Newsletter 2015-02-08: More Transgender Rights, SPB and Conference

February 8, 2015 in main, meetings, newsletter by Rob Hallam

Good morning/afternoon/evening! (delete as appropriate)

We are well underway with our Transgender Rights campaign- big thanks to Alex and Seb for their excellent and informative introduction last week. I’d also like to say thanks to those who get a letter written for John Jeanette Solstad Remø; these things do make a difference! If you didn’t get a chance to write one or finish yours you can find the template on the Amnesty International campaigns section. We will be continuing with Transgender Rights this week by focusing more on the experience of transgender individuals in the UK and even closer to home (more on that later).

If you’re on the Amnesty site for that, they also have some My Body, My Rights related things for Valentines Day; including a Poems That Make Grown Men Cry book, as endorsed by Sir Patrick Stewart and Stephen Fry (two of my favourite people):

Patrick Stewart on #PoemsMenCryStephen Fry on #PoemsMenCry

If you’re getting through to these two (and more), you’re doing something very powerful.

In other – please forgive the pun – heartening news, Greater Maryhill Food Bank have raised over £15 000 in donations, which is amazing! Special mention to Frankie Boyle and the Scottish Government for donating £5000 each. From Julie:

“I know I live in a wonderful country, and a great city, so my expectations have always been high and people have never let me down. But I never expected this volume. It makes me proud to be a Glaswegian. Today is a day I will never forget after previously just wanting to walk away.”

If you were among those who gave so generously, well done- you’re amazing <3

Tuesday 10th February: Transgender Experiences & Photo Petition

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1
Transgender flag-triangle

Again please bring plastic bottles to Tuesday’s meeting for SPB decorations- thanks in advance!

In a week where the First Minister has pledged to create an international envoy for LGBTI rights, we will continue to focus on the ‘T’.

After last week’s introduction and case of John Jeanette Solstad Remø, we will be looking at the experience of transgender individuals closer to home- in the UK and on campus. In Alex’s pitch a couple of weeks ago he mentioned a couple of examples of changes that could and should be made on campus to make it a more trans-friendly place, and we would like to identify any other areas which need change. Our aim is to do a survey – hopefully in collaboration with GU LGBTQ+ – to help this process, so get your thinking caps on for that.

After the presentation and while the discussion of the survey is going on, we will be doing a photo action – ‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’.

Once we are finished with that, we will be doing some SPB decorations during the second half of the meeting (6PM onwards).

See you on Tuesday!

Secret Policeman’s Ball Update

Saturday 21st February 2014, 7:30 PM, Qudos, QMU

SPB 2015 Poster Tickets are on sale now!

Get buying!

You may also want to invite folks along to the event on Facebook so they can come along with you!

With less than two weeks to go (eep!) flyering has begun in earnest- good job to everyone on Friday who handed them out, we got some enthusiastic responses to go with the usual ‘I’ll just pretend that I don’t hear you or see you waving a flyer at me’. It being a sunny day and the enthusiastic responses more than made up for that however!

If you would like to be involved in further flyering we would all – and Joe in particular – love you a lot, so do get in touch! We will also be doing some decorations in the near future so if that is something you’re interested in please get involved in that too.

If nothing else then please have a look at our Thunderclap and sign up to support our publicity. If you have a Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr account you can help- they all count individually. We need to get 100 accounts within a week; and if we do they will all facebook/tweet/tumble simultaneously to publicise the SPB. It would be really useful if you could, and Joe would love you again!

Super excited!

Scottish Student Conference Update

Saturday 21st February 2014, Queen Margaret Union

Doodle for next (asap) meeting for those interested

We are getting the running order for the conference finalised (hopefully) at the start of this week- please indicate your availability in the Doodle if you would like to come along! With these in place, the conference will go ahead during the day of the 21st February in the QMU.

This is also really exciting 😀

Upcoming Events

Book Launch & Panel Discussion:

Human Rights Protection in Global Politics: Responsibilities of States and Non-State Actors
Wednesday 11th February 2015, 5.30pm, Yudowitz Lecture Theatre, Wolfson Medical School Building, University of Glasgow

This is happening this Wednesday and it looks interesting (not to mention featuring our friends Kurt Mills and Siobhan Reardon!) so you all may want to go along. More info:

This groundbreaking new book brings together political, legal and moral perspectives on the responsibilities of human rights protection in world politics today. In this panel discussion, the editors and some of the authors discuss their contributions and the main debates surrounding who has responsibilities to protect human rights, addressing state responsibility, the responsibility non-state actors, including corporations, and the emerging responsibility to protect people at risk of mass atrocities.

You can get tickets from the Eventbrite page.

Action for Change 2015

Saturday 7th March 2015, from 10:30 AM, Human Rights Action Centre, 23 New Inn Yard, EC2A London

It’s that time of year again: Action for Change is coming up. This is another event put on at Amnesty’s HQ in London.

Just a reminder if you haven’t already registered that registrations for Action for Change 2015 are now open!

Action for Change is a one day event aimed at giving Amnesty student group leaders the skills they need to run amazing groups and win campaigns. This year’s focus will be the upcoming UK General Election and, along with a range of workshops on creative campaigning, fundraising and activism, there will be the opportunity to learn all about Amnesty UK’s work in the run up to the election and to hone your skills to make sure that your new MP will advocate for human rights.

This event is aimed at student group leaders and is limited to 5 places per student group, so please make sure that you only register five people from your group. This event will be most appropriate for people who run student groups and those who didn’t come to Student Conference in November.

Action for Change is one of the most exciting and informative events of the year and tickets always go fast so make sure you book soon!

You can get tickets from the Eventbrite page. You can also find more info on last year’s AfC page.

International Women’s Week 2015

IWW

Just a reminder that International Women’s Week is coming up at the end of February / early March. As part of that week we will be putting on a number of events; and in particular we have The Vagina Monologues, which promises to once again be an excellent experience. Keep an eye on Facebook as auditions are coming up soon! If you would like to get involved in any aspect of IWW that we’re organising, or have any ideas do feel free to get in touch as we’d love to have you on board.

End of Term Ceilidh

Provisionally Monday 23rd March 2015, Qudos, QMU

Every year (dating back into the mists of time we have a joint ceilidh with GU Red Cross and GRASS.

You can see photos from last year’s ceilidh featuring Spootiskerry too! Spootiskerry also kindly played for us at the Syria Week ceilidh a couple of weeks back.

(click for bigger versions; the last one is definitely my favourite)

Photos from Meeting 15: Intro to Transgender Rights

Well done again to Seb and Alex for their presentation (which included some very memorable photos of our lovely friend Vladdy Putin!) and to those who wrote letters.

You can see the rest of the photos right here.

Thanks for Reading

After snow and cute rabbits and such, it’s time to kick things up a notch cerebrally! This week’s ‘thanks for reading’ bonus concerns helium. Liquid helium displays some unusual properties once cooled to sufficiently low temperatures:

superfluid_helium

(gif format for those who can’t view the video)

Not only can it escape the confines of a container by climbing the walls, it can escape through containers which will happily hold it in a non-superfluid state.

If you cool temperatures down further you can get to a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, where quantum effect begin to manifest at the macroscopic scale. A video might help explain this.

Enough geeking out! And by way of apologising to the physicists among you (for over-simplifying and likely making more than one error) and the non-physicists (for talking about exotic states of matter); here’s a video of some celebrities speaking under the influence of helium.

Enjoy!

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.

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.

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. 
Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 25th March: AGM and End of Term Social!

March 23, 2014 in main, meetings, newsletter by Ruth

Afternoon all,

Tuesday was our last society meeting of the year, and I hope you enjoyed the presentation by Jillian from Aberlour’s Guardianship Service. Thank you everyone for your feedback, I am excited to say that ‘Amneslunch’ was voted a great idea so we will organise this for during the exam period! See below for more information.

Although we are having an end of term social, we still have other events and fundraisers planned for May so don’t think this is the last you will hear from us!

Next meeting: Tuesday 25th March – AGM and End of Term Social!

5pm, QMU – AGM

Earlier this week I published the committee positions with a short description of the roles, written by the current committee. If you are thinking or running at the AGM, have a look at the different roles and feel free to contact us for any more information.

Even if you are not standing for election, please come and vote!

Meeting format:

I will begin by going over our constitution as we have updated some important bits. The society needs to vote on these before we can make these changes.

Next, I will talk about all the wonderful things we have achieved this year, as part of the end of year review, and then our Treasurer, Duncan, will talk us through the financial report for this academic session.

Then the elections will start! Everyone who is running for a place will be invited to speak – the way we do it is by asking all candidates to leave the room and enter one at a time and give a short speech (2 mins max) on why they would like to be elected. It’s entirely up to you how you want to prepare, but it can be useful to write down a few things to guide yourself.

7pm, Lansdowne Bar & Kitchen – Social

Join the event to let us know that you are coming!

Straight after the elections, we will head out for some food and drinks to celebrate the fantastic year that we have had. Absolutely everyone is welcome, including those who aren’t coming to the AGM or who never made it to a meeting but want to join next year. The event page has a map for those of you joining us later, otherwise we will all head together from the QMU.

May: Amneslunch!

During exam period we do not have society meetings, but we felt that it would be extreme to have no Amnesty contact throughout this incredibly stressful time. So, we are going to organise a lunch club, based in the Fraser Building most likely, where you can drop by, have some lunch, let of some steam and there will also be resources for writing letters. This has been quite a neglected campaigning action this year, so it would be great to follow up some of our campaigns with a little pen action.

When we have decided the dates and times, we will make an event and keep you updated.

End of Term Fundraisers

We still have some fundraisers coming up, including the ceilidh which had to be postponed and Amnestea in the Park (we really can’t get enough puns). So for those of you who will be here mid-late May, we hope to see you at these events!

Also, if you would like to sponsor us for climbing Goatfell next weekend, that would be much appreciated. Here is our JustGiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/Glasgow-University-Amnesty-International

Other events:

Wednesday 26th March: Unite the Fight Clubnight, The Buff Club

This clubnight will be raising money for Glasgow Women’s Aid, and it’s only £3 entry. Here’s the event page and here’s more about the charity.

I will keep the newsletters going until the end of term, so if you know of any events that we can promote then please let me know. I will mainly be sending out information about Amnesty’s campaigns with petition links for some easy online activism and revision procrastination.

Hope to see you all on Tuesday,

Ruth

 

Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 18th March: Aberlour Guardianship Service and AI Consultation on Sex Work

March 15, 2014 in main, meetings, newsletter by Ruth

Howdy folks,

It was great to see so many people attend the film screening on Tuesday of ‘Free China: The Courage to Believe’. We welcomed back Yuyu for the 6th year, and I have to say that I am equally inspired every time I hear her talk about something so horrific and yet so rarely exposed. We were also joined by a guest speaker who came to share her experiences of persecution, forced labour and torture as a Falun Gong practitioner.

Read about it and see the photos, here.

The film: http://freechina.ntdtv.org/

 

3 years on, #withSyria

Sadly, today marks the 3rd anniversary of the conflict in Syria.

Amnesty International has launched the #withSyria campaign alongside a coalition of NGOs and civil society organisations campaigning to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and rally global support. Watch and share the latest campaign video featuring Banksy and Elbow – http://withsyria.com/. You can also sign the petition to stop the starvation of civilians.

There is an event on the 19th March by the Bulgarian Society to raise money for Syrian child refugees in Bulgaria. Check out the event.

 ‘Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.’

We are #withSyria

 

Next Meeting: Tuesday 18th March, 5pm, QMU

Guest Speaker – The Guardianship Service

There will be a presentation by Jillian McBride from the Aberlour’s Guardianship Programme, a project in Glasgow supporting young people and children who are victims of human trafficking.

Amnesty International Global Consultation on Sex Work

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, Amnesty are looking for responses to their consultation on sex work. We are going to take this opportunity to discuss the policy proposal that Amnesty have sent us and we can give our feedback too.

End of term evaluation and plans for after Easter

This will be the last meeting before the AGM, so I will be asking for your feedback as I did last semester. This will be really useful for the committee next year, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. We are also going to talk about our plans for after Easter, as there have been some great ideas on ways that we can all keep up with Amnesty but without taking up 2 hours on a Tuesday evening.

Tuesday 25th March: AGM and End of Year Social

Our AGM will be our last official Tuesday meeting of the year, and there are 9 positions up for grabs:

President
Vice President
Secretary
Treasurer
Campaigns Coordinator
Fundraising Officer
Publicity Officer
Press Officer
Website Manager

(2 x Ordinary Board Members to be elected at the start of the academic year)

I will have more information on each position at the meeting, but if you are interested in running for a committee position and want to know more, you can email me president@guamnesty.org.uk or the relevant committee member.

TBC (date may change) Thursday 27th March: Film Screening – ‘Blood in the Mobile’

‘Blood in the Mobile’ documents the filmmaker’s journey from Nokia HQ, Finland all the way to the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo to discover the truth about the link between our mobile phones and worst conflict in the world today.

29th March: Trip to Arran – Please Sponsor us!

If you are not coming with us, we would love you to sponsor us. It’s not every day we climb mountains (that don’t lead to the GU library). Donate via our JustGiving page!

Other events

SRC Volunteer Clubs and Societies Awards 2014

Nominations are open for the VCS awards! There are many categories and you can nominate either GU Amnesty as a group, or a particular individual. So if there is something that you feel we/an individual deserve/s recognition for, then please complete a nomination form before 21st March!

Sunday 23rd March: Glasgow West Amnesty International Concert Fundraiser

3pm at Wellington Church, 77 Southpark Avenue (off University Avenue), Glasgow G12 8LE. Free entry, donations at the end.

Sandie Bishop, Lamond Gillespie, violins
Flora Tzanetaki, piano

Leclair Sonata for 2 violins
Mozart Violin Sonata KV 454
Prokofiev Sonata for 2 violins
Handel Trio Sonata in G minor

 

Keep it up, the deadlines are nearly over.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Ruth

Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 25th February: Human Trafficking and Conflict Minerals

February 24, 2014 in information, main, meetings, newsletter by Ruth

Hello lovely people!

I really hope that those of you who came to the Secret Policeman’s Ball on Saturday had a great night and to everyone who helped out – THANK YOU SO MUCH. The night was a huge success and we have Debbie, the SPB sub-committee and many others to thank for doing an amazing job. We’ll have an announcement of the total funds raised soon, but in the meantime you can check out all the photos!

In order to make next year’s even better, there is an anonymous online survey that you can fill in to give your views: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D2K79F6

 

Next meeting: Tuesday 25th February, 5pm in the QMU

Human Trafficking in Russia

Duncan will be taking the first half of the meeting to talk about sex trafficking in Russia. We then have a letter-writing action as a follow-up to last week’s meeting by Euan from STOP THE TRAFFIK (Glasgow).

Conflict-Free Campus Initiative

There have been some developments in our efforts to get the University to support our conflict minerals campaign ! Well we have been invited to a meeting with David Newall (Secretary of Court) and Jo Gallagher (Head of Procurement), so that’s a start!

Conflict-what?

Last year we joined the global student movement for a ‘conflict-free’ campus. Read about the conflict-free campus initiative (CFCI) and what the campaign is all about.

I am aware that it has been quite a while since we discussed the campaign and we have quite a few new members so I will go over what the campaign is about as well as giving an update on some positive steps towards ‘conflict-free’ technologies.

 

GU International Women’s Week 3rd – 9th March

Tuesday 4th:

Women’s Rights 5pm

An Amnesty speaker will join us to talk about women’s rights.

Workshop 6pm: The role of the media in the socialisation on men and women and children

I will hold a workshop looking at how the media socialises women and men and children to think about women and womanhood.

Thursday 6th:

Rape Crisis Scotland Film Screening and Discussion

An event page with all the relevant details will be made soon, so save the dates!

GU Amnesty Climbs* Goatfell!! 29th-30th March

Maisie has been organising our trip to Arran and needs to know exact numbers, so if you haven’t decided if you are going, please do by tomorrow!

Join the event or email us to let us know you are coming.

*walks/crawls up slowly, taking lots of breaks and eating lots of chocolate

Other news:

Document: International Human Rights Film Festival

There is a call for submissions to the annual Document Film Festival, so take a look to see how you can enter! http://documentfilmfestival.org/12/

8th – 9th March: Scottish Students Conference

This year Edinburgh University are hosting the Scottish Students Conference on International Women’s Day. Everyone is welcome; here is the event for the agenda.

12th – 13th April: Amnesty International UK AGM

Only one week left to book your place! All members of AIUK can attend the AGM so let us know if you are interested and we can all go together.

NB: The AGM is hosted annually in different parts of the UK so it may not be back in Scotland for another few years!

See you all tomorrow!

Ruth

Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 18th February: STOP THE TRAFFIK Presentation and the Secret Policeman’s Ball!

February 17, 2014 in main, meetings, news, newsletter by Ruth

Hi everyone,

Thanks to those of you who took part in the Guantanamo Bay demonstration last week – it was wet and drizzly but we still managed to get around campus a bit! Here are the photos and blog. There was actually an article in The Guardian last Tuesday about a legal challenge to the force-feeding of detainees, which many are being subjected to. Here is a short video that describes this brutal practice.

If you haven’t yet voted in the Rector election, here are some responses from candidates about their commitment to human rights.

http://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2014/02/rector-candidates-supporting-human-rights/

http://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2014/02/university-rector-elections-2014/

Next meeting: Tuesday 18th February, Committee Room 1, QMU

Human Trafficking

We are starting our next big campaign by having a discussion about recent cases of human trafficking  in the UK. A guest speaker from Stop the Traffik Glasgow is coming to give a presentation and we can discuss ideas for campaigning on this issue.

Visit https://www.stopthetraffik.org/uk for more information.

 

Saturday 22nd February: GU Amnesty’s 6th Annual Secret Policeman’s Ball + Afterparty hosted by Philanthrobeats!

 

IT’S HERE, IT’S FINALLY HERE!!

I hope you all have your tickets by now and are bringing along friends/neighbours/relatives. If not, get them online: https://www.guamnesty.org.uk/tickets/

Last Week of Publicity

We will be flyering all week so please give us a hand if you have time to spare, and take a bundle away with you from the meeting to hand out in all your classes. Remember that we are having a bake sale on Wednesday 11am – 4pm for further publicity, so please bring cakes and/or enthusiasm! https://www.facebook.com/events/1469560646588794/

We will also need people to help us set up on the night so if you are free beforehand then your help would be much appreciated!

GU Amnesty Climbs Goatfell!! 29th-30th March

Well we certainly tried last year but it was quite snowy…However, fingers crossed we’ll make it to the top this time!

This is a great trip and a great way to raise money. The walk isn’t too difficult so if you are keen but unsure then I would encourage you give it a try! Of course, if you have any questions then send us a message. Here’s the event page.

Don’t forget…

 

Action for Change, AIUK HQ London, 28th Feb – 1st March

Booking is now open and it’s FREE! Let us know if you are keen and we can help you to arrange travel to London.

See the event page and website for details of the agenda and the booking form.

 

Finally, one of our members is raising money by JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE, and all for a great cause. Louise would love some more sponsors, so have a look at why she’s doing it and chip in if you can.

 

Keep wrapped up in those ponchos,

Ruth

Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 11th February: GHRN Event and Something for Every Other Day of the Week

February 9, 2014 in information, main, meetings, news, newsletter, spb by Ruth

Hey folks,

It was great to meet new members last week, and I hope you all enjoyed the banner-making session last week. Both SPB and campaigns materials look great, so thanks for all your efforts!

Have a look at photos from our meeting and read Ellen’s latest blog on recent LGBT triumphs in Scotland and ongoing battles in Russia.

Updates:

–          Our Fundraising Officer, Maisie, is looking into accommodation for our annual trip to Arran for our sponsored walk up Goatfell. This will happen sometime in the Easter break so when we have more details we’ll let you know!

–          In the coming weeks, we will be getting back to work on our conflict minerals campaign as part of the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. Secretary of Court, David Newall, has finally replied and agreed to arrange a meeting. We have also been invited to co-host a screening of ‘Blood in the Mobile’ with a charity called Earthmovies in March and are trying to arrange a panel discussion to follow the screening. See our campaign video and petition!

There are a looooot of things coming up, so here’s a summary:

Next meeting: Tuesday 11th February -Sir Charles Wilson Building, Basement Seminar Room, 5pm

Glasgow Human Rights Network – Lecture Series:

‘LGBT equality and the geopolitics of human rights: insights from Russia’

We have had a great year for clashing our events with other relevant events or dates and it has happened again. We realised that the next event by the GHRN is actually at the same time as our meeting. It looks like it’s going to be a great event and is very relevant to all our LGBT campaigning so we have decided to push back our plans and go along to this instead of our usual meeting.

‘The seminar will explore the Russian socio-political context and broader human rights issues within it, and the effects of international solidarity campaigns and foreign diplomacy on the issue. It will be opened by a talk by the editors of the Russian samizdat lesbian journal Ostrov’

The Sir Charles Wilson Building is opposite the GUU; find it on the campus map (E15): http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_1887_en.pdf 

Tuesday 18th February: Human Trafficking/Organ Harvesting in China

We are still waiting for confirmation from both Stop the Traffik Glasgow and Yuyu (our guest speaker on illegal organ harvesting) so it depends who we hear from first. The meeting will either be:

–          Presentation from Stop the Traffik Glasgow about their campaigns and a discussion led by Duncan from our committee on sex trafficking in Russia.

–          Documentary film screening of ‘Free China: the Courage to Believe’ and presentation by Yuyu about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Saturday 22nd February: GU Amnesty’s 6th Annual Secret Policeman’s Ball + Afterparty!

Our multi-award winning night of comedy is back. Once again we are bringing you the biggest student charity fundraiser on campus, hosted by Billy Kirkwood. Our afterparty is being kindly hosted by Philanthrobeats who have an event on this Friday – check it out!

Remember to get your tickets in advance! Here’s the event page for those on Facebook and website page for those who aren’t.

Flyering and competition

Flyering is starting this week!!

Debbie has created a Doodle for flyering so please add your name and spare 20 minutes or so to hand out flyers on campus.

Enter the flyering competition to help with publicity and win a cool prize.

Upcoming events with Amnesty International UK

Action for Change

Friday 28 February & Saturday 1 March 2014 – Human Rights Action Centre, London

FREE with crash-pad accommodation and food included.

Booking is now open!

This event is ideal if you are a member of a new Amnesty group or have recently joined your group’s committee. Think of it as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for activism training – a kind of Amnesty bootcamp! We’ll run sessions on all the elements of campaigning and equip you with invaluable skills – from how to secure media coverage, to how to make your MP really listen to what you’ve got to say.

  • Sharpen your campaigning skills at a range of interactive workshops
  • Hear what we’re planning to work on in the coming year
  • Take part in a campaign action which you can replicate back on campus
  • Network with your STAN Committee rep and Amnesty groups from your area

8th – 9th March 2014: Scottish Student Conference, Edinburgh

Amnesty International’s annual Scottish Student Conference is back, and this time will be hosted by Edinburgh University Amnesty International.

Speakers/workshops/actions TBC but these are the topics we will be focussing on:
– LGBT rights
– Human rights of sex workers
– Scottish Independence and Human Rights
– International Women’s Day

AIUK’s National Conference & AGM

Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 April 2014 – Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh

This is the annual event where Amnesty members and activists from all around the UK come together for a weekend of learning, discussion, and decision-making. We’re a membership-led organisation, so decisions made at the AGM are reflected in what we work on, and the way we work.

Student Human Rights Reporter Competition

Amnesty, the National Union of Students, the Observer and Unreported World are proud to once again be running a competition to find the Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year. The first prize is two weeks’ work experience at the Observer, a behind-the-scenes tour of Channel 4 News, and an award to be presented at the Amnesty International Media Awards 2014. The competition deadline is 20 June 2014. Please see here for the Terms & Conditions and details of how to enter.

Other events

Wednesday 12th February: GRAMNet film screening, CCA on Sauchiehall St. Doors open 5.30pm (6pm start)

The Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network are hosting a screening of ‘Here We Stay’ and ‘Portraits from Cameroon’ at the Centre for Contemporary Arts on Sauchiehall St.

Using song, spoken word and music, Here We Stay celebrates the rich and diverse life stories of refugees, asylum seekers and their communities in Glasgow today.

Portraits from Cameroon is a series of short testimonies of the banana workers who work in the Fako region. The film sparked international debate on working conditions in Cameroon and led to both ASDA and TESCO opening investigations on these plantations and a Global Gap audit.

Thursday 13th February: GU Unicef on Campus film screening, Boyd Orr 222, 7pm

UNICEF on Campus will screen “Children on the Front Line”: a documentary about the current conflict in Syria, and the story of five young children whose lives have been changed forever by the civil war.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided free of charge.

All donations will go to the UNICEF UK Syrian appeal, to provide food, shelter, care and education to the children and refugees of the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.

Friday 14th February: Philanthrobeats @ St. Mary’s Cathedral

As a newly formed SCIO, PB is running a series of projects over the next year to actively and creatively better our communities through music and art. All proceeds from this Friday’s event & afterparty will go towards making these projects (and many others to come!) possible. Thanks for your support!

Check out the Facebook event for tickets and more information on the projects to be funded.

If you actually read all of that, you deserve a medal.

Hope to see you at the GHRN event on Tuesday,

Ruth

Ruth by Ruth

Tuesday 4th February: SPB and Guantanamo Bay Banner-Making

February 3, 2014 in main, meetings, newsletter by Ruth

Hello GU Amnesty!

A big welcome to our new members who signed up at the re-freshers fair and to our new committee members as well. The results of our EGM last week are as follows:

Campaigns Coordinator – Ali Cooper

Press Officer – Ellen MacAskill

Ordinary Board Member – Alex Pancheva

Last week was especially busy with the events by the Coalition for Syrian Refugees, including the panel discussion, the challenge and the ceilidh. We raised over £600 for charities supporting Syrian refugees! It was great to see some of you at these events and you can read all about it on our website with Ellen’s first blog as Press Officer.

We are back in our usual spot on Tuesday for a more light-hearted meeting after last week’s hard-hitting documentary about Syria. Thanks again to Amby from UNICEF on Campus who came along for the discussion and if you missed the documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ then you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SD5QWi-FRU **This documentary contains footage of burn victims, including children and young people.**

Coca-Cola Petition

GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola has been live for about a week on Change.org. The petition demands that Coca-Cola put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi. At time of writing, we have about 8,000 signatures!!

Our Publicity Officer, Nikola, has been tweeting celebrities all over the place and asking them to show support for our campaign. Please join her by tweeting everyone you know! Here’s the link.

Next meeting: Tuesday 4th February – 5pm Committee Room 1, QMU

We will be having a meeting to make some banners for the Secret Policeman’s Ball as well as campaign materials for the Guantanamo Bay demonstration which will hopefully be happening in the next couple of weeks.

See below for updates on the Secret Policeman’s Ball publicity campaign.

Proposed agenda for the next few weeks:

Tuesday 11th February: Human Trafficking (Campaign for February/March)

–          A discussion about recent cases in the UK

–          Presentation from Stop the Traffik Glasgow. Last semester we made plans to run a joint campaign so I will get back in touch with the group and check their availability to come and talk to us.

Tuesday 18th February: Illegal organ harvesting in China with Guest speaker, Yuyu Williams

–          Every year we hear a presentation from Yuyu about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

–          Documentary film screening of ‘Free China: the Courage to Believe’

Saturday 22nd February: GU Amnesty’s 6th Annual Secret Policeman’s Ball + Afterparty!

Our multi-award winning night of comedy is back. Once again we are bringing you the biggest student charity fundraiser on campus, hosted by Billy Kirkwood.

Our afterparty is being kindly hosted by Philanthrobeats who have recently gained official charity status and have raised money for many excellent causes since their first club night in 2012. Check out their website to see their events and how to get involved!

This year looks to be even bigger and better – remember to get your tickets in advance! Here’s the event page for those on Facebook and website page for those who aren’t.

Important updates – Flyering and photo competition

We have now received the posters and flyers and are ready to go crazy with publicity!

Debbie has created a Doodle for flyering so please add your name and spare an hour or so to hand out flyers on campus.

Very soon we will be launching a competition to see who can take a photo of themselves with a poster/flyer in the strangest place. More details will be announced at the meeting on Tuesday but the winner will receive a prize, so don’t forget to take away flyers from the meeting!

Upcoming events with Amnesty International UK

Action for Change: Friday 28 February & Saturday 1 March 2014 – Human Rights Action Centre, London
FREE activism training event for Amnesty Student Groups, perfect for new groups and new committee members.  Booking opening soon!  Keep an eye on amnesty.org.uk/student

AIUK’s National Conference & AGM: Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 April 2014 – Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh
This is the annual event where Amnesty members and activists from all around the UK come together for a weekend of learning, discussion, and decision-making. We’re a membership-led organisation, so decisions made at the AGM are reflected in what we work on, and the way we work.
Student Human Rights Reporter Competition
Amnesty, the National Union of Students, the Observer and Unreported World are proud to once again be running a competition to find the Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year. The first prize is two weeks’ work experience at the Observer, a behind-the-scenes tour of Channel 4 News, and an award to be presented at the Amnesty International Media Awards 2014.

The competition deadline is 20 June 2014. Please see here for the Terms & Conditions and details of how to enter.

Any student can sign up for AIUK’s monthly emails by filling in this quick form.

I can’t believe it’s SPB month already! Let the countdown begin.

See you Tuesday,

Ruth