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

Newsletter 2014-11-23: Food Banks, JAMNESTY and Reclaim the Night

Special Notice

We are continuing our food collection for Maryhill Food Bank. Please bring along cans, jars and packets of food as you have been so generously doing. MFB have a particular preference for certain items that they typically run short of, so if you could bring any of the following in particular that would be even better: puddings, cereal packs, porridge, nappies, wipes, tinned fruit, pasta sauces, sweetcorn, peas, baby food jars or kids clothes. Thank you for continuing to support Maryhill Food Bank so generously!

Maryhill Foodbank support a lot of people with the food and items they give out. In the middle: the boxes of food generously donated by you guys!

Maryhill Foodbank support a lot of people with the food and items they give out. In the middle: the boxes of food generously donated by you guys!

Here we are with our second newsletter powered by MailChimp! I appreciate everyone’s patience while we work through the teething problems- last week’s newsletter initially went out unformatted, but a little wind-like coding brought a template into usability! The template still needs a bit of tweaking to get the margins lining up prettily, so continued patience is appreciated. As usual we would strongly welcome feedback; you can find our contact details on the website, or if you are reading this in email form you can simply hit reply!

I’d like to extend a huge thanks to Julie Webster who came down from Maryhill Food Bank to give us the thoroughly interesting and enjoyable talk and Q&A session. It drove home both how important the work they do is and how much of a difference it – and we – can make. A big well done to Seb for getting that organised! Enthusiasm for this campaign and our support is clearly still high, so I have high hopes for our collaboration with the SRC and other groups to do a big food drive!

I also want to say a big thanks to Joe for organising and Harry and the Hendersons for coming along to our lovely Jamnesty Preview Social last week! We got to hear some excellent tunes, which I look forward to hearing again on Wedesday!

This Week

It’s a big one with lots on this week folks!

Tuesday 25th November: Jamnesty, Different Aspects of Food Banks and LGBTI+/Homelessness

Tuesday 25th November 2014 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

This week’s meeting will have a few different aspects relating to what we’ve been looking at with food banks, while still being new and fresh:
– A little spiel about what to expect from Jamnesty, with a last chance to buy tickets!
– A brief overview of the situation homeless people face with regards to food
– An intro and discussion of challenges facing LGBTI+ people who are homeless (with photo action)

Lastly, our intention is to visit supermarkets to do some food collection- we have asked Julie Webster for some guidance on this, so don’t be intimidated πŸ™‚

Please also remember to bring along any plastic bottles you might have which we can put to good use for Jamnesty decorations!

Wednesday 26th November: JAMNESTY!

Wednesday 26th November 7PM, Stereo, Renfield Lane

It’s here! This week, it’s Jamnesty time:

Jamnesty Poster

It’s gonna be great

Everybody has been working so hard on this, I know it’s going to be a great night! We’ve all been looking forward to this for a long time, and here it is now. If you don’t have your ticket already, you can buy them online. We’ve got folks high-tailing back from London to make it to the night, so set aside some time and come along!

Thursday 27th November: Reclaim the Night

Thursday 27th November 2014 6:15PM, Starting at Botanic Gardens

Reclaim the Night 2013 (Crop)

Last year’s Reclaim the Night march… we totally didn’t miss the start and join in by intercepting the people marching. Nossir.

If you’ve read any of the newsletters for the past month you’ll already know about this march, but this is coming up this week on Thursday. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the march, and this year’s theme is women’s safety on campus. The march will take place from the Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road and will proceed to the STUC on Woodlands Road via University Avenue. After, there will be a rally at the STUC with speakers including Denise Mina, patron of Glasgow Rape Crisis centre and Vonnie Sandlan, NUS women’s officer.

More information is available from the Glasgow Rape Crisis website.

You can see photos from last year’s march which we took part in after a Tuesday meeting.

Coming Up & What’s On

End of Term: Christmas Caroling and Social

Day TBC

We’ve still to confirm a day for this, but we’re aiming for a couple of weeks from now. Every year we have a Christmas social and go out and sing some carols. We may hold both of these on the same afternoon/evening this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more details to follow. If you’re worried about singing or coming along to these as you don’t know folks too well please have no fear! We’re no orchestral choir (speaking for myself here!), and regardless of ability it’s a good way to get to know the rest of the lovely folks in the society.

Light Against Darkness: Syrian Children’s Art Exhibition

St Mary’s Cathedral, Great Western Road, 21-30 November 2014

Light Against Darkness

An example of the art on display in ‘Light Against Darkness’ at St Mary’s Cathedral.

“The whole thing moves from the darkness and trauma of war to the light of the return to happiness and life.”
Brian Larkin, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre

If you have 20-30 minutes to spare this week I would strongly encourage you to go along to the art exhibition featuring the work of Syrian refugee children at St Mary’s this week. We were in attendance for the launch on Friday (partly due to the relevance for our Syrian Refugee Week in January) and the art is incredibly moving.

Picture the usual crayon or paint drawings of kids, the type you would have done back in school. Houses, people, cars. Except here, the houses are broken. The people are lying down, surrounded by red. And instead of cars, there are tanks. Much of the art has captions to go with it. ‘I want to go home but it’s no there anymore’. ‘We hid in the basement but my grandfather was hit in the leg with shrapnel’. ‘I miss my town but I see it all the time on the news’. Heart-rending stuff.

I don’t want to describe it further as my words cannot do the experience justice. It’s not far (closer than Munros) along Great Western Road; about a block past Kelvinbridge subway. I’m not sure if Brian Devlin of the Children’s War Museum will be there through the week, but if he is – and I’m sure he would introduce himself – have a chat to him as well, as he can tell some of the story behind the exhibition.

There’s a related article on BBC News.

Photo Action for Prageeth Eknaligoda

One of the things we’ve been wanting to do this year is more online actions- things folks who cannot make the meetings can do from home (or the library!). Since people seemed interested in this, I thought I would include a photo action sent to us by Jim McDonald, the Sri Lanka Country Specialist at AI USA (you may have seen him post on our page before). Here’s the message:

Friends,

Prageeth Eknaligoda, a disappeared Sri Lankan journalist/cartoonist, is one of this year’s featured AIUK’s Write for Rights cases. See http://amnesty.org.uk/write-rights-prageeth-eknaligoda-sri-lanka

Besides writing the Sri Lankan government and sending a solidarity message to Prageeth’s wife Sandya, I’d ask that AIUK activists participate in a photo action for Prageeth. I’ve set up a dedicated page on Flickr for him; see http://www.flickr.com/photos/whereisprageeth. I’d like to get as many photos as possible on the Flickr page by Jan. 24 (the fifth anniversary of his disappearance), at which time I’d share the photos with Sandya and the Sri Lankan government.

Directions on how to do the photo action, along with a sample sign, can be found at http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/AI_SL_flickr_photo_action_kit.pdf. People could use the sample sign or create their own signs saying “Where is Prageeth?” (in English or another language). As the directions say, photos can be emailed directly to the Flickr page. Or people could just send photos to me through Facebook, email them to me at jmcdonald@aiusacs.org, or send them to me through Twitter (@jmccdon).

Thanks a lot for any help anyone can give on this action. Take care.

The Flickr page has 275 photos at time of writing- let’s add GU Amnesty’s finest effort to that! Show them that Glasgow cares. Here’s my contribution:

Action for Prageeth

Instructions are in the Amnesty USA link above. We’ve nearly 1000 subscribers to this newsletter, so grab your phone or camera, write #WhereisPrageeth and send the snap to Flickr. If you’re tweeting, mention @guamnesty and we’ll give it an RT!

I should also mention that our friends over at the Strathclyde Uni Amnesty group are doing a film screening tomorrow, Monday 24th November at 6PM in the Lounge on Level 5 of their Union (it’s a big union!). The film is No Fire Zone – Killing Fields of Sri Lanka so if you are interested and have time I would recommend popping along and saying hi from us!

Strathclyde will also be taking part in the photo petition above – let’s get a whole bunch of photos in solidarity.

Request for Comments: FAQs

One of the great ideas our Website Officer Siuan had recently is to get a page started to answer some frequently asked questions; things like “What is a typical weekly meeting like?” or “How can I be involved?”. So to that end we’ve created a page for FAQs!

We’re still gathering the questions and writing the answers, so if you have a suggestion or a question, please either email us or use the form on that page. Thanks!

Thanks for Reading

With everyone stressing out about exams, I thought this week’s ‘thanks for reading’ bonus reward value loyalty points members club perk should be something suitably anodyne:

Dog And Cat

D’aww

Not enough for you? Alright, have another one:

Dog and Cat 2

A particularly snuggly ear to be sure

And with that, I think the internet might have exploded. For those of you with deadlines who appreciate feline-based incentives, you might want to have a look at Written? Kitten! which rewards meeting word counts with cute kitten pictures. Everybody wins!

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 2014-11-14: Food Banks Q&A, Jamnesty Preview, Newsletter Update

Special Notice

Special notice: We are still collecting for Maryhill Food Bank this week, so please keep up the generosity and bring along cans and packets of food on Tuesday at 5! Thank you!

The newsletter got sent out without formatting due to an oversight in settings, so this will probably be the second copy you receive- apologies for that! The template needs a bit of tweaking, but this will suffice for this week.

Welcome to another instalment of the newsletter! Hopefully this week the newsletter will actually reach more than half of our lovely subscribers (that’s you!); if you were following the situation or are subscribed to the mailing list with a Yahoo or Hotmail address, you’ll know that the newsletter wasn’t delivered last week. My apologies to anyone affected by this. In the meantime, we’ve moved to MailChimp for newsletter delivery.

There will be a bit of a transition while we get used to how MailChimp works. The design of the email version of the newsletter may change a bit, but hopefully delivery should be rock solid. If you have any feedback or want to report any issues please do contact us.

Last week saw the kickoff of our third chosen campaign for the first semester: food banks. This is a completely new campaign for us, so it’s really exciting to start getting our teeth into it. A big well done to Rebecca and Seb for putting together an interesting and varied meeting! It was extremely provocative. Those that missed the meeting or would like a reminder can find more info in our weekly blog writeup.

As I promised in the last newsletter, I will try and keep this as brief as possible, so on with the show!

This Week: More on Food Banks – Q&A and the Situation Elsewhere; Then Crafting!

Tuesday 18th November 2014 5PM, Committee Room 1, QMU

Maryhill Food Bank

Last week we saw the video wherein Julie Webster talks about Maryhill Food Bank, the running of it, some of the cases of people who use it and so forth. This Tuesday we’re hoping to get her along to the meeting to do a brief talk and Q&A session, which is a great opportunity to learn more about food banks in general and Maryhill Food Bank in particular. Get your thinking caps on for those questions!

We will also have a brief talk about the situation on food banks elsewhere- Sarah’s mention last week of laws prohibiting the feeding of homeless people caused a not inconsiderable amount of consternation, and we’ll take the opportunity to revisit that in a little more detail.

Lastly, we are at time of writing only 12 days away from Jamnesty! So after the food banks chat there will be a crafting session to bank the big banner for the night. If you could also save and bring any plastic bottles you have, we could really use those for decoration! Thank you.

Jamnesty Is Getting Near

Wednesday 26th November 2014, Stereo, Renfield Lane

Jamnesty 2014 Banner

You may have seen a number of brave souls enduring the wind and rain on Library Hill, going around shops and cafes and handing out one of our lovely fliers:

Jamnesty 2014 Flier FrontJamnesty 2014 Flier Back

These awesome folk are the people doing the flyering. Big time kudos to them all! If we want to pack out Stereo – which we do – we need to make people aware that this big amazing event is happening on the 26th. So if you haven’t already get inviting’! If you have them, please bring plastic bottles along to the meetings so that we can use them for decorations.

Jamnesty Social & Preview: MINI-JAM with Harry & The Hendersons and Twister!

Twister!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/673470369433251/

So as above you’re all undoubtedly inviting your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and people on the street, telling them to buy tickets and spread the word further. But they’re not sure about the music, or how cool we are. Maybe they think it will be a night of proselytising? Well, you can allay their fears! We’ve got a preview social for you.

Come along and hear one of the fabby bands playing on the 26th – Harry & The Hendersons – and join us for bingo, twister, drinks and possibly more!

If nothing else, come along on the 26th and enjoy yourself πŸ™‚

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Meeting

Wednesday 19th November 2014, 4PM, Fraser Building

We’re only a few weeks away from the end of term, and the Syrian Week is pretty close to the start of semester 2. The week is taking shape, but if you or someone you know would be interested in being involved in organising events for the week there is a meeting this Wednesday at 4 in the Fraser Building. Please feel free to come along even if you haven’t before.

International Women’s Week 2015

IWW

It’s a while away yet – International Women’s Day is March 8th – but the planning for International Women’s Week 2015 will be starting soon. As with last year there will be an organising committee forming to coordinate all the various events, and if you’re interested please let us know by email. Otherwise keep an eye on Facebook as we will be posting information on meetings etc there.

It’s a great opportunity to be involved in a big-impact very visible event or the whole week of events, and last year there was a big team made of up of lots of different societies so you’ll have platy of support. Don’t be shy!

SPB Poster Competition Winner, Kaitlyn Hair!

We have a winner in the Secret Policeman’s Ball 2015 Poster Competition:

SPB 2015 Poster Competition Winner

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Hair for her winning entry! It’s bold and eye-catching, which is just what we want in a poster for a bold night of comedy! Kaitlyn wins two tickets to the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Well done to all the other entrants too; the quality of entries was high and it was a tough choice this year, as ever.

Upcoming Events

These are reminders from last week, but since most folk didn’t get the newsletter I reckon this is fair game.

GHRN: Sakharov Prize 2014

Thursday 20th November 5.30PM, Room 916, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow

Since this is coming up through the Glasgow Human Rights Network, I thought I’d mention it as it may be of interest to some to go along and hear about the nominees.

The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded every year to honour exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression. This year the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, who helps thousands of rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Students on the MSc Human Rights & International Politics course will set out the case for each nominee for the Prize. This will be followed by a Q&A session, a public debate and vote.

The discussion will be followed by a wine reception. Everyone is welcome. If you would like to attend, please register on Eventbrite.

These events are a good way to meet other folks involved in human rights work and research; or network πŸ™‚

Reminder: Reclaim the Night March

Thursday 27th November 2014, Starting at Botanic Gardens 6:15PM

I mentioned this in a previous newsletter, but it’s worth bearing in mind.

This year’s march will take place on Thursday 27th November (that’s the day after Jamnesty!) with assembly at 6:15 PM outside Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road (opposite Oran Mor).

You can see photos from last year’s march which we took part in after a Tuesday meeting.

Thanks for Reading

Given the news this week, I thought the following image would be appropriate:

The image shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov 12, 2014 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel.

The image shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov 12, 2014 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR

1

For the first time, humanity has landed a robot on a comet. We have automated robots on the surface of Mars – Opportunity has been going for over ten years at this point – and now we have a robot on a comet. We may see a lot of terrible, desperate things as an Amnesty International group, but the way I see it is this is one of the things that makes you proud to be a human. Nice work, ESA.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

Rob Hallam

Food Banks and Poverty, Poverty and Food Banks

Difficulties often come hand-in-hand, like poverty and the use of food banks. This week saw the kick-off of our food banks campaign, which is something we’ve not looked at in any detail in my many several some years with GU Amnesty. Way back in the campaigns meeting one of the reasons suggested in favour of choosing food banks as a campaigns was the locality of the issue: in 2009 there was one Trussel Trust food bank in Scotland; in 2013 there were 42, with another 17 in development (1). Recent public events in Glasgow have seen en-masse donations to food banks, underscoring a level of interest and appreciation of the issue from the public. At least, that’s the hope.

Food Banks in Scotland Infographic

In Scotland food banks and related services have expanded greatly even in the last few years.

The issue is both huge and uncomfortable. In the UK, mobdro free download estimates put the proportion of the population below the poverty line at 1 in 5. This is nearly 13 millions people, or nearly two-and-a-half times the population of Scotland. Those numbers are shocking, but can be hard to relate to; so let me put it a different way. Let’s say there were around thirty people at the meeting on Tuesday. If the group is representative of a national average (which I don’t think we are, but that’s not important here), it would be likely that one or two of the people you were sitting with at your group’s table is in poverty. Now, there’s admittedly a fair amount of hand-waving and inaccuracy in there, but the point is: one in five in poverty is huge.

Not quite as large but just as uncomfortable is the number of people using food banks in the UK. Sources put it at around 1 million, and we’re not alone: compare with 1.5 million in Germany. That’s a million people who most likely have a choice between a food bank, or going hungry. A choice between going hungry, and the potential social stigma associated with using a food bank- to be accused of being ‘too lazy to work’; ‘wanting something for free’; or the loss of pride felt at being unable to provide for themselves and their family. These aren’t choices any person anywhere should have to make, much less in the prosperous UK. It’s bad enough that the UK has been accused of violating the basic human right to food as a result.

Why have we gotten to this stage? One of the common definitions of poverty, includes those living at or below 60% of median household income (2). While this is both somewhat arbitrary and indirect, it would in itself point to a reason that an ever-higher proportion are in poverty: widening income disparity. But this still says next to nothing about the causes of poverty. There is a veritable laundry list of reasons put forward: disability, illness, racial discrimination, lone parent, or simply a person being born into poverty means it’s much more likely that they will remain in poverty. Tougher financial times will also have a significant impact on the standard of living, disproportionately so at the bottom end of the scale. One of the big reasons that came up in both videos we saw (Breadline Britain and Julie Webster discussing Maryhill Food Bank) was that benefit changes, reductions or even delays mean people are put in a situation where they may have to seek help with food.

Trussel Trust: Reasons for Food Bank Use

Stated reasons for accessing food banks vary

I could continue to quote statistics from the meeting we had on Tuesday – 4 million kids Mobdro Online TV living in deprivation; 2.5 in damp homes; 1.4 in homes that aren’t adequately heated; it goes on – but the case is clear enough. Fortunately, as ever with our campaigns, we can do something about this. This being a campaign with a very local focus, we can perhaps do even more than we could otherwise. It was extremely heartening to see both the generosity of food donated, and the enthusiasm for continuing to drive this forward. Breffni O’Connor voiced both her and the SRC’s support for widening the campaign for food donations; both she and others had some great ideas for how to go about this. There is potential for Glasgow University to come together and do something meaningful and of tremendous benefit to the community.

I really hope we do.

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div class=”footnotes”>


  1. http://www.understandingglasgow.com/indicators/poverty/food_banks 
  2. http://www.poverty.ac.uk/definitions-poverty/income-threshold-approach 
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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ™‚

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.