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

Happy Holidays Everyone!

This has been a very successful first semester with our LGBT and Women’s Rights campaigns and our pub quiz, Jamnesty and Christmas carolling fundraisers. Our first meeting back will be on Tuesday 14th January for our Secret Policeman’s Ball publicity launch and social. We will then be starting our Guantanamo Bay campaign as well as continuing our plans for the Coalition for Syrian Refugees panel discussion event that we are helping to organise.

There will be more details next year, this is just a heads up. We have done a fair bit of letter writing so far, so I found this video to illustrate why it is so important in the hope of making you feel good for all your efforts. I hope you have enjoyed this semester, and have a fantastic holiday!

The Importance of Letter Writing

See you all in the new year,

Ruth

 

Rob Hallam

Photos from Meeting 6 – Out There (Featuring Stephen Fry) and LGBT IOC Letter Writing (2013-10-29)

This week we were fortunate to enjoy a segment of the documentary Out There, with Stephen Fry. Having been informed further on the LGBT rights situation in Russia, we finished off our LGBT Photo Campaign and wrote letters to the IOC to go along with these photos.