting head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity

Sudan ranked as one of the worlds most corrupt states by Transparency international.

Sudan, Africa’s biggest country and a former UK Colony, has faced constant conflict since independence from Britain in 1956.

I urge you to show compassion and humanitarian understanding to Abeer Awooda. Please release her from detention and grant her indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Yours Sincerely,

Name:

Address:

City:

Date:

Postcode:

Email:

Country:

Phone:

————————————————————————————-
LETTER TO NICK CLEGG

————————————————————————————-

Att: Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister’s Office
70 Whitehall
SW1A 2AS
Correspondence Section:
Tel: 020 7276 0527
Fax: 020 7276 0514
pscorrespondence@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

Subject: Stop Deportation of Abeer Awooda

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

Abeer Awooda, Home Office Reference: A1435223, is currently in detention @ Yarl’s Wood IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK Today Monday 14th February @ 15:00 hrs.

Ms Awooda is a 26 year old journalist writing for a Sudanese newspaper called Al Ayaam, who has been heavily involved in the student activist movement against the regime in Sudan. She has also been seen by the NISS wearing trousers in Sudan , which is illegal under Sudanese law. Between 2008 and 2010 she has been imprisoned and tortured in Khartoum numerous times as a result of her activism.

Ms Awooda arrived in the UK six months ago, her asylum claim was rejected, she appealed the decision and has been waiting for a decision on her appeal.

This imminent deportation is of great concern as Ms Awooda is an outspoken opponent of the Sudanese government and a victim of torture at the hands of the Sudanese regime and will almost certainly be imprisoned, tortured and possibly killed if returned to Khartoum.

Several hundred people have been killed in Sudan since the start of the year. The Khartoum regime is on high alert right now because of events in Egypt and Tunisia. It has already opened fire on protesters and arrested hundreds(many were journalists) in its attempts to stem dissent in recent weeks.

Abeer Awooda is a member of the Berti ethnic group, which is recognised to be a tribe from Darfur that has been targeted by the Sudanese government and therefore will be at great risk if sent back to Sudan.

Sudan a failed state, 3rd worst country in the world – A state having little or no governance, endemic corruption, profiteering by ruling elites, very poor Human Rights, the government cannot/will not protect the population from others or itself, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement, institutionalised political exclusion of significant numbers of the population,
progressive deterioration of welfare infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses) not adequate to meet health, needs, progressive economic decline of the country as a whole as measured by per capita income, debt, severe child mortality rates, poverty levels.

Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is the only sitting head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Sudan ranked as one of the worlds most corrupt states by Transparency international.

Sudan, Africa’s biggest country and a former UK Colony, has faced constant conflict since independence from Britain in 1956.

I urge you to show compassion and humanitarian understanding to Abeer Awooda.

I am asking you to intervene on his behalf and raise the issue with the Home Secretary. Sudan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, no one should be forcibly sent there. Please ask the Home Secretary to release Abeer Awooda from immigration detention and reconsider her case with a view to granting her refugee protection.

Yours Sincerely,

Name:

Address:

City:

Date:

Postcode:

Email:

Country:
Phone:

Saturday 19th February, Andy Worthington:

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/outside-the-law-stories-from-guantanamo-uk-tour-dates-2011-the-save-shaker-aamer-tour/

After our look at Guantanamo Bay at the beginning of this term Andy Worthington is making a one stop appearance to Scotland and has chosen Edinburgh as his pit call.

He shall be showing the film which he co-directed with Polly Nash, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” followed by a Q&A session.

I myself, shall be going along so if anyone fancies it we can arrange to head on the train together.

The film focuses on the stories of three prisoners — Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, who is still held, and Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes (both released) — and features interviews with former prisoners Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes, lawyers Clive Stafford Smith and Tom Wilner, and journalist Andy Worthington, plus appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, Imam Shakeel Begg, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

Valentine’s Stall and Action For Change

Hello GU Amnesty,

A few things for you attention.
Valentine's Cake
Valentine’s Day Stall

Monday 14th February

* 11am – 2pm – I forgot to send round a rota on Tuesday so if you could get back to me with your availability for half an hour slots that will be much appreciated!
* Heart shaped cakes and love related crafts – Any artistic folk out there who fancy their hand at some valentines gifts 🙂
* I’ll send round the rota by Sunday at the latest

Action For Change Weekend

Friday 11th – Saturday 12th March

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11169

Interested so far:

* Sophie
* Jessie
* Martin
* Jane

If you can get back to me to confirm then we can book the places up! Remember only 4 places so if anyone else is interested let me know asap!

Thank you and all the best,
Megan.

Tuesday 8th February – Meeting and Meal

Hello GU Amnesty,

Tuesday 8th February

* Meeting: 5pm, committee room 1, QMU. Urgent Actions – Egypt and Pakistan
* Meal: Di Maggio’s West End, 7pm. All welcome (table booked with enough over spill for a few last minuters!) This is to celebrate our successful Secret Policeman’s Ball and first term. We have raised a fantastic amount of money so far and deserve some socialising! Hope you can join us.

For directions: http://maps.google.co.uk/mapshl=en&um=1&ie=UTF8&q=di+maggio’s+west+end&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=di+maggio’s+west+end&hnear=Glasgow&cid=0,0,1983971430999606971&ei=KBxRTeD4KJKKhQeWyIiFCQ&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=image&resnum=2&ved=0CCYQnwIwAQ

Amnesty, STAR and Red Cross’s annual ceilidh shall be taking place on Sunday 6th March in Qudos in the QMU. We are currently battling to find a ceilidh band who will offer a reduced rate for charity. If anyone knows of a ceilidh band that might do this for us please please ask and let us know! That would be amazing!

Thanks everyone

Megan

Action For Change weekend and AIUK National Conference

Hello everyone,

We have some hot of the press information about a few upcoming national Amnesty events.

Firstly, Action For Change weekend

The Action for Change weekend provides essential activism training for Student Groups and is a unique opportunity to gain a wide range of campaigning skills and learn more about the work and structure of Amnesty International. I personally highly recommend this, have bee myself and it’s such an awesome inspiring weekend. Great for anyone considering running for the committee next year or just wanting to get more involved!

Key Details:

When: Friday 11th March – Saturday 12th March
Where: The Human Rights Action Centre, London
Accommodation: Crash pad accommodation for the Friday night
Cost: Free entry to the event and free food throughout the weekend so travel costs will be the only expenditure.

Travel will need to be arranged down to London. And we can only send a maximum of 4 delegates and the event is extremely popular so we need to book our places ASAP. Anyone who is interested get back to me and once we’ve a group of people who want to go, travel arrangements can be made.

For more info check out this link: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11169

Secondly, AIUK National Conference and AGM 2011

This main conference is open to all Amnesty UK members (not just students) and is a chance to celebrate the achievements of the year and look forward to the work ahead. The programme includes speakers, workshops, and opportunities to influence Amnesty’s future work

Key Details

When: Friday 6th – Sunday 8th May (Exam time – boo)
Where: Belfast
Cost: £50 for two nights accommodation and all food + travel separately

Another great opportunity if anyone is lucky enough not to have exams!

More info at: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10159

Any interest, just let me know!

Tuesday 1st February

Hello everyone,

Just a quick email to let you all know what we’ll be doing tomorrow.

With all that we have coming up over the next few months we’ve decided to try and concentrate on one thing at a time. The beginning of the meeting shall see us discussing the upcoming events and assigning a few roles to anyone who wants involved. The events include: The Sleep Out, The Scottish Parliament Elections and the upcoming Annual Ceilidh.

Tuesday 1st February, 5pm, QMU, committee room 1: Gaza, two years on, planning for an awareness raising event.

We shall then be watching some footage on the Amnesty view point of the Gaza, two years on, situation. We shall then have a discussion and hopefully come to a conclusion on how we want to take this forward.

If you’d like to take a look at the campaign before tomorrow, follow this link:

Please come along and bring any ideas with you!

Best,
Megan.

Updates and SPB Success!

Hello everyone,

I think you will all agree that Saturday went above and beyond what we hoped for! I cannot express enough how much all the help in the run up (flyering, cakes, ticket selling, raffle prize collecting), and help during the evening (setting up/clearing away, manning the door, raffle tickets selling) was appreciated. A ginormous THANK YOU to you all – we definitely pulled together as a team and we should all be very proud of ourselves.

So to get down to it, and drum roll please – the amount of money raised (as it stands just now, we think there’s a little more to come) is the absolutely fantastic amount of £1,414!!!!! What an amazing amount of money that Amnesty International is going to benefit from!

So, I’m exhausted! And I’m sure you all are too – and that’s why we’ve decided to take a wee break from being super human beings and from organising/planning anything new, by having a much more informal, relaxed meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday 25th January, Meeting, 5pm, QMU: We shall be showing a documentary on the 2003 Liberian civil war. “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”. Biscuits and other tasty snacks shall be provided and this shall be followed by a celebratory drink in Jims Bar.

For more info follow: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/pray-the-devil-back-to-hell/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1

However, this well deserved break can only last for one week as we have lots coming up:

What’s Coming up in GU Amnesty:

Sleep out week, 21st-27th February: in collaboration with STAR. We shall be holding a sleep out one evening during this week and shall be looking to out together a team of people who are interested in helping to organise this.

Gaza 2 years on: After last weeks introduction we shall be arranging a carefully thought out event/action around this issue. Again, looking for a team of people.

Scottish Parliament Elections: I have contacted the Scottish office and they inform me that full candidate listings will be released on Wednesday (26th Jan) and they shall be sending all relevant information immediately to me. This means that next weeks meeting shall see us making a start on this very exciting opportunity.

Phewph!

Hope to see some of you tomorrow and just want to say once again – thank you thank you thank you for all the incredible hard work!

Best wishes,
Megan and GU Amnesty.