Rob Hallam

Photos from Meeting 3: Elections and Death Penalty

A big big well done to everyone who stood in the elections today, it’s not easy to talk in front of everyone. I wish we could have taken you all onto the committee, I really do. Congratulations to Joe, Sarah and Seb though!

There were some great ideas for banners bandied about this afternoon to for our Death Penalty demo on Friday- can’t wait to see the results!

 

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

A Few Photos from EGM/Syria Meeting

These shots of the room were taken before the documentary, not after- otherwise the expressions would be quite different.

Ruth

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

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

Rob Hallam

Room Comfirmed for Tuesday 28 Jan – 433 St Andrews Building

The room for our (rather packed!) meeting on Tuesday has been confirmed as 433 in the St Andrews Building. Check out the previous post for details, particularly if you were thinking of standing in the EGM!

The St Andrews Building is located on Woodlands Road, across from the Old Schoolhouse (pub) – see OpenStreetMap below for more info.


View Larger Map

Ruth

Tuesday 28th January: EGM, Guantanamo Bay and Syria

Hello all,

This one is coming early as there is an important announcement about the EGM NEXT WEEK. The committee has decided that we would like to create the new position of Press Officer, as there is great importance of using media outlets to publicise our campaigns and events- which is something that we have not achieved due to a lack of time that everyone else on the committee experiences because there is so much else going on! Given the very exciting news that we have received in response to our LGBT rights campaign and petition to Coca-Cola, we felt that the creation of this position couldn’t wait until the AGM in March. Read on for more!

We have an updated Doodle poll for our Guantanamo Bay demonstration next week so please update your availability! http://www.doodle.com/fr7gq32u4xr2rkq6

Next meeting: Tuesday 28th January, 5pm -7pm Room 433 St. Andrews Building

**We are back in the same room as last week**

Extraordinary General Meeting

There will be two positions open:

Campaigns Coordinator – responsible for overseeing the campaign actions. The person with this role will help to research the chosen campaigns and coordinate any events in collaboration with other societies/organisations. Be prepared for lots and lots of emailing.

Press Officer – responsible for engaging with student and local media as well as updating our Facebook/Twitter accounts. The person with this role will work closely with the Campaigns Coordinator and Publicity Officer to put together press releases, blogs and update Amnesty International UK with our news and planned events. AIUK has published resources to help with writing press releases and support this role.

Anyone can run for these positions and if you are interested, then you are welcome to email us and we will be happy to answer any questions.

– After the meeting we will be heading for a drink to welcome the new committee members so everyone is invited for that.

Guantanamo Bay documentary and Syria presentation with guest speakers

Last week we heard a very interesting and useful presentation on the history of Guantanamo Bay and so next week we will show a 15 minute documentary that takes a closer look at the treatment of prisoners who are still held there, the ongoing hunger strikes and the campaign for the release of British resident Shaker Aamer.

The last part of the meeting will focus on Syria with a presentation by Jana. We are also inviting some of the guest speakers from the Panel Discussion which will be held the next day so that those of you who cannot make it have still had the opportunity to hear from other organisations that are working on the to help those affected by the conflict.

Coca-Cola Petition Update

Dom has now launched GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola through Change.org, requesting that they put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Not only was this a fantastic idea in the first place, but it has received special attention from the staff at Change.org who have been in contact with us to establish a plan to promote the petition further. They have told us that there are people within the USA and Ukraine who have expressed a desire to help promote the campaign, so this is very exciting news!

1)      Please sign and share with friends!

2)      Join our Thunderclap!

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Events

GU Amnesty are a member of the GU Coalition for Syrian Refugees, a group formed last year to hold events to raise money for charities who are providing aid to those affected by the conflict in Syria.

Wednesday 29th January: Panel Discussion 7-9pm, Boyd Orr LT 1

“Syria: I can still see hope”

This is shaping up to be a fantastic event so I hope you can make it!

Chairperson: Assaad Al Achi from the Syrian Non-Violence Movement, a group that AIUK is working with and supporting.

Other speakers include:

Kurt Mills, Convenor of the Glasgow Human Rights Network

A guest speaker from Syria, supported by the Scottish Refugee Council

Oxfam UK

Unicef on Campus

Friends of MSF Glasgow

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/573301232761988/

Saturday 1st February: The Challenge and Ceilidh

The Challenge is for team of up to 4 people who are enjoy a little competition – all in the name of raising money for various funds for Syrian refugees. Registration is open from 12noon and teams will be given a list of challenges to complete in about 2 hours. The challenges are to be filmed on a smart phone and the winners will be announced at the ceilidh.

The ceilidh is happening in QUDOS at 7pm. Of course there is a raffle with some fantastic prizes, and this event will round up all our efforts and hopefully see a considerable sum raised for our cause.

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.

Other events

An opportunity with HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust)

**The deadline for this is the 28th January**

Do you have a passion for human rights and a talent for art, writing or campaigning? Enter the HART Scholarship Competition 2014.

The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) works to provide lasting change through aid and advocacy for those suffering oppression and persecution. The communities we work with have little presence in the international media, and the humanitarian situations they face are largely unknown and unreported. Many live behind closed borders, meaning it is difficult for aid and support to get in, and for information to get out.

We are calling for essays, artwork and campaign strategies which focus on the political and humanitarian situations faced by our partners around the world, and which raise awareness of human rights violations.

HART Scholarships will be awarded to winning entrants, including the chance to see your work published or exhibited, or to put your campaign plan into action, a cash prize and an invite to tea in the House of Lords. For more information, please visit www.hart-uk.org/campaigns/hart-scholarship-competitions.

14th – 16th February: Students for Co-operation: Founding Conference (Birmingham)

Details on Facebook

Ruth

**Special Notice: EGM (and our Petition to Coca-Cola!)**

Hi again,

Here are a couple of very important things that require your attention!

Tuesday 28th January: Extraordinary General Meeting

We are sad to announce that our Campaigns Coordinator is stepping down. Dom has put in a huge amount of effort since the start of the year and we are so grateful for all his time and dedication to the role.

This means that in two weeks’ time we will be holding an EGM to elect a new Campaigns Coordinator. Anyone can run for this position and if you are interested, I recommend that you get in touch with Dom or myself to find out more about the role. You can talk to us at the next meeting, or email us and we will be happy to answer any questions.

Coca-Cola Petition

Dom has now launched GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola through Change.org, requesting that they put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Please sign and share with friends!

Thanks!

Ruth