Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2015-02-08: More Transgender Rights, SPB and Conference

Good morning/afternoon/evening! (delete as appropriate)

We are well underway with our Transgender Rights campaign- big thanks to Alex and Seb for their excellent and informative introduction last week. I’d also like to say thanks to those who get a letter written for John Jeanette Solstad Remø; these things do make a difference! If you didn’t get a chance to write one or finish yours you can find the template on the Amnesty International campaigns section. We will be continuing with Transgender Rights this week by focusing more on the experience of transgender individuals in the UK and even closer to home (more on that later).

If you’re on the Amnesty site for that, they also have some My Body, My Rights related things for Valentines Day; including a Poems That Make Grown Men Cry book, as endorsed by Sir Patrick Stewart and Stephen Fry (two of my favourite people):

Patrick Stewart on #PoemsMenCryStephen Fry on #PoemsMenCry

If you’re getting through to these two (and more), you’re doing something very powerful.

In other – please forgive the pun – heartening news, Greater Maryhill Food Bank have raised over £15 000 in donations, which is amazing! Special mention to Frankie Boyle and the Scottish Government for donating £5000 each. From Julie:

“I know I live in a wonderful country, and a great city, so my expectations have always been high and people have never let me down. But I never expected this volume. It makes me proud to be a Glaswegian. Today is a day I will never forget after previously just wanting to walk away.”

If you were among those who gave so generously, well done- you’re amazing <3

Tuesday 10th February: Transgender Experiences & Photo Petition

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1
Transgender flag-triangle

Again please bring plastic bottles to Tuesday’s meeting for SPB decorations- thanks in advance!

In a week where the First Minister has pledged to create an international envoy for LGBTI rights, we will continue to focus on the ‘T’.

After last week’s introduction and case of John Jeanette Solstad Remø, we will be looking at the experience of transgender individuals closer to home- in the UK and on campus. In Alex’s pitch a couple of weeks ago he mentioned a couple of examples of changes that could and should be made on campus to make it a more trans-friendly place, and we would like to identify any other areas which need change. Our aim is to do a survey – hopefully in collaboration with GU LGBTQ+ – to help this process, so get your thinking caps on for that.

After the presentation and while the discussion of the survey is going on, we will be doing a photo action – ‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’.

Once we are finished with that, we will be doing some SPB decorations during the second half of the meeting (6PM onwards).

See you on Tuesday!

Secret Policeman’s Ball Update

Saturday 21st February 2014, 7:30 PM, Qudos, QMU

SPB 2015 Poster Tickets are on sale now!

Get buying!

You may also want to invite folks along to the event on Facebook so they can come along with you!

With less than two weeks to go (eep!) flyering has begun in earnest- good job to everyone on Friday who handed them out, we got some enthusiastic responses to go with the usual ‘I’ll just pretend that I don’t hear you or see you waving a flyer at me’. It being a sunny day and the enthusiastic responses more than made up for that however!

If you would like to be involved in further flyering we would all – and Joe in particular – love you a lot, so do get in touch! We will also be doing some decorations in the near future so if that is something you’re interested in please get involved in that too.

If nothing else then please have a look at our Thunderclap and sign up to support our publicity. If you have a Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr account you can help- they all count individually. We need to get 100 accounts within a week; and if we do they will all facebook/tweet/tumble simultaneously to publicise the SPB. It would be really useful if you could, and Joe would love you again!

Super excited!

Scottish Student Conference Update

Saturday 21st February 2014, Queen Margaret Union

Doodle for next (asap) meeting for those interested

We are getting the running order for the conference finalised (hopefully) at the start of this week- please indicate your availability in the Doodle if you would like to come along! With these in place, the conference will go ahead during the day of the 21st February in the QMU.

This is also really exciting 😀

Upcoming Events

Book Launch & Panel Discussion:

Human Rights Protection in Global Politics: Responsibilities of States and Non-State Actors
Wednesday 11th February 2015, 5.30pm, Yudowitz Lecture Theatre, Wolfson Medical School Building, University of Glasgow

This is happening this Wednesday and it looks interesting (not to mention featuring our friends Kurt Mills and Siobhan Reardon!) so you all may want to go along. More info:

This groundbreaking new book brings together political, legal and moral perspectives on the responsibilities of human rights protection in world politics today. In this panel discussion, the editors and some of the authors discuss their contributions and the main debates surrounding who has responsibilities to protect human rights, addressing state responsibility, the responsibility non-state actors, including corporations, and the emerging responsibility to protect people at risk of mass atrocities.

You can get tickets from the Eventbrite page.

Action for Change 2015

Saturday 7th March 2015, from 10:30 AM, Human Rights Action Centre, 23 New Inn Yard, EC2A London

It’s that time of year again: Action for Change is coming up. This is another event put on at Amnesty’s HQ in London.

Just a reminder if you haven’t already registered that registrations for Action for Change 2015 are now open!

Action for Change is a one day event aimed at giving Amnesty student group leaders the skills they need to run amazing groups and win campaigns. This year’s focus will be the upcoming UK General Election and, along with a range of workshops on creative campaigning, fundraising and activism, there will be the opportunity to learn all about Amnesty UK’s work in the run up to the election and to hone your skills to make sure that your new MP will advocate for human rights.

This event is aimed at student group leaders and is limited to 5 places per student group, so please make sure that you only register five people from your group. This event will be most appropriate for people who run student groups and those who didn’t come to Student Conference in November.

Action for Change is one of the most exciting and informative events of the year and tickets always go fast so make sure you book soon!

You can get tickets from the Eventbrite page. You can also find more info on last year’s AfC page.

International Women’s Week 2015

IWW

Just a reminder that International Women’s Week is coming up at the end of February / early March. As part of that week we will be putting on a number of events; and in particular we have The Vagina Monologues, which promises to once again be an excellent experience. Keep an eye on Facebook as auditions are coming up soon! If you would like to get involved in any aspect of IWW that we’re organising, or have any ideas do feel free to get in touch as we’d love to have you on board.

End of Term Ceilidh

Provisionally Monday 23rd March 2015, Qudos, QMU

Every year (dating back into the mists of time we have a joint ceilidh with GU Red Cross and GRASS.

You can see photos from last year’s ceilidh featuring Spootiskerry too! Spootiskerry also kindly played for us at the Syria Week ceilidh a couple of weeks back.

(click for bigger versions; the last one is definitely my favourite)

Photos from Meeting 15: Intro to Transgender Rights

Well done again to Seb and Alex for their presentation (which included some very memorable photos of our lovely friend Vladdy Putin!) and to those who wrote letters.

You can see the rest of the photos right here.

Thanks for Reading

After snow and cute rabbits and such, it’s time to kick things up a notch cerebrally! This week’s ‘thanks for reading’ bonus concerns helium. Liquid helium displays some unusual properties once cooled to sufficiently low temperatures:

superfluid_helium

(gif format for those who can’t view the video)

Not only can it escape the confines of a container by climbing the walls, it can escape through containers which will happily hold it in a non-superfluid state.

If you cool temperatures down further you can get to a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, where quantum effect begin to manifest at the macroscopic scale. A video might help explain this.

Enough geeking out! And by way of apologising to the physicists among you (for over-simplifying and likely making more than one error) and the non-physicists (for talking about exotic states of matter); here’s a video of some celebrities speaking under the influence of helium.

Enjoy!

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 2014-09-14: Freshers’ Week, First Meeting and Beyond!

We’re back! September has arrived and the new term is nearly upon us. This is a busy time for everyone and a really important time for us with new members and a whole bunch of events to kick off the new academic year.

Freshers’ Week

15-21 September 2014

Freshers’ week is one of the most important parts of the year for us- chances are high if you’re reading this that you’ve at least wandered by our stall during Freshers Week one September! If you’ve an hour to spare (or more), please come along– it’s a great way to meet the new faces who’ll be coming along this year and would really help us out. Get in touch with us either via email, Facebook or Twitter; or if you prefer you can fill in the Doodle: http://doodle.com/65zgchrx98mvgwun#table. Let us know, we’ll really appreciate it. If you don’t, well:

Stern Bird is judging you

But if you are able to lend a hand, then:

Happy Bird sez well done you

Avian persuasions aside1, if you can come along that would be great and we’d love to see you there.

The Freshers’ Fair Stall

16-17 September, 10-4, Randolph Hall

We have booked a stall which will be in Randolph Hall on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th September from 10 AM to 4PM. Wearing our best smiles we’ll be chatting to Freshers about what we do, our meetings and events, and generally looking like the society that everybody wants to join.

Collaboration with STAR & CB – ‘Journey to Safety’

Wednesday 17th September, 3-6 PM, Body Orr Building Room 213

One of the other things we’ll be helping with is a very exciting workshop on the asylum seeker process organised by STAR over the course of a few hours on Wednesday afternoon 3-6 in the Boyd Orr Building (room 213). It’s a really good way to get a quick feel for the process; it’s be done in previous years and extremely well-received. STAR Glasgow and Crossing Borders will be taking people through the stages.

If you’d like to come along and take part I’m certain you’d find it a useful and positive experience. Or if you’d like to help out we could use folks to take people from one station to another (no prep work needed- script you can read from provided!) that would be really helpful. Let us know as mentioned above.

Activist Mixer/Social

Sunday 21st September, Curler’s Rest, 5 PM onwards

Thanks again to Kit of STAR, 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.

(Provisional) Activism Talk

Thursday 18th September, Afternoon

Although this is provisional, we are hoping to do a talk on activism on the afternoon of 18th of September. We’re discussing with the SRC what we can do, it would be good to see some familiar faces in the crowd if it does go ahead. Keep an eye on the website, Facebook or Twitter for updates on time and venue.

First Meeting of 2014-15!

Tuesday 23rd September, 5PM, QMU

Fun! Excitement! Presentations!

We’ll be kicking off the academic year with our first meeting on Tuesday 23rd September in the QMU at 5PM. We’ll be giving an overview of what we do for new members, introducing the committee and giving information about upcoming campaigns, events- which includes the election of two ordinary board members. This is a committee position which gives even greater opportunity to be involved in the planning and direction of GU Amnesty.

First Social of 2014-15

Tuesday 23rd September, 7PM onwards, The Old Schoolhouse, Woodlands Avenue

Following on from our first meeting we will be having our first social. This will be held at The Old Schoolhouse in Woodlands Road after the first meeting (roughly 7PM). If you don’t know where it is, don’t worry, it’s close by and we’ll walk you there. It’s a really good way to get to know folks – invariably the members of GU Amnesty are great folk to hang out with as well as outstanding campaigners!

Other Upcoming Events and Info

We already have a number of exciting things planned for Freshers’ Week and our first campaign, but there are plenty of other things going on which you might be interested in.

GHRN Events and Bulletin Information

If you haven’t heard of it, you should check out the Glasgow Human Rights Network.

The Glasgow Human Rights Network aims to bring together researchers, practitioners,
members of civil society organisations and policymakers who address human rights issues.

Their events can be very informative for those looking to go a bit deeper into human rights issues, especially those that see themselves either working, pursuing further education or researching in the field.

The latest bulletin had too many events to list here, but if you are interested you can find details on how to subscribe to their website, linked above. If there’s any difficulties finding the details, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you out.

I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club

21st September-10th October 2014

On September 21, 2011, the State of Georgia put Troy Davis to death despite a compelling case of innocence. To mark the 3-year anniversary of this travest9thy of justice, and to deepen and widen the discourse about the human impact of the death penalty and criminal justice system, we invite you to participate in a worldwide Community Book Club between September 21 and October 10, World Day Against the Death Penalty. Through hundreds of intimate gatherings across the country and the world, Troy’s story will reach and impact thousands of new people.

The case of Troy Davis is one we’ve campaigned on in the past, and it continues to be a focal point in the case for the abolition of the death penalty. If you’re interested, please take the time to have a look at I Am Tro Davis and the Community Bookclub. The death penalty is a campaign we will return to in October. If you’re interested in more information or the book please contact our campaigns manager Alex or the good folks at I Am Troy Davis above.

Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival

1-19 October 2014

There’s a film being screened on 9th October, the UK premiere of Beneath the Blindfold telling the stories of four torture survivors. As a heads-up, we have a death penalty-related event putatively pencilled in for the same day, but details will follow and it may be of interest.

Get in Touch

There’s lots on in the coming week or two, and even more beyond but this newsletter has to end somewhere! There will be more coming next week, and every week after that. Well done for making it to the end this time. Your picture rewards are the two birds included above.

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


  1. Photos taken in my back garden this week. 
Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-07-12: Pride Glasgow! Volunteer Opportunities and Coming Up

Hello and welcome to another summertime newsletter. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Lots to get through this week again!

First and foremost, next week is Glasgow Pride! Once again GU Amnesty intend to go along and join in the march and we may have a small social gathering thereafter. Hope to see everyone, including our friends from Glasgow West and possibly even Ayr there! There are a number of interesting things coming up as well as a whole host of pretty dandy volunteer opportunities. Interested? I am, so read on!

Saturday 19th July: Pride Glasgow!

It’s that time of year again. Get out your best marching boots and come along and join us for a day of celebration of identity. If you haven’t been before I would strongly urge you to come along. All are welcome, the atmosphere is very friendly. I wasn’t able to make the event last year, but I went to the one before that and it was definitely a highlight of my summer.

We’re going to march in the parade. This year it starts from Clyde Place (see map), and initially over the George V bridge. The assembly time is 9:30 AM, and the destination is the King Street Car Park at 11:30.

Start:

Our plan is to meet up outside Bridge Street Subway at 9:15.

Please get in touch via FB, Twitter or the website if you’re running late! Some folks have expressed an interest in joining us afterwards; thats fab too- we’ll probably head to a park or cafe or similar depending on the weather once the march has wound up. You can either meet us at King St Car Park, where we’l be until 12 at least, or get in touch as above and meet us at the social.

Photos from two years back.
One of the photos from Pride 2012

For those who can’t join us on the day, you could tweet your support (@guamnesty using the hashtag #glasgowpride. Include us in the tweets so we can retweet you!

Amnesty UK Volunteering Opportunities

With the Commonwealth Games nearly upon us and the Edinburgh Festival following hot on its heels, there are volunteering opportunities for both! If you fancy helping out, have a look and see if any of the following interest you:

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/amnesty-commonwealth-ambassadors

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/amnesty-edinburgh-festival-ambassadors

Please note that the closing date for the Commonwealth Ambassadors and Edinburgh Festival Ambassadors is this Monday (14th July), so get your skates on if you want to take part!

If you’re in Edinburgh and don’t mind the commute, there are opportunities to help out at the Scotland Office:

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/administrator-volunteer

These close next Monday (21st July).

Volunteering Opportunity with Philanthrobeats

From our friends over at the ever-groovy Philanthrobeats, Sarah Crowe got in touch to let us know about a really positive volunteering opportunity:

Philanthrobeats are offering one-to-one music classes for asylum seeker/refugee children
and we are looking for volunteers! Philanthrobeats are launching
one-to-one music classes with asylum seeker and refugee children. If any skilled
musicians out there want to get involved, take a look at the info on our website where you
can also find the volunteer application form.

http://philanthrobeats.org.uk/music-classes/

It’s worth keeping an eye on PB’s website (http://philanthrobeats.org.uk/) for their upcoming events.

AIUK Student Survey

A quick word from Rachel Statham from the STAN committee:

Hello Scottish Activists,

Please take a few minutes to fill out our AIUK student survey and give a little feedback
on what your Student Action Network Committee can do to help improve the student
activist experience –
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Jc2KR6Cc%2bzHN9keazRXvUg%3d%3d
It’s quick and straight forward, and will guide new student materials for the coming year.

Most importantly, a huge thank you on behalf of the student network for all your inspiring
activism over the past year – have a wonderful summer and I look forward to hearing of
your plans in the autumn!

I’ve done the survey and it really is ‘quick and straightforward’; it took me only a minute or two. Feedback is really important in general – we’ll be looking for your feedback throughout the year so be ready for that! – and it’s worth your time to make sure your experiences are represented.

GHRN Events

You may have seen us promoting GHRN events in the past. They are the Glasgow Human Rights Network. Their website speaks for itself, but I’ll briefly quote the introduction:

The Glasgow Human Rights Network aims to bring together researchers, practitioners,
members of civil society organisations and policymakers who address human rights issues.

They put on rather quite interesting events and conferences which are worth attending if you realy want to get into the nitty-gritty of human rights issues in depth.

This week there is a one-day conference on LGBTI rights in the Commonwealth:

18th July 9.00am – 5.00pm
Sir Charles Wilson Building, University of Glasgow
E15 on campus map

‘LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth People of the Commonwealth’ is a free
one day conference. The event is being held in Glasgow on Friday 18th July, five days
before the opening of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

For full details and to register, please visit the Conference website.

The website is hosted over on the Equality Network

It looks to be a very interesting conference, and definitely worth a look; particularly given the focus we gave to LGBT issues last year.

Freshers Week 2014

It’s still a little over two months away, but we’ll be having a stall as usual during Freshers Week 2014. Not only that, but we’re planning on at least one event in collaboration with our good friends in STAR which I am really excited about. Details will come a bit closer to the time, but it promises to be really informative.

The reason I’m giving this advance heads-up as we’ll be looking for helpers- it reflects positively on the society if we’re got a well-run stall. The huge attendence after Fresher’s Week last year proves that if nothing else!

Letter Writing: A Reply

Towards the end of last term we did some letter writing under the banner of ‘Scotland Stands for Human Rights’. And we got a reply!

Reply from Blair Jenkins of Yes Scotland

It’s great to get a reply and when we do we want to make sure everyone is aware that we do- letter writing is one of the vital things we do as a group, and that Amnesty International does in general, so when we get feedback on it we’re sure to make the most of it.

There will be plenty more letter-writing opportunities in the year to come!

End of Newsletter

Well done for making to the end of the newsletter. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can always get in touch either via the website or on Facebook or Twitter.

This week’s ‘thanks for reading’ reward is a picture of a cute bird I snapped having a drink in my back garden.

Bird is the word

I figured having featured VladPut last time y’all deserved something a bit, well… nicer.

Hope to see you next week at Pride!
Rob

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

 

 

Ruth

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