Ruth by Ruth

Today’s Meeting Summary

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

Hey everybody,

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full list of campaign suggestions were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ruth

Ruth by Ruth

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow

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


CFGlasgow BannerWatch our campaign video on YouTube.

GU SRC Motion on Conflict Free Campus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The University has agreed to adopt the following actions:

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

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

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

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow

PETITION TO: DAVID NEWALL (SECRETARY OF COURT), PROFESSOR ANTON MUSCATELLI (PRINCIPAL)

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

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

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

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

[signature]

120 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

  1.  http://www.jww.org/conflictareas/congo/overview/conflict-minerals
  2. http://www.caritas.org/activities/emergencies/SixMillionDeadInCongoWar.html
  3. http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/conflictareas/congo/overview/women-under-siege
  4. http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/images/pdf/fact_sheet.pdf
  5. www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_142656_en.doc

Sleep Out Week!

February 21, 2011 in campaigns, events, information by Rob Hallam

Dear GU Amnesty,

STAR-Amnesty National sleepout week is here and we’re taking to the street to stand up for destitute refugees and asylum seekers nationwide.

Tuesday 22nd February: Double Meeting. Amnesty and STAR are doubling up for a 2 hour meeting from 5pm-7pm in committee room 1 of the QMU ausual. The first hour shall be spent making banners and organising the photo action for Friday night. Then at 6pm we have Gary Cristie, the policy and research manager at the Scottish Refugee Council, joining us to talk about the causes of destitution for asylum seekers, and what we can do about it.

Friday 25th February: The Sleepout! 8pm, Wellington Church steps, University avenue. Speakers, entertainment and free food. Most importantly a vital opportunity to raise awareness on the situation of destituiton of asylum seekers.

Event details: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202065543141659

Sponsor us at justgiving.com/starsleepout

Last Sleep Out!

Last Sleep Out!

See our old sleep out photos!

by megiana

First Week Back!

January 9, 2011 in campaigns, events by megiana

Hello everyone,

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you’ve had a nice relaxing time off and are back feeling refreshed for a new term filled with Amnesty fun! There are lots of exciting things coming up over the next few weeks and whilst essay deadlines and exams are still nice and far off, I hope you’re all as excited as I am!
What’s coming up?

* Tuesday 11th January – 8th Anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay.

1. Refreshers Fair: 1pm – 5pm, Qudos, QMU. All help welcomed for half an hour here and there – we’ll be petitioning for those still detained in Guantanamo as well as hosting a stall to promote our society.
2. First Meeting: 5pm – 6pm, Committee room 1, QMU. We shall be a) making plans for Secret Policeman’s Ball preparation. b) Appealing to release Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo. Please bring along a postcard/photograph/something along those lines of your hometown for the action this week.

* Next Week: Exact dates TBC at Tuesday’s meeting-cake stalls and flyering for the Secret Policeman’s Ball.

* Saturday 22nd January: The Secret Policeman’s Ball, 7.30pm, £5, Qudos, QMU. Not to be missed!!! All information at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=170131473022936

Thanks!

by megiana

Letter Templates For the Letter-Off

October 11, 2010 in campaigns, information by megiana

These letters only require that you sign your name at the bottom with the exception of the second letter which also requires that you enter the name of your local mp which can be found on this website: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

These letters can be printed off multiple times and must be printed of as an individual letters and not as a block of six. Once you have printed them off and signed them ,either hand them in at a meeting or put them in the postbox in the John McIntyre building. If you wouldn’t mind donating a few print credits/printer ink it would make a big difference. There is also a prize for the person who collects the most letters so when you have collected them put the together in an envelope with your name marked on the front. PLEASE DO NOT ADDRESS THE LETTER TO THE SENDER

Read on for the templates!

PS Hand written letters means double points….

Read the rest of this entry →

Poll: Campaigns!

September 22, 2009 in campaigns by Rob Hallam

Hi guys. As you will know from the meeting today, or our Facebook group, we are looking for people to tell us which campaign gets you most excited.

{democracy:2}

Please vote if you haven’t already!

by Rachel

Get Edith Bowman to come to The Rescue

April 17, 2009 in campaigns, invisible children by Rachel

Hey All,

A favour from each of you- we need to get a famous person to come to the rescue- currently trying to get Edith Bowman radio one DJ. Si if you can tune in everyday this week and text her about the Rescue.

GET EDITH TO COME TO THE RESCUE ON APRIL 25TH PRINCES STREET GARDENS- TO HELP PROTECT CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS 5 FROM BEING FORCIBLY RECRUITED INTO ARMED CONFLICT.

Thanks guys

by Rachel

EVENTS EVENTS EVENTS

February 25, 2009 in campaigns, events, invisible children by Rachel

Hello All,

Here is a list of our fab events that we have lined up for the upcoming weeks. There is plenty to choose from so hope you can make a few.

We are currently at the top of the leader board for the Raise-Off, however we need all the support we can get to ensure we win. Please check out these events if you can!

Control Arms: Arm Wrestling Competition

26th Feb (Thursday)

GUU

CEILIDH– Red Cross, STAR, and Amnesty International.

2nd March (Monday)

QMU

Stop Violence Against Women Party: GOT TALENT?

8th March (Sunday)

HALT BAR (Woodlands road)

Invisible Children Screening: When Children Become Soldiers!

15th March (Sunday)

Williams Room (SRC Building)
5pm

Chinese Police Dressing As Monks

April 21, 2008 in campaigns, china, information by Rob Hallam

We were recently sent a number of images (shown after the jump) by someone close to what is going on in Tibet. I personally don’t want to identify them as it could potentially compromise their safety (whether this is likely or not is another debate, I dont think it’s worth the risk).  One of the images depicts what appears to be Chinese police (the People’s Armed Police – PAP) being distributed orange garbs. The text accompanying the pictures read:

Dear —-

In one picture you will see chinese young policemen with Tibetan monk’s robe in their hands. We heard chinese policemen are dressing themselves as Tibetan monks and Tibetan laymen and trying to create roits and voilence between Tibetans and Han chinese living in Tibet.

With love, —-.

Police dressing up as monks?

(click for larger version)

The insinuation is that there are Chinese servicemen who are mixing with the demonstrating monks who are then causing violence (which is subsequently seen around the world), so as to cast the demonstrators in a bad light. Read the rest of this entry →

More Torch Troubles, And Why The Relay Is Fair Game For Protests

April 10, 2008 in campaigns, china, information, news by Rob Hallam

The Olympic torch saga continues, with the flame having a “secret parade” (a phrase which Libertyblog took exception to). Chinese officials recently declared that ‘no force‘ could stop the relay, and that any protests during the Tibet leg would face “severe punishment”.

The disruption and turmoil (well, protests and riots) surrounding the torch is causing the IOC much embarassment, though they say they will recover from it. The article also notes that Barack Obama has joined Hillary Clinton in calling for President Bush to boycott the games. The torches heads to Buenos Aires next.

I’m going to take a moment’s break from the news to deal with a question: Are the Olympic fair game for protest? I won’t do into too much detail as there have been others before me that have answered this eloquently. I did, however, happen to read a bit on Nearsighted Man’s blog that raised this particular question. There is one paragraph in particular:

I do hesitate to bring this up because my own personal knowledge of the Tibetan situation is limited, but when I see people trying to tackle the athlete carrying the torch and extinguish the flame I am left wondering how this helps the people of Tibet. How does preventing or boycotting the Olympics free Tibet? If anyone who happens to read this wants to offer insight, I’m all for it.

First, to answer the questions he asked.

It helps the people of Tibet by raising awareness. There are those that aren’t aware of how brutal China is being in Tibet against the protesters. Those people may see the protests and try and find out about them. Or perhaps they are aware there is something going on and are not sure what. When they see the protests they may be compelled to find out what is causing these people to feel so strongly that they have to riot. The question of how it frees Tibet is a bit leading – of course it doesn’t directly, but mindshare is a powerful thing. Ask any big brand or advertising agency. If the protesters cause people to find out more, or clarify what they know, or even debate (such as we’re having here) what is going on in Tibet, then they are doing a valid thing in getting people to realise what is going on. Heck, they might even get a few converts.

As for the games being an apolitical event – that is up for further debate! There is a long and varied history of protests of some form or another, which even the US participates in to this day.

And since we’re on opinions… I am of the opinion that by granting China the games, we are validating and acknowledging that they are worthy of hosting the biggest athletic competition. It is akin (but not exactly alike) to governments officially recognising other governments or countries. Of course, that may be a case of “we don’t like you but we have to deal with you”; whereas the Olympics is a prestigious and elite competition with history – should we really be sharing that honour with countries that have terrible human rights records? In the practical sense this point is moot, of course – China will host the Olympics. But we can certainly debate the validity of the decision.

To Nearsighted and others, does this offer you insight? Does it change any of your views? Do you agree, but for other reasons? Or do you agree with some of my points and disagree with others? Comments are – as always – welcome.

Update: It was in the linked BBC article (“Olympics to ‘rebound from crisis'”), but I thought I should make a couple of things explicit. Firstly, the US House of Representatives has recently passed a motion condemning China’s actions in Tibet. Secondly, the Dali Lama has stated that China has deserves to host the games, although people have a right to non-violent protest. The International Herald Tribune has more on this. He said that he supports (and always has supported) China having the Olympics, but they were using outdated methods to try and silence protesters in Tibet. he also said that nobody “has a right to tell them to shut up”.

He’s a sensible man. He’s supporting the games, but he’s still able to make a point about Tibet. What he says can be applied worldwide – the right to peaceful protest should be a basic human right.