Week Beginning 14 March

Dear Amnestiers,

Firstly, for those of you who missed last weeks meeting, we were joined by Martha Wardrop from the Glasgow Green party. We were able to discuss some of the Scotland specific human rights issues and Claudia has written out a brief overview of her views. See below if you’re interested.

In the coming weeks:

* Tuesday 15th March: The Humanitarian crisis in Gaza: a forum. 5pm-7pm. Boyd Orr, Lecture theatre E (room 611)

* Tuesday 22nd March: AGM – the chance to run for/exercise your democratic right to vote in next years committee.

* End of term social for committee hand over, immediately after the AGM, 6pm, Common Rooms, Byres road.

The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: a forum

Israeli military offensive aftermath in the Gaza Strip

Join GU Amnesty International for a formal discussion on this issue. Our Guest Speakers are:

• Greg Philo – Glasgow university Sociology department. Providing background information on the crisis.
• Antonios Tzanakopoulos – Glasgow University Law department. Speaking about international war crimes.
• Kathy Galloway – Head of Christian Aid Scotland. Discussing the impact of the humanitarian crisis.

There will then be an opportunity for questions and discussion – followed by biscuits and refreshments!

Amnesty International believe that the situation in Gaza should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), as we call to pave the way for the UN Security Council to make such a referral.

The forum hopes to highlight some of these issues and provide an opportunity to call on the ICC before the next meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the 21st March 2011.

For more information see http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11503

Martha Wardrop Overview

Martha Wardrop – a brief (not exhaustive) summary of Tuesday’s meeting

Ms. Wardrop from the Green Party started off the meeting by giving us some background on her educational, volunteering and political life. She is a member of Amnesty International, is involved in Women’s Aid and actively campaigns against nuclear weapons, and particularly against the replacement of Trident.

Among the topics discussed were:

Human trafficking – she mentioned the existence of some organisations in Scotland that deal with victims of trafficking.

Gypsy travellers – Her views on the traveller community were towards the promotion of non-discrimination. According to Ms. Wardrop, the latter can be improved through the media, education, more funding (to, among others, allow for more available sites). She also views as important to give the gypsy travellers priority in terms of available land, instead of selling it to property developers.

Ms. Wardrop is strongly in disagreement with the use of tasers by the Scottish Police force. The possibility of distributing tasers instead of giving police officers adequate training and formation can seriously jeopardise the quality of the service of the police force and banalise violence.

On the issue of human rights, Ms. Wardrop demonstrated her awareness of international human rights violations and explained how the UK should be prepared to tackle these issues, both internationally and domestically as well.

Thanks and hopefully see you on Tuesday.


Tuesday 1st February

Hello everyone,

Just a quick email to let you all know what we’ll be doing tomorrow.

With all that we have coming up over the next few months we’ve decided to try and concentrate on one thing at a time. The beginning of the meeting shall see us discussing the upcoming events and assigning a few roles to anyone who wants involved. The events include: The Sleep Out, The Scottish Parliament Elections and the upcoming Annual Ceilidh.

Tuesday 1st February, 5pm, QMU, committee room 1: Gaza, two years on, planning for an awareness raising event.

We shall then be watching some footage on the Amnesty view point of the Gaza, two years on, situation. We shall then have a discussion and hopefully come to a conclusion on how we want to take this forward.

If you’d like to take a look at the campaign before tomorrow, follow this link:

Please come along and bring any ideas with you!