#CongoPeace (Photos)

Thanks to everyone who took part in the #CongoPeace photo petition this evening. For those that missed what it’s about, I’ll give you the explanation Georgia sent:

We have an exciting action planned for the whole of Feb. Its a social-media photo campaign with the hashtag #CongoPeace. It is aimed to culminate on the 6th of March with a special conference at the UN focusing on resource exploitation and sexual violence, where our photos will be handed to to Special Envoys Feingold and Robinson, U.N. Special Representative Zainab Bangura and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power in a special book. Pretty incredible opportunity!!

If you didn’t get a chance to take part but would like to, you can email us the images or tweet us them @guamnesty — remember to include #CongoPeace!

Edit: Special thanks to Katie who did as suggested above took the effort to send us in the photo she took herself!

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

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

Meeting on Tuesday 29th October and our Pub Quiz Today (Sunday)!


Hi everyone,

Welcome to our new members! It’s lovely to still have people joining the society. If you missed the meeting, you can read Ali’s blog on what happened.

I hope you are all remembering our PUB QUIZ TODAY!! Looking forward to seeing you then! We will be starting at 7.30pm in Jim’s Bar, QMU and those of you who are bringing home-baking, thank you in advance, we will add them to the stall with our tote bags.

Conflict-Free Campus Initiative

If you didn’t make this meeting (2 weeks ago), you can read the blog to see what this is all about. Some people who were there said that they would ask certain lecturers if they would support the campaign – please do this is you haven’t already. I will also remind folk on Tuesday!

Next meeting – Tuesday 29th 5pm, QMU

We have been unsuccessful in finding another meeting room for Tuesday so will still be in Committee Room 1.

Unfortunately the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance do not have anyone who can come and talk to us on Tuesday, but there is a small chance of getting a speaker towards the end of term leaving us with the opportunity to show a recent documentary featuring Stephen Fry who has travelled to various countries where the gay community face persecution, violence and potentially the death penalty.

As this is officially our final LGBT rights meeting, we were hoping to finish with a quick letter writing action to the International Olympic Committee to send with our photos.

Debbie will be bringing along our previous Secret Policeman’s Ball posters so that we can think about the design for this year, and for those of you who want to enter the competition, this is an opportunity to get started!

November Campaign – Women’s Rights with a focus on India

For those of you who have just joined us, we voted this as our 2nd campaign of the year. At Tuesday’s meeting we will have a discussion about what particular topics to cover in our meetings in November and possible campaign actions we want to do.

Day of Silence

Wednesday 20th November – 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.’

Although the date for this is in April and focuses on schools in the USA, we thought this was a brilliant solidarity action and even better when we can end our Day of Silence with our Jamnesty gig.  We will invite the LGBTQ+ Society to take part with us and anyone else who wants to join in is welcome to, so spread the word!

Love is a Human Right Jamnesty

Wednesday 20th November, The Halt 2 (Woodlands Road), 7.30pm

Well the banners are looking amazing! Thank you to everyone last week who helped make them J Ali is printing off all of our LGBT campaign photos as well so that we can stick these up all over the venue.

We are going to start selling tickets for this event because the Halt 2 need to know numbers in advance in order to organise staffing for the night. For this reason we decided to make tickets £3 in advance and £4 on the door- so remember to get yours on Sunday at the Pub Quiz, or at our next meeting.

See you later on!

Ruth

Glasgow University’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI)

At our meeting on Tuesday 15th October we looked at our conflict minerals campaign that we ran last year, and are continuing this year. ‘Conflict minerals’, namely Gold, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten, form the direct the link between the technologies that we use every day, including mobile phones, laptops, and cameras, and one of the worst conflicts in the world right now. Our electronic goods need these minerals to function but at the moment they come with the cost of human lives.

The CFCI is a global student movement that takes a consumer-directed approach to demanding an end to this conflict. It focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo where some of the most grave human rights abuses are taking place throughout the process of mineral extraction under the control of armed rebel groups. These armed groups operate by locating a mineral rich area, forcing the people off the land to build a mine and setting up boundaries to control access in and out, as well as fighting for control of pre-existing mines. Once control of a mine has been established, the local people can be forced to work in the mines for as little as $2 a day or nothing at all. These armed rebels often set such high taxes for anyone wanting to leave the mining area that it prevents people from escaping and effectively keeps them hostage.

This conflict has been ongoing for over two decades, during which time over 6 million people have been killed, hundreds of thousands of women have been raped, children have been recruited as child soldiers as well as being forced to work in the mines and local communities have been used as slave labour and terrorised by armed groups who are making an estimated $144 million each year in the trade of conflict minerals.

As part of Enough Project’s ‘Raise Hope for Congo’ campaign, the CFCI aims are to raise awareness of these atrocities on campus and demand that our universities amend their investment and procurement policies to prioritise companies that are taking steps towards a ‘trace-audit-certify’ system to ensure that the minerals used to make their electronic goods are not coming from conflict areas.

You can look through the presentation to see what we discussed and watch friends of the Congo’s documentary ‘Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth’ which we showed at the meeting.

Last year we got the SRC to pass a motion, made our own campaign video for a Conflict-Free Glasgow University and started a petition to David Newall and Anton Muscatelli, requesting a change in procurement and investment policy. We also contacted various MSPs to support the campaign, resulting in a Motion being launched in the Scottish Parliament by Patrick Harvie MSP who also came on campus to be interviewed about this movement.

At the end of the meeting, members wrote letters to David Newall to ask that he continues to work with us to pass a resolution in support of the CFCI at the University of Glasgow and help put pressure on companies to invest in sustainable and ethical sourcing of their minerals. We will also start working towards another demonstration on campus and documentary film screening to continue to raise awareness
of the situation in Congo and the power that we have as consumers to bring about change.

Week 4 Presentation: CFCI

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow


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

From the ‘Set’ of our CFCI Video

Thanks to Patrick Harvie who came along and was patiently filmed. Patrick has been excellent for his support for our CFCI push and on other issues (you might be interested in his about page).