Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2015-02-02: Transgender Rights and Things of Note

Welcome to February! Semester 2 marches on very quickly…

Last week was Syria Week, and I’d like to thanks everyone who was involved in the organisation, running and who attended events during the week. A big well done to the individuals, and to Oxfam, GRASS, Unicef, Red Cross and the Catholic Society. It just shows that by working together we can achieve great things- but we knew that anyway! For those who missed the events, there are photos later on in the newsletter ????

We’ll be cracking on with our chosen campaigns in the next few weeks. First up is Transgender Rights, with Alex and Seb kicking things off with a presentation to introduce us all to the subject.

We’re firing on with organising the SPB and Scottish Student Conference – thanks to those who volunteered for these; if you haven’t yet and would like to please get in touch as your help for either would be much appreciated.

Tuesday 2nd February: Transgender Rights

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

trangender_flag_photo

We are back in our usual meeting place this week!

Here’s a preview of what’s coming on Tuesday evening:

This Tuesday will see us kick off our first mobdro free download campaign of the semester – Transgender Rights!

Transgender persons find themselves on the receiving end of discrimination and rights abuses regularly throughout the world.

In this introduction to the campaign we will have a presentation from Alex and Seb outlining the historical and current situations and we will be showing a couple of video case studies.

After we will be engaging in some letter writing and a photo action. Plenty to get your teeth into!

5pm, Committee Room 1, QMU. See you there!!

Thanks to Joe for writing up that spiel! Here’s the Facebook event. Please join and invite!

Special notice: please bring along any empty plastic bottles you may have as they will be used for decorations – like they were for Jamnesty – at the SPB. Thank you!

CFCI Update!

GU CFCI Banner

Exciting news- the working group set up by the university senate is meeting with the Coalition for a Conflict Free Glasgow University is meeting representatives from the CFCI on Wednesday 11th February. Finally getting some progress!

SPB Update

Saturday 21st February 2015, Qudos @ QMU

We have posters and fliers!

SPB 2015 Flyer Face

They are looking totes fabby- well done again to Kaitlyn! If you fancy helping Mobdro Online TV distribute these things and earn the eternal gratitude of Joe, Duncan and myself that would be most appreciated- let us know!

Please get inviting to the Facebook event!
Doooo iiitttttt

Online Actions and Info

I thought I’d share some things that have come up in the last week or so which you might be interested in if you haven’t already seen them.

Greater Maryhill Food Bank Theft

I’m sure you all remember Julie Webster from our Food Banks campaign at the end of last semester. Regrettably, there appears to have been a theft of a significant amount of food vouchers (for service users) and money (raised for the family of a young hit-and-run victim). I’ll let Julie tell it in her own words:

That someone or some people could being themselves to steal from the most needy, from those having trouble feeding themselves, and from the family of an injured child is sickening.

Please keep an eye on the GMFB’s Facebook page and if you can, help them out. Julie did us a big favour by taking time out of her incredibly busy schedule to come and chat to us just before Christmas, and you were very generous in the food donations we sent to them; let’s dig deep and show her what difference students can make. Thank you.

(more info from BBC News)

Call for Pardon for Convicted Gay Men

You may have seen in the news the call for the government to pardon 49,000 men who were prosecuted for being gay. From the petition:

Pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British “gross indecency” law (only repealed in 2003), and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay laws.

Each of these 49,000 men deserves the justice and acknowledgement from the British government that this intolerant law brought not only unwarranted shame, but horrific physical and mental damage and lost years of wrongful imprisonment to these men. Alan Turing was pardoned in 2013, but the other estimated 49,000 men deserve the same.

Have a look at the petition and give it a sign.

Syria Week Photos!

Thanks to everyone who took or posed for photos at all the events last week!

Red Cross Info Tent (Monday)

Thanks to Red Cross for putting this on! More photos

Journey to Safety: A Syrian Perspective (Tuesday)

Big thanks to Kit and GRASS and everyone who helped out putting on the very informative event! You can see more photos.

Documentary Screening (Wednesday)

Fundraising Ceilidh (Friday)

A big well done to Oxfam and everyone who helped out. Huge thanks as well to Spootiskerry for playing for us! Everyone seemed to have a great time, as you can see from the photos.

Fundraising Pub Quiz (Sunday)

It may have been a cold night at the end of a long week, but well done to those who made it and answered the fiendishly tricky questions! See the rest of the photos here.

Thanks for Reading

This section is no stranger to cutesy things. And this week I present my sister’s kid’s rabbits:

Rabbits in a loop

Rabbits!

Animated GIF of rabbits eating

“Foooood!”

Once again, d’awww….

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.

Rob Hallam

Photos from Campaigns Voting Round II

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-11-08: Food Banks, Crafting Session and Upcoming Events

Special Notice: Food Bank Collection

Special notice: We will be collecting food on Tuesday for Maryhill Food Bank as part of our food banks campaign. Please bring cans or packets of food to the meeting on Tuesday at 5PM. More info in This Week section. Thank you in advance.

Goodness gracious me, it’s the second meeting of November already. This semester is really flying in.

Human trafficking is a huge subject which we’ll hopefully get the chance to return to at some point, otherwise hopefully everyone has had a chance either in the meeting or thereafter to see The Dark Side of Chocolate which we screened on Tuesday. There’s more info available on the website on human trafficking which is well worth a read if you want to explore the subject further; which I would strongly encourage you to do.

Just a reminder or heads-up for those who weren’t at the meeting, there is a crafting / discussion session (provisionally) Sunday 9th November 5PM for a human trafficking demo / flashmob. This will likely be held in one of the committee rooms in the QMU. If you’re coming along please fill in the Doodle so we know how many to expect! Remember you can check our group for updates for these things- this is separate from our Facebook Page, so if you aren’t a member, please request to join.

Lastly, there’s been a couple of gradual trends in the last couple of months: newsletters getting longer, and meetings starting later. These are both totally on me. There’s a lot of information to keep people up to speed on, so the newsletter can balloon; and wanting to start the meeting when there’s enough people arrived.

I can appreciate that it’s frustrating if you arrive on time for 5 to have to wait for others to show up, so we will be starting meetings more sharply from now on. It’s still okay to show up a bit late, of course, if you’re out of a lecture/lab/tutorial late or delayed or whatnot, but the meeting will be kicking off! 🙂

I will also try to keep the newsletters as short as possible. The variables are what’s on in a given week, and upcoming events can be one or two one week, and five or six the next. I try to ‘front load’ the newsletters by putting the most important info early on, and I divide it into sections with headings and contents so you can see at a glance what the gist of it is. But there can be a lot to get through, so I will try and minimise that insofar as possible. For those of you reading this who are concerned- don’t worry, the end-of-newsletter ‘thanks for reading’ rewards will stay 😀

With that ironically-lengthy prelude out of the way, on with the show!

This Week: Food Banks – Collection and Intro

Tuesday 11th November 2014, 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

Maryhill Food Bank Banner

Facebook event: invite your friends for this one, we’re hoping to make the collection big!

As I mentioned way back at the start of the newsletter, we will be collecting for Maryhill Food Bank this week. Basically this means we will have boxes at the meeting, and we would like to encourage you to bring food along for donation- preferably cans, jars or dried packets please! Beverages and toiletries are also useful; please see Maryhill Food Bank’s donations page for a list of suggested items.

We will also be screening a documentary (Breadline Britain) to give an overview of poverty in the UK and how people can end up forced to rely on food banks. After that there will be a presentation from Rebecca and Seb on the subject. Breffni O’Connor will also be coming along to chat on food bank plans.

I am really excited for this campaign and the immediacy of what we can do; I hope you guys are too.

A Quick Post-Student Conference Update

As I mentioned in the meeting, Sarah and I popped down to London last weekend to attend the 2014 Student Conference. As all the talks, workshops, campaigning and news could fill another newsletter entirely, we will come up with a way to properly and succinctly debrief you all!

In the meantime, you can have a look at our Twitter feed for the copious live-tweeting that went on; or have a look at the #studentconf hashtag.

If I could convey only one thing though, it would be that it’s a fantastic weekend and I regret waiting so long to go!

Jamnesty Preview – With Games!

Sunday 16th November 2014, Scran @ QMU (TBC)

jamnesty-preview

So you’re all undoubtedly inviting your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and people on the street to Jamnesty 2014, 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 have provisionally planned a preview acoustic set in Scran in the QMU next Sunday (16th November). There’s a bar, there’s music, and there might be one or two (very casual) games to get you in the Jamnesty mood!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for an event and more details.

CFCI Meeting

Wednesday 12th November 4PM, Fraser Building

If you’re interested in CFCI, there is a meeting this week on Wednesday at 4 in the Fraser Building. On the agenda:

  1. Campaign strategy for Motion.
  2. Film screening with Earthmovies: ‘Blood in the Mobile’.
  3. Website launch.

Upcoming Events

Aside from Jamnesty 2014 (which you can buy tickets for!), there are a few things coming up in the next couple of weeks which may be of interest.

‘I Am A Leader’: Leadership Talks

Wednesday 12th November 7PM, GCU Campus

We got a message in about this event and it looks good- just a pity it’s not happening next semester as part of our work on International Women’s Week! Details:

As part of the ‘I Am A Leader’ campaign, Caledonian Women are running a series of talks on the topic of women in leadership. The speakers for our first event are as follows:

  • Claire Lightowler; Director of the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice.
  • Karyn McCluskey; Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.
  • Mairi Damer; Ex-BBC radio producer and broadcast journalist turned communications trainer, media adviser & copywriter.
  • Adele Patrick; Lifelong Learning and Creative Development Manager, Glasgow Women’s Library.

Our speakers have been given free reign over what they talk about but we have suggested a theme of “What I would tell my twenty-one year-old self”. Everyone is welcome to come along and listen to our wonderful guests.

We will be serving food and drink during the break. At this point, please feel free to mingle and have discussions with our speakers, members of Caledonian Women and any other interesting folk who you come across.

Or see the event page on iamaleader.co.uk for more info.

National Demonstration for Free Education

Wednesday 19th November 2014

This first one isn’t directly Amnesty-related, but the future of education is important so I am including it here for you all to make your own individual decision on. Breffni O’Connor, in her capacity as SRC President, asked us to mention this:

The SRC have decided to attend the National Demonstration for Free Education which is happening in London on November 19th. Free Education is something that we need to continue to obtain to ensure Universities are as accessible as possible for all. We will be marching with students across the country for a fair, free, and well-funded education system across the UK.

There will be a pre demo meeting to talk out the plan of action for the day and to prepare for the demo.

We can only go to London if we have a full bus

More information can be found here: https://boxoffice.src.gla.ac.uk/product/national-demonstration-free-education

While we don’t officially endorse this demonstration it is a sufficiently important issue that everyone should be aware of, and we know that you are all capable of coming to your own conclusions on the issue.

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. There’s now a Facebook event too!

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 my desire to keep things short, I’d better draw things to a close there. But before you go, another Thanks For Reading bonus, this week from a set of photos I look of the fireworks on Glasgow Green:

Fireworks Glasgow Green 2014

This, along with the rest of the set, was taken from a car park just beside Strathclyde Distillery. And now you know.

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.

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-10-04: Important Announcement, Death Penalty and Many Events

Hello again to everyone. Thanks to everyone who took part in the #DemocracyNowHK photo action last week. Those photos had a huge reach on Facebook and are being Tweeted out- showing that we stand in solidarity with those protesting and risking so much in Hong Kong. We’ve some important announcements in this week’s newsletter, so be sure to read at least those. It also means this week’s instalment is another lengthy bulletin; please bear with me!

** Important Elections Announcement! **

Tuesday 7th October

For the last couple of weeks we’ve been reminding you of the elections for 2x Ordinary Board member committee positions happening this Tuesday. In addition, our lovely Fundraising Officer Nikola has taken the difficult decision to step down as a committee member.

This means that the position of Fundraising Officer will also be available for election this Tuesday (7th October).

Nikola has been an enthusiastic member for the last couple years and did a great turn last year as Publicity Officer; and we are very sad to see such a talented person leave the committee. But we’re still happy as she will be coming along to weekly meetings!

Nikola

If you are interested in the positions available (OBM or Fundraising Officer), it may be of interest to read the position descriptions written for the AGM last year. This might help you decide if the role is for you. If you have ideas (and some of the folk I’ve talked to who seemed keen do) you can certainly go beyond the job description!

All the best to Nikola and good luck to anyone standing on Tuesday.

First Semester Campaigns

In other exciting news, we all discussed, debated and ultimately chose the campaigns we will be prioritising in the first part of the year. Up to Christmas (82 days at time of writing- start buying those presents now!) we will be focusing on:

  • Unrest situation in Ferguson, MO (starting in 2 weeks!)
  • Human Trafficking
  • Food Banks
  • and, if we have time, Human Rights in Russia

The voting was very close! It was really positive to both have suggestions from the group (as opposed to from the committee) and that they were taken on board to such a great extent. Please don’t be too disappointed if your preferred campaign(s) didn’t get selected- there is always next semester! We are also hoping to get a letter-writing lunchtime session up and running, as well as expanding how we do online actions. You’ll never be stuck for campaigning with GU Amnesty!

Drinking Bird Loves Campaigns

And so am I.

As a side note, we have plans to work on both Syria and Women’s Rights in the second semester, due to collaborations with the Coalition for Syrian Refugees and International Women’s Week. Stay tuned!

This Week: Elections and Death Penalty

Tuesday 7th October, 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

I’ve already covered elections in the special notice earlier in this newsletter; if you missed it please skip back a couple of paragraphs and read the info! We intend to kick things off with the elections first of all, as the prospect of speaking can make people somewhat nervous. Try not to stress too much about it though, we’re all friendly; and if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

12th Day Against the Death penalty

Thanks to the work of our Campaigns Officer Alex, we have a ready-to-go campaign for you all to get involved with before we start on our chosen campaign of Ferguson later on this month. Our first campaign is the worldwide abolition of the Death Penalty, a perennial favourite. We have a few events planned for this already!

Upcoming Events

Death Penalty-Related

Demo Against the Death Penalty

Friday 10th October, Library Hill

There will be a demo, probably on Library Hill on October 10th, International Day Against the Death Penalty. We have some decorations and such from our demo last year, but we’re always mad keen for banner-making!

Death Penalty Film Screening

Tuesday October 14th, 5PM, Venue TBA (Likely Boyd Orr Building)

We intend to screen a documentary or film as part of the death penalty campaign, which will happen a week on Tuesday. More details closer to the time.

Death Penalty Debate with Dialectics

Wednesday 15th October, Time/Venue TBA

This should be an interesting one. While the debate over the death penalty as an judicial option rages on, we and the Dialectics felt it had been overdone. So this debate will likely centre around extrajudicial uses of the death penalty- in times of war, in terms of mob/vigilante ‘justice’, and in the use of drones. These are all scenarios which have cropped up over again in recent times, and yet they don’t seem to provoke the same sort of response as killings carried out on the orders of judges.

Come along and join the debate.

Other Events

Academics at Risk Event (Reminder)

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

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

The University of Glasgow, with assistance from GU Settlement, is hosting a CARA (The Council for At-Risk Academics) awareness raising event.
The Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) has provided protection and support to refugee and ‘at risk’ academics for over 80 years. The defence of academic freedom continues to underpin CARA’s work assisting academics who, for reasons of persecution and conflict, are unable to continue their research in their countries of origin.
The event will be chaired by Prof John Briggs (Vice Principal and GU Refugee Champion) and Prof Alison Phipps (GU CARA Rep/ GRAMNet).
A representative from GU Archives will discuss the historical role that the University has played in supporting dispossessed and displaced people and there will also be the opportunity for round table and informal discussion.

UK Premiere: Beneath the Blindfold

Thursday 9th October, 6-8PM, GFT 12 Rose St

We’re lucky as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival to be able to attend the UK premiere of this documentary giving accounts of torture:

Screened in partnership with Document, the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, four torture survivors from around the globe courageously tell the stories of their mistreatment and their subsequent attempts to move beyond these horrifying experiences. The film follows them as they build new lives and, despite the continued psychological and physical fallout from their experience, become public advocates for an end to torture.

See the information page for more details.

Student Forum at Document 12

Friday 10th October, 12-3PM, CCA Glasgow on Sauchiehall Street

This may be of interest to some as part of the Document 12 film festival on in Glasgow from 9-12th October.

On Friday 10th October from 12-3pm we have a FREE Student Forum in the Club Room of the CCA (Sauchiehall St). Presented in conjunction with GRAMNet and the Glasgow Human Rights Network, the forum will screen two documentaries taking different perspectives on the contemporary experience of Palestinian children: Stone Cold Justice (Dir. Gabi Weber) looks at the contrasting legal rights enjoyed by young Israelis and Palestinians in the context of increasing arrests of Palestinian boys by the Israeli police force, while Since I Was Born (Dir. LAURA DELLE PIANE) tells the story of 11-year-old Tamer growing up in Dheisheh refugee camp, The West Bank. The screenings will be followed by a discussion led by Beth Pearson, Keith Hammond and Dr. Naomi Head all from Glasgow Uni.

See the facebook event for more details.

Amnesty UK Student Conference

London, 1-2 November

Student conferences are always a blast! In a little under a month the UK Student Conference will kick off at Amnesty UK’s HQ in London. It costs’s £20, and there are workshops, campaign actions, discussions, socialising and much more. Let’s not forget we have an award to pick up for last year’s Secret Policeman’s Ball! Please let me know if you are interested in coming and we can try to make travel plans for the group.

Places go quickly so don’t delay!

Amneslunchtime Amnesletters

Weekly

I mentioned this at the meeting last week but in case anyone missed it, we’re intending to start up a weekly lunchtime letter-writing session in the Fraser Building. It’ll give us a chance to go a bit further in taking action on campaigns and harnessing the keenness of the group.

Details will follow once we’ve decided on a day. The intention is to tweet / say on FB when we are there and roughly where we’re seated.

Watch this space!

Secret Policeman’s Ball Update

21st February 2015!

It may only be the start of October, but we already have a date for all your diaries:

Saturday 21st February 2015 will be night we have our Secret Policeman’s Ball!

If you haven’t heard of the SPB before, the short version is that it’s a night of comedy (modelled on the ones put on by Amnesty international) and our biggest fundraiser of the year. It’s hosted by the ever-funny Billy Kirkwood, and we’ve won multiple awards for them over the years.

SPB 2014 LaunchSPB 2014SPB 2014 Afterparty

More details will come over the next few weeks and months, but there’s plenty to be doing in the meantime- publicity, decoration, organisation. If there’s any aspect of this huge event you’d like to get involved with – looks great on the CV, by the way – please let Duncan or me know. Duncan is heading up the organisation of the SPB this year, for which we’re all very thankful!

Well Done For Reading Reward

This week’s ‘thanks for reading’ bounty is one for fans of Rube Goldberg machines (that’s a Heath Robinson machine if you’re on this side of the Atlantic). Some of you may have seen this before, but it’s so delightfully done I could watch it again and again.

(link for those reading in email format: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w)

See you all on Tuesday for the elections and Death Penalty!

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.

Rob Hallam

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

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.

Ruth

Amneslunch and Ceilidh Coming Up, Local Opportunities and Global Campaigns News

Why hello there,

Sorry for the delay, I was waiting for news and updates before sending this newsletter – and now we have news aplenty! Our events are at the top, and then there are some good looking opportunities and actions that we have been asked to share with you, followed by some wonderful human rights news and campaign successes sent out by AIUK at the beginning of this month. Happy reading!

May: Amneslunch!

We are planning to start our new lunch club on the 1st May, as a simple casual, drop-by and say ‘hi’ kind of thing. Join the event to let us know if you think you’ll make it along at some point and suggest things that we can do/talk about. Also, we haven’t confirmed all the dates so let us know when you would like us to be there.

Saturday 24th May: Ceilidh for Red Cross Tracing Service

STAR Glasgow, GU Amnesty, and GU Red Cross are hosting their annual ceilidh fundraiser at the end of exams this year! As well as the usual ceilidh dances, we’ll be having a whiskey toss (where you can win a bottle of whiskey!), and a raffle with prizes worth up to £40!

As usual, all funds raised on the night will be going to the Red Cross International Tracing Service – this service helps reunite families and loved ones who have been displaced by conflicts around the world. They do a lot of great work, and you can read more about it here:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Finding-missing-family/International-family-tracing

Tickets are £3 if you buy them beforehand, or £4 on the door. Tickets can be bought from anyone in the STAR, Amnesty, or Red Cross groups.

Rights Referendum Campaign: Keeping Human Rights in the Debate

From Amnesty Scotland:

In the run up to Scotland’s Referendum on Independence, we have launched our Rights Referendum campaign calling for any future Scottish Government to respect and safeguard human rights at home and abroad, regardless of the outcome of the vote.

It would be fantastic if you could join the Rights Referendum campaign and mobilise students from around Scotland to take action by contacting local MSPs and Scottish MPs, asking your representatives to show their support for human rights. Here’s the link to our action on the Amnesty website:

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/scotland-scottish-independence-referendum-human-rights?from=issues

AHRI Human Rights Conference: Call for Submissions

From the Glasgow Human Rights Network at Glasgow University:

The Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) calls for the submission of proposals for papers to be presented at the AHRI Human Rights Conference to be held in Copenhagen on 29-30 September 2014.

“Human Rights under Pressure: Exploring norms, institutions and policies”

Papers can be presented on any topic related to human rights and should be unpublished. Interdisciplinary projects and jointly authored papers are welcomed. Proposals for entire pa- nels (up to four papers) are equally welcome, indicating the title, abstract and author of each paper as well as proposed chairs and discussants.

Deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals is 1 May 2014. Submissions should be sent to ekni@humanrights.dk. All abstracts will be reviewed by the AHRI Programme Com- mittee and selections announced by 1 June 2014. Formal registration for the conference will be possible from 1 June.

This is only a snippet of the email that was sent. If you are interested, please reply to this email and I will forward you the rest of the information.

New NGO for Maternal and Children’s Rights

From the Glasgow Human Rights Network at Glasgow University:

A new NGO is being established, specialising in maternal and child rights, particularly for Reproductive Health Rights Education, initially in Malawi and Scotland, but not exclusively so.  The aims include reduced HIV, improved maternal health and reduced maternal mortality, through female empowerment.

If you are interested in finding out more and might be interested in supporting these objectives, please contact Gordon MacPherson at scunner1320@yahoo.co.uk.

Great News on our Amnesty Campaigns!

In recent weeks, we’ve had good news on a whole host of campaigns, from the release of Hakamada Iwao in Japan, to the UK ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty and the UN Human Rights Council voting for an inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the UK has welcomed the first of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to be granted sanctuary here – the direct result of all our campaigning as a global community.

Arms Trade Treaty

2nd April 2014 marked the one year anniversary of the UN vote and saw 18 governments, including the UK, jointly deposit their signed ratification papers at a special ceremony at the UN. That brings the total of ratifications up to 31, well over half way to the 50 we need.

There is now every likelihood that we will see the 50th ratification as early as this autumn, allowing the treaty enter into force well within two years of its adoption. For an international Treaty, that’s actually that’s pretty good going. Read more.

Syrian Refugees

After months of weak arguments and refusal to share responsibility for resettling some of the escalating numbers of Syrian refugees, the government has eventually done the right thing. The announcement comes after a combination of months of lobbying work from our refugee specialists and the incredible response and action taken by Amnesty supporters. Read more.

Hakamada Iwao – the longest-serving death row prisoner.

Hakamada is, for the first time in nearly half a century, experiencing life outside of a detention centre. He has serious mental health problems after his time on death row, having spent the previous 46 years awaiting execution every single day; Japan gives its prisoners no forewarning of their execution – many find out just minutes before they are hanged. We hope that soon Hakamada may experience justice that is nearly half a century overdue. Read more.

War crimes in Sri Lanka

On 27th March 2014, the UN Human Rights Council voted to establish an inquiry into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka, something we have all fought long and hard for. After a certain amount of wrangling with the rules and filibustering, the Resolution was passed with 23 states in favour, 12 against and 12 abstentions. Read more.

Jailed for posting on Facebook: Jabeur Mejri now freed in Tunisia

Jabeur was part of our 2013 Write for Rights campaign and nearly 12,000 of you signed our petition calling for his release. Thank you, your simple act has made a massive difference. Read more.

Jailed for supporting LGBTI teenagers: Elena Klimova now freed in Russia

In January this year, Elena Klimova was charged under Russia’s new anti-‘gay propaganda’ law for running Children 404, a website offering support to LGBTI teenagers. Read more.

Mozambique takes positive step towards outlawing rape in marriage

In March this year, the parliament of Mozambique was close to ratifying a Criminal Code that would permit rape within marriage. Not only would the proposed law allow impunity in existing abusive marriages, but if a rapist were to later wed an unmarried victim (including girls as young as 12 years old), the abuser would escape prosecution altogether. Thankfully, authorities in Mozambique have publicly stated they will not follow through with these proposals. Read more.

 

Whether you are having a good rest or cracking on with coursework and revision, I hope it’s all going splendidly.

Ruth

 

 

Rob Hallam

Poll: Campaigns!

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.

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Please vote if you haven’t already!