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! 🙂

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 😀

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 🙂

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.

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-10-31: Pub Quiz Success, Human Trafficking and Updates


Boo!

November is nearly upon us- where did October go? It’s practically Christmas already…

This week’s newsletter is coming to you all slightly early as I and other dignified delegates are London-bound for the Amnesty International Student Conference 2014! We’ll come back informed, motivated and excited (even moreso) about all things Amnesty.

Let me start by thanking everyone who came along to the Pub Quiz- although one team scored the most points*, in my view you are all winners for having braved the howling wind and rain on Sunday to come and support one of our fundraising nights. Pat yourselves on the back. Of course I’d also like to thank Joe and Seb for doing an excellent job of hosting, all the people who wrote questions, ran last-minute printer dashes, brought decorations along, helped mark, took photos, and everything else which helped the night run smoothly. And another well done to Joe for coordinating it all! Early tallies look like we raised over £200, so it was a very successful night!

  • I was later informed that the winning team re-gifted their winnings! You guys are the coolest; and I’ll sign papers to that effect!

I’d also like to extend our gratitude to Dr Marco Goldoni for kindly coming along to give us that very informative talk. I found the issues and conundrums raised fascinating and useful for framing future discussion around the role of the law in relation to race and human rights.

Lastly for this intro, I’d like to say congratulations to Ruth over at the Coalition for a Conflict Free Glasgow University (GU CFCI) for putting on an excellent conference. The speakers were very informative, with a broad base of the subject being covered. It seemed to inspire the folks who were there on Wednesday, and roll on the next Senate meeting! We will continue to support the CFCI, but if anyone is interested in working on that directly, get in touch with the group via their Facebook page and Ruth will get you involved.

This Week: Human Trafficking

Tuesday 4th November, 5PM QMU Committee Room 1

Human trafficking

This week we’ll be looking at Human Trafficking, our next chosen campaign for the first semester. We are trying to confirm another guest speaker for Tuesday, and we may also have a film clip to show you.

It’ll be another exciting meeting for our second campaign of the year (as chosen by YOU)!

Jamnesty Tickets On Sale Now!

Wednesday 26th November, 7PM, Stereo, Renfield Lane

Jamnesty 2014 Banner

I’m delighted to announce that tickets for Jamnesty next month are now available online. It will be a fab night of music and DJing for £5 (£4 without afterparty) which is a damn good price per hour of entertainment.

With music to blow you away from Chrissy Barnacle, Hannah Jackson, The Van T’s, Harry & the Hendersons, and Sunshine Social; and featuring DJing ’til 3 from Flore De Hoog, Heavy Daze, and DJ Hushpuppy.

Join the Facebook event and invite your friends. It’s going to be a big one – get booking now!

Reminder: SPB Poster Competition

Friday 31st October

Just a reminder that this week is the deadline for submitting entries to the SPB poster competition. The details are in a previous newsletter which you can find on our website.

The deadline is 31st October 2014 and the grand prize is two tickets to this year’s SPB. Plus the whole bunch of kudos and exposure of having your design plastered around the West End and online. We’ve had a couple of entries already, so get cracking! (If you can’t quite make it for Friday, send them in over the weekend and we’ll still consider them).

Please send your entries to spb@guamnesty.org.uk; and good luck to all entrants!

Syrian Refugee Week Update

26th Jan – 1st February 2015

Just a quick update on a meeting that the coalition held for the Syrian Week that’s being held at the start of next year. We are in the process of firming up events; the hope is that in collaboration with the other societies involved to have one each day. It’s very exciting to have other societies onboard and keen to organise things too- the collaborative spirit! The events that have been suggested so far include:

  • An introductory lecture
  • A workshop on the asylum seeking process in the UK that Syrian refugees would face
  • Documentary screening and Q&A
  • Panel discussion
  • Fundraising ceilidh
  • Pub quiz!

There may be more events added to this list as more societies get involved. We heard that the SRC are happy to endorse this as an official week of events, which is great news!

Thanks to Oxfam, GRASS, Unicef, GU Catholics Society and CFCI for coming along and getting stuff planned; and to Alex for chairing the meeting!

Submission to Smith Commission

Friday 31st October 5PM 2014

Smith Commission

We’re doing a short-but-important submission for the Smith Commission, as I mentioned at the meeting this past Tuesday. While we want to stay away from any thorny political issues; but given the Rights Referendum campaign that went on during the indyref we felt this was a huge opportunity to reinforce the call for and importance of human rights as part of any settlement process.

Update: We have submitted our recommendations, which I attach a copy of here.

GUAmnesty-SubmissiontoSmithComission

We would encourage individual members to read others submissions and make their own voice heard, which can be done through the Commission’s website. Let us know if you submit anything!

Online Petition: Urge DoJ Action on Lethal Force

Apropos of the work we’ve been doing on Ferguson, including all the great letter-writing everyone did, we thought it would be worthwhile to do an online action to follow this up as well. From Amnesty USA:

The ongoing protests in Ferguson Missouri have ignited a national conversation about the persistent and widespread pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by police across the United States, including unjustified stops and searches, ill treatment and excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force.

The U.S. government must do more to ensure policing practices nationwide are brought into line with international human rights standards, including the use of lethal force, and to address systemic racial discrimination. The Department of Justice has failed to collect accurate, comprehensive national data on police use of force, including the numbers of people killed or injured through police shootings or other types of force.

Go ahead and sign the petition now.

Thanks to Sarah for pointing the petition out!

Reclaim the Night March

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

Reclaim the Night 2013 (Crop)

This is a month away but it’s worth getting on everyone’s radar now, which is code for “I hope you enjoy being reminded about this for the next four newsletters”.

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).

I’ll give more details closer to the time, and we’ll be looking for folks to come along and carry banners or candles. It’s a fairly short march but it always has a good atmosphere, so whether you’ve been before or not come along!

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

More Photo Updates

In case you missed it, the pub quiz photos were published from last week.

Because of the talk by Dr Goldoni on Tuesday and the group work afterwards I only managed to take one photo on Tuesday!

The photos from the Conflict in the Congo conference hosted by GU CFCI will go up on their Facebook page soon, but in the meantime please enjoy one sample below!

Pub Quiz
Meeting 6
Conflict in the Congo Conference

Thanks for Reading

This week’s bonus comes to us courtesy of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies / University of Wisconsin-Madison, where one of the many visualisations they produce is a composite total-precipitable water graph:

Map of world showing total precipitable water

(click for bigger version)

Now ain’t that real purdy? You can see more on the MIMIC-TPW page.

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.

Ruth

Tuesday 18th March: Aberlour Guardianship Service and AI Consultation on Sex Work

Howdy folks,

It was great to see so many people attend the film screening on Tuesday of ‘Free China: The Courage to Believe’. We welcomed back Yuyu for the 6th year, and I have to say that I am equally inspired every time I hear her talk about something so horrific and yet so rarely exposed. We were also joined by a guest speaker who came to share her experiences of persecution, forced labour and torture as a Falun Gong practitioner.

Read about it and see the photos, here.

The film: http://freechina.ntdtv.org/

 

3 years on, #withSyria

Sadly, today marks the 3rd anniversary of the conflict in Syria.

Amnesty International has launched the #withSyria campaign alongside a coalition of NGOs and civil society organisations campaigning to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and rally global support. Watch and share the latest campaign video featuring Banksy and Elbow – http://withsyria.com/. You can also sign the petition to stop the starvation of civilians.

There is an event on the 19th March by the Bulgarian Society to raise money for Syrian child refugees in Bulgaria. Check out the event.

 ‘Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.’

We are #withSyria

 

Next Meeting: Tuesday 18th March, 5pm, QMU

Guest Speaker – The Guardianship Service

There will be a presentation by Jillian McBride from the Aberlour’s Guardianship Programme, a project in Glasgow supporting young people and children who are victims of human trafficking.

Amnesty International Global Consultation on Sex Work

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, Amnesty are looking for responses to their consultation on sex work. We are going to take this opportunity to discuss the policy proposal that Amnesty have sent us and we can give our feedback too.

End of term evaluation and plans for after Easter

This will be the last meeting before the AGM, so I will be asking for your feedback as I did last semester. This will be really useful for the committee next year, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. We are also going to talk about our plans for after Easter, as there have been some great ideas on ways that we can all keep up with Amnesty but without taking up 2 hours on a Tuesday evening.

Tuesday 25th March: AGM and End of Year Social

Our AGM will be our last official Tuesday meeting of the year, and there are 9 positions up for grabs:

President
Vice President
Secretary
Treasurer
Campaigns Coordinator
Fundraising Officer
Publicity Officer
Press Officer
Website Manager

(2 x Ordinary Board Members to be elected at the start of the academic year)

I will have more information on each position at the meeting, but if you are interested in running for a committee position and want to know more, you can email me president@guamnesty.org.uk or the relevant committee member.

TBC (date may change) Thursday 27th March: Film Screening – ‘Blood in the Mobile’

‘Blood in the Mobile’ documents the filmmaker’s journey from Nokia HQ, Finland all the way to the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo to discover the truth about the link between our mobile phones and worst conflict in the world today.

29th March: Trip to Arran – Please Sponsor us!

If you are not coming with us, we would love you to sponsor us. It’s not every day we climb mountains (that don’t lead to the GU library). Donate via our JustGiving page!

Other events

SRC Volunteer Clubs and Societies Awards 2014

Nominations are open for the VCS awards! There are many categories and you can nominate either GU Amnesty as a group, or a particular individual. So if there is something that you feel we/an individual deserve/s recognition for, then please complete a nomination form before 21st March!

Sunday 23rd March: Glasgow West Amnesty International Concert Fundraiser

3pm at Wellington Church, 77 Southpark Avenue (off University Avenue), Glasgow G12 8LE. Free entry, donations at the end.

Sandie Bishop, Lamond Gillespie, violins
Flora Tzanetaki, piano

Leclair Sonata for 2 violins
Mozart Violin Sonata KV 454
Prokofiev Sonata for 2 violins
Handel Trio Sonata in G minor

 

Keep it up, the deadlines are nearly over.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Ruth

Ruth

Tuesday 11th March: Film Screening ‘Free China: The Courage to Believe’ and AGM Announcement

Hellooooo,

Well what an incredible week for GU’s first International Women’s Week! Thank you to Domi for organising our events, I think we covered just about all the most important reasons why International Women’s Day exists. We are also very grateful to Eileen from Rape Crisis Scotland for coming along to screen ‘Consent’. If you missed any of the events, here’s what happened.

We’ve had a very busy year, and I can safely say that even in the last few weeks, we are not slowing down!

**TUESDAY 25TH MARCH: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) see below for more details**

Tuesday 11th March: Film Screening ‘Free China: The Courage to Believe’

5pm, Boyd Orr, Lecture Theatre 222

A film about organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China, with guest speaker Mrs. Xu who is coming to share her experiences of imprisonment and brainwashing before coming to the UK to seek asylum.

Event page

Tuesday 18th March: Guest Speaker – Young People and Trafficking

5pm, QMU

There will be a presentation by Jillian McBride from the Aberlour’s Guardianship Programme, a project in Glasgow supporting young people and children who are victims of human trafficking.

Tuesday 25th March: AGM and Ceilidh, QMU

Our AGM will be our last official Tuesday meeting of the year, but afterwards we will be having our annual ceilidh with GU Red Cross and STAR Glasgow to cheer us up and celebrate the newly elected committee!

The positions up for election will be:

President
Vice President
Secretary
Treasurer
Campaigns Coordinator
Fundraising Officer
Publicity Officer
Press Officer
Website Manager

2 x Ordinary Board Members will be elected at the beginning of term next year. This is to allow new members the opportunity to get involved, although these positions are open to all members, not just those who are new to the society.

If you are interested in running for a committee position, we will be putting together a detailed description of each role in advance of the AGM but if you have any specific questions, you can email me president@guamnesty.org.uk or the relevant committee member.

Thursday 27th March: Film Screening – ‘Blood in the Mobile’

 

6.30pm, Boyd Orr, Lecture Theatre 203

‘Blood in the Mobile’ documents the filmmaker’s journey from Nokia HQ, Finland all the way to the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo to discover the truth about the link between our mobile phones and worst conflict in the world today.

Other events

Wednesday 12th – Saturday 15th March: Citizens Theatre – ‘Refugee Boy’ and ‘Belong’

12th – 15th Main stage production – ‘Refugee Boy
Post-show discussion following the performance on Wednesday 12 March.
15th March – ‘Belong’
‘Since January we’ve been working with the Citizens Theatre Learning Department on bringing together refugees, asylum seekers and local people to explore ‘belonging’ through poetry, song and storytelling. These workshops will culminate in an event called Belong next Saturday, 15 March, 4.30-6.30pm at the Citizens Theatre, prior to the Citizens main stage production Refugee Boy by Lemn Sissay. There will be food, fashion, music, singing, poetry, storytelling.’

Tickets are free – if you would like to go along book online or call 0141 429 0022. http://citz.co.uk/

Friday 14th March: LUSH Event

Lynn from LUSH Sauchiehall Street:

We’re holding a campaign in store next week regarding the ongoing conflict in Colombia. Our particular interest is in the Peace Community of San Jose, who we financially support through their provisions of cocoa butter for a number of our products in store. They are a self-declared neutral peace community, taking no part in the conflict between the government and rebels. Despite assassinations, intimidation and conflict they uphold the highest values of justice and peace. It would be wonderful if any of your representatives were available and would be willing to come in-store, between 1pm and 3pm, and help us to raise awareness of these human rights issues.

We will have a petition in store which we will be urging people to sign which will be presented to the Colombian government. The petition will also be available to sign online at lushpetitions.co.uk which we would be grateful if you could publicise to your social network community, in an urge to make more people aware.

Saturday 15th March: A Campaign Day with Campaign Against Arms Trade

10.30am-5pm, Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ
What’s the link between Edinburgh and drones, or Ayrshire and the teargas turned on democracy protesters in the Middle East? What does Dundee have to do with the repression in Bahrain? Find out at an info and skills-sharing day in Glasgow on 15 March.

Sunday 23rd March: Glasgow West Amnesty International Concert Fundraiser

3pm at Wellington Church, 77 Southpark Avenue (off University Avenue), Glasgow G12 8LE. Free entry, donations at the end.

Sandie Bishop, Lamond Gillespie, violins
Flora Tzanetaki, piano

Leclair Sonata for 2 violins
Mozart Violin Sonata KV 454
Prokofiev Sonata for 2 violins
Handel Trio Sonata in G minor

See you in the BOYD ORR on Tuesday,

Ruth

 

 

 

Ruth

Tuesday 25th February: Human Trafficking and Conflict Minerals

Hello lovely people!

I really hope that those of you who came to the Secret Policeman’s Ball on Saturday had a great night and to everyone who helped out – THANK YOU SO MUCH. The night was a huge success and we have Debbie, the SPB sub-committee and many others to thank for doing an amazing job. We’ll have an announcement of the total funds raised soon, but in the meantime you can check out all the photos!

In order to make next year’s even better, there is an anonymous online survey that you can fill in to give your views: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D2K79F6

 

Next meeting: Tuesday 25th February, 5pm in the QMU

Human Trafficking in Russia

Duncan will be taking the first half of the meeting to talk about sex trafficking in Russia. We then have a letter-writing action as a follow-up to last week’s meeting by Euan from STOP THE TRAFFIK (Glasgow).

Conflict-Free Campus Initiative

There have been some developments in our efforts to get the University to support our conflict minerals campaign ! Well we have been invited to a meeting with David Newall (Secretary of Court) and Jo Gallagher (Head of Procurement), so that’s a start!

Conflict-what?

Last year we joined the global student movement for a ‘conflict-free’ campus. Read about the conflict-free campus initiative (CFCI) and what the campaign is all about.

I am aware that it has been quite a while since we discussed the campaign and we have quite a few new members so I will go over what the campaign is about as well as giving an update on some positive steps towards ‘conflict-free’ technologies.

 

GU International Women’s Week 3rd – 9th March

Tuesday 4th:

Women’s Rights 5pm

An Amnesty speaker will join us to talk about women’s rights.

Workshop 6pm: The role of the media in the socialisation on men and women and children

I will hold a workshop looking at how the media socialises women and men and children to think about women and womanhood.

Thursday 6th:

Rape Crisis Scotland Film Screening and Discussion

An event page with all the relevant details will be made soon, so save the dates!

GU Amnesty Climbs* Goatfell!! 29th-30th March

Maisie has been organising our trip to Arran and needs to know exact numbers, so if you haven’t decided if you are going, please do by tomorrow!

Join the event or email us to let us know you are coming.

*walks/crawls up slowly, taking lots of breaks and eating lots of chocolate

Other news:

Document: International Human Rights Film Festival

There is a call for submissions to the annual Document Film Festival, so take a look to see how you can enter! http://documentfilmfestival.org/12/

8th – 9th March: Scottish Students Conference

This year Edinburgh University are hosting the Scottish Students Conference on International Women’s Day. Everyone is welcome; here is the event for the agenda.

12th – 13th April: Amnesty International UK AGM

Only one week left to book your place! All members of AIUK can attend the AGM so let us know if you are interested and we can all go together.

NB: The AGM is hosted annually in different parts of the UK so it may not be back in Scotland for another few years!

See you all tomorrow!

Ruth

Ellen MacAskill

Human Trafficking in the UK and Beyond

Hear “trafficking” and of what do you think? Women being shipped around South East Asia for sex work? Crowded sweatshops in India?

These are undoubtedly huge issues but the extent of human trafficking today is more far-reaching than many realise. On Tuesday’s meeting we kicked off our new campaign with a visit from Euan of Stop the Traffik, who volunteers in the Glasgow branch of the international charity. The grassroots group raise awareness in communities to make it more difficult for traffickers to slip through the net.

Key points from the talk were as follows:

–          Trafficking should not be confused with an immigration problem.

–          Trafficking equals slavery.

–          Traffickers’ prerogative is the exploitation of vulnerability.

On the same day that we held our meeting, the National Crime Agency released a report which shows that the number of trafficked people in the UK has more than doubled in the past year. They stated that their estimate numbers will be far below the actual number, which remains hidden from view. Euan suggests that the increased statistics may be down to an improvement in detection processes. Apparently there are more slaves in the world today than there ever have been in the past.

Victims of trafficking can be lured by the promise of marriage or work. They can be forced into prostitution, unpaid labour, domestic slavery, or crime activity. Violence, rape and induced drug and alcohol addiction are all used as weapons of control. Psychological control is a less detectable but equally dangerous method.

Euan gave some specific examples of trafficking in the UK. One young Nigerian girl was promised marriage in the UK but found herself being forced to work in a brothel. When she became pregnant, she was forced into abortion, then later turned out onto the street. In another case four Czech men seeking work were enslaved in Birmingham and made to live in slum-like conditions.

The internet has put vulnerable victims within the reach of traffickers in ways that were not previously possible. The “business” is the second most profitable of all organised crime. When considering why the industry is catching up with drug-dealing in terms of money quanitites, Euan says: “You can sell a body again and again.” These chilling thoughts can go some way to explain why the problem continues to grow.

Stop the Traffik are focussing on two international campaigns at the moment, targeted at the cotton industry and the chocolate industry. Fairtrade branding only refers to the picking and harvesting of the cotton. The manufacturing stage goes un-policed and many Western clothing chains are oblivious to the fact that people in the factories they buy from have been trafficked or are being underpaid. Children, particularly in West Africa, are often used to collect cocoa beans for no payment. One Amnesty member from Ghana suggests that people there might give their children to family members to be worked on their farms for nothing, so the children themselves are not aware that they are being abused. Consumer awareness can put pressure on ignorant Western companies to decrease demand for cheap labour and tackle the problem.

In April, Stop the Traffik will be lobbying at the Scottish Parliament to push a proposed bill which addresses the issue. Amongst other things, it outlines a new victim support service and a single coherent definition of what human trafficking is. Unfortunately the Scottish Parliament have not yet backed the bill, instead turning attention to Westminster’s Modern Slavery bill, which is more focussed on crime rather than the implicated human rights abuses.

If you are in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games, look out for Stop the Traffik’s ‘Gift Boxes’ popping up on the streets, which lure in passers-by with an attractive exterior then reveal to them the realities of human trafficking on the inside.

Have a look on http://www.stopthetraffik.org/ for more information.

 

On a brighter note: SECRET POLICEMAN’S BALL!

Hopefully you have all got your tickets by now and are looking forward to an evening of jokes and merriment.

If not then get them for the reduced advanced price of £5/7 (with after-party) up until midnight on Friday by clicking here:

http://www.guamnesty.org.uk/spb-2014/

Also if you missed it and want a taster for the event, here’s an article that qmunicate let me write about why it will be so wonderful:

http://qmunicatemagazine.com/2014/02/11/secret-policemans-ball-stand-up-for-human-rights/

See you there folks.

Ruth

Tuesday 18th February: STOP THE TRAFFIK Presentation and the Secret Policeman’s Ball!

Hi everyone,

Thanks to those of you who took part in the Guantanamo Bay demonstration last week – it was wet and drizzly but we still managed to get around campus a bit! Here are the photos and blog. There was actually an article in The Guardian last Tuesday about a legal challenge to the force-feeding of detainees, which many are being subjected to. Here is a short video that describes this brutal practice.

If you haven’t yet voted in the Rector election, here are some responses from candidates about their commitment to human rights.

http://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2014/02/rector-candidates-supporting-human-rights/

http://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2014/02/university-rector-elections-2014/

Next meeting: Tuesday 18th February, Committee Room 1, QMU

Human Trafficking

We are starting our next big campaign by having a discussion about recent cases of human trafficking  in the UK. A guest speaker from Stop the Traffik Glasgow is coming to give a presentation and we can discuss ideas for campaigning on this issue.

Visit https://www.stopthetraffik.org/uk for more information.

 

Saturday 22nd February: GU Amnesty’s 6th Annual Secret Policeman’s Ball + Afterparty hosted by Philanthrobeats!

 

IT’S HERE, IT’S FINALLY HERE!!

I hope you all have your tickets by now and are bringing along friends/neighbours/relatives. If not, get them online: https://www.guamnesty.org.uk/tickets/

Last Week of Publicity

We will be flyering all week so please give us a hand if you have time to spare, and take a bundle away with you from the meeting to hand out in all your classes. Remember that we are having a bake sale on Wednesday 11am – 4pm for further publicity, so please bring cakes and/or enthusiasm! https://www.facebook.com/events/1469560646588794/

We will also need people to help us set up on the night so if you are free beforehand then your help would be much appreciated!

GU Amnesty Climbs Goatfell!! 29th-30th March

Well we certainly tried last year but it was quite snowy…However, fingers crossed we’ll make it to the top this time!

This is a great trip and a great way to raise money. The walk isn’t too difficult so if you are keen but unsure then I would encourage you give it a try! Of course, if you have any questions then send us a message. Here’s the event page.

Don’t forget…

 

Action for Change, AIUK HQ London, 28th Feb – 1st March

Booking is now open and it’s FREE! Let us know if you are keen and we can help you to arrange travel to London.

See the event page and website for details of the agenda and the booking form.

 

Finally, one of our members is raising money by JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE, and all for a great cause. Louise would love some more sponsors, so have a look at why she’s doing it and chip in if you can.

 

Keep wrapped up in those ponchos,

Ruth