Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2015-02-02: Transgender Rights and Things of Note

Welcome to February! Semester 2 marches on very quickly…

Last week was Syria Week, and I’d like to thanks everyone who was involved in the organisation, running and who attended events during the week. A big well done to the individuals, and to Oxfam, GRASS, Unicef, Red Cross and the Catholic Society. It just shows that by working together we can achieve great things- but we knew that anyway! For those who missed the events, there are photos later on in the newsletter ????

We’ll be cracking on with our chosen campaigns in the next few weeks. First up is Transgender Rights, with Alex and Seb kicking things off with a presentation to introduce us all to the subject.

We’re firing on with organising the SPB and Scottish Student Conference – thanks to those who volunteered for these; if you haven’t yet and would like to please get in touch as your help for either would be much appreciated.

Tuesday 2nd February: Transgender Rights

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

trangender_flag_photo

We are back in our usual meeting place this week!

Here’s a preview of what’s coming on Tuesday evening:

This Tuesday will see us kick off our first mobdro free download campaign of the semester – Transgender Rights!

Transgender persons find themselves on the receiving end of discrimination and rights abuses regularly throughout the world.

In this introduction to the campaign we will have a presentation from Alex and Seb outlining the historical and current situations and we will be showing a couple of video case studies.

After we will be engaging in some letter writing and a photo action. Plenty to get your teeth into!

5pm, Committee Room 1, QMU. See you there!!

Thanks to Joe for writing up that spiel! Here’s the Facebook event. Please join and invite!

Special notice: please bring along any empty plastic bottles you may have as they will be used for decorations – like they were for Jamnesty – at the SPB. Thank you!

CFCI Update!

GU CFCI Banner

Exciting news- the working group set up by the university senate is meeting with the Coalition for a Conflict Free Glasgow University is meeting representatives from the CFCI on Wednesday 11th February. Finally getting some progress!

SPB Update

Saturday 21st February 2015, Qudos @ QMU

We have posters and fliers!

SPB 2015 Flyer Face

They are looking totes fabby- well done again to Kaitlyn! If you fancy helping Mobdro Online TV distribute these things and earn the eternal gratitude of Joe, Duncan and myself that would be most appreciated- let us know!

Please get inviting to the Facebook event!
Doooo iiitttttt

Online Actions and Info

I thought I’d share some things that have come up in the last week or so which you might be interested in if you haven’t already seen them.

Greater Maryhill Food Bank Theft

I’m sure you all remember Julie Webster from our Food Banks campaign at the end of last semester. Regrettably, there appears to have been a theft of a significant amount of food vouchers (for service users) and money (raised for the family of a young hit-and-run victim). I’ll let Julie tell it in her own words:

That someone or some people could being themselves to steal from the most needy, from those having trouble feeding themselves, and from the family of an injured child is sickening.

Please keep an eye on the GMFB’s Facebook page and if you can, help them out. Julie did us a big favour by taking time out of her incredibly busy schedule to come and chat to us just before Christmas, and you were very generous in the food donations we sent to them; let’s dig deep and show her what difference students can make. Thank you.

(more info from BBC News)

Call for Pardon for Convicted Gay Men

You may have seen in the news the call for the government to pardon 49,000 men who were prosecuted for being gay. From the petition:

Pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British “gross indecency” law (only repealed in 2003), and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay laws.

Each of these 49,000 men deserves the justice and acknowledgement from the British government that this intolerant law brought not only unwarranted shame, but horrific physical and mental damage and lost years of wrongful imprisonment to these men. Alan Turing was pardoned in 2013, but the other estimated 49,000 men deserve the same.

Have a look at the petition and give it a sign.

Syria Week Photos!

Thanks to everyone who took or posed for photos at all the events last week!

Red Cross Info Tent (Monday)

Thanks to Red Cross for putting this on! More photos

Journey to Safety: A Syrian Perspective (Tuesday)

Big thanks to Kit and GRASS and everyone who helped out putting on the very informative event! You can see more photos.

Documentary Screening (Wednesday)

Fundraising Ceilidh (Friday)

A big well done to Oxfam and everyone who helped out. Huge thanks as well to Spootiskerry for playing for us! Everyone seemed to have a great time, as you can see from the photos.

Fundraising Pub Quiz (Sunday)

It may have been a cold night at the end of a long week, but well done to those who made it and answered the fiendishly tricky questions! See the rest of the photos here.

Thanks for Reading

This section is no stranger to cutesy things. And this week I present my sister’s kid’s rabbits:

Rabbits in a loop

Rabbits!

Animated GIF of rabbits eating

“Foooood!”

Once again, d’awww….

Get in Touch

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

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-10-31: 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.

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-09-28: Campaigns Decisions, IOC Success and More

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the first week of term and the Freshers’ Flu is beginning to wear off. There’s a lot of exciting things that have been happening, are happening and will be happening, so read on!

Welcome to All Our New Members

Meeting 1

I’d like to start by saying thanks to everyone for coming along last week. It was great to see such a big crowd! It’s even more exciting that so many of the people I spoke to had specific areas or ideas that they were interested in. But whether you have a burning passion for a particular area, a general desire to help out or even if you weren’t able to make the first meeting it’s great to have you on board and there will be plenty going on to capture your imagination. I hope you all enjoy the ride.

It sounds like there was some good discussion too; and I’d like to say thanks to everyone who took part in the CFCI action. We’ll be sending off the photos along with the signatures when the petition goes off to court for consideration next month.

If you weren’t able to make it, no worries- feel free to have a look at the presentation for last week’s meeting (warning: speakers notes in the PDF may bear no relation to what I actually said) and do join us at 5PM this Tuesday!

This Week’s Meeting: Campaign Decisions

Tuesday 30th September, QMU Committee Room 1

This week we are going to be deciding what campaigns we want to prioritise. I’ve said before that collective decisions are a really important part of the group, and campaigns are a good example of this.

Campaigns are central to our work, they form the core of what we do. It’s important that members feel invested in what we’re focusing on, and that they are subjects that people are interested in – although I’m sure everyone would be interested in any human rights campaign!

So we all get an equal vote in the campaigns. If there are issues that you feel passionately about – from chatting to folk last week it seemed like a few were – it would be great if you shared your thoughts with us on Tuesday when we talk about the different options in groups.

Elections for Ordinary Board

Tuesday 7th October, QMU Committee Room 1

Remember remember, the… seventh of October. A week on Tuesday we’ll be holding elections for the position of two ordinary board members. This is a committee role which will really let you get your hands on organising things behind the scenes at GU Amnesty.

All you need to do in advance is have a short speech in mind; anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to tell us who you are, what you do and why you think you should get the position. We’re all friendly so don’t stress about speaking to us! Even if you are not elected onto the committee there may be other roles which would pique your interested, so don’t be disheartened- we’d still love to have your input 🙂

Campaign Success: LGBT Rights and the IOC

Olympic Rings

This week we got word that the IOC had updated its position on discrimination, which is excellent news! We’re proud to have played a part in this. From our hugely successful cross-union LGBT rights photo campaign to the pressure we also put on the Olympic sponsor Coca-cola in our poster which was part of our officially-supported and rather impressive Change.org petition, we stood up for these human rights.

It’s important to keep these victories in mind when choosing the campaigns this Tuesday and in the weeks beyond; we can make a difference. Never forget that 🙂

Raise Off Success

Last week I mentioned the Raise-Off, the UK student group competition to funraise and campaign for AIUK. Well, although Exeter won the prize for raising the most money overall – congratulations to them – once again our Secret Policeman’s Ball won the award for Best Fundraising Event! I’ve now lost count of the number of awards it’s won. It is a true reflection of the hard work and organisation put in by the SPB subcommittee, headed up by our VP Debbie White last year, the members and Billy Kirkwood. The night just wouldn’t happen otherwise- which would be a shame as it’s a damn fine event.

If you’re interested in getting involved this year, either contact us or mention it to me or Duncan or any of the rest of the committee at the meeting this week. We’ll get a group together and have a chat about what we’re going to do this year, and you can find out if it’s for you!

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the SPB last year, you all deserve this award 🙂

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Update

Last week GU Amnesty and representatives from other groups (Oxfam, STAR (now GRASS), UNICEF) met to update and plan what we can do to raise funds for and awareness of the difficult situation that Syrian Refugees find themselves in. We have made tentative plans for a ‘Syrian Week’ of informational and fundraising events early in the second semester (January 26th – February 1st).

We plan to meet again, and so if you are interested in what is going on in Syria and/or would like to be involved please contact us and let us know so that we can get you up-to-speed and added to the Facebook group.

Because of the (understatement alert) complex nature of the situation in Syria, the coalition intends to remain apolitical; one of the main areas of focus for GU Amnesty last year was the human rights situation and this continues to be the case. If you have any questions or concerns relating to CSR, please do get in touch and we’ll try and clarify.

Other Events and Information

Academics at Risk

Monday 6th October, 3-6PM, Glasgow University Concert Hall

There is an event which may be of interest put on by GU Settlement to inform people about the work of CARA:

The University of Glasgow, with assistance from GU Settlement, is hosting a CARA (The Council for At-Risk Academics) awareness raising event.

The Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) has provided protection and support to refugee and ‘at risk’ academics for over 80 years. The defence of academic freedom continues to underpin CARA’s work assisting academics who, for reasons of persecution and conflict, are unable to continue their research in their countries of origin.

The event will be chaired by Prof John Briggs (Vice Principal and GU Refugee Champion) and Prof Alison Phipps (GU CARA Rep/ GRAMNet).

A representative from GU Archives will discuss the historical role that the University has played in supporting dispossessed and displaced people and there will also be the opportunity for round table and informal discussion.

Cinema ho! GU Amnesty Goes to see Pride

Not an event as such but given our group interests, some of us were thinking going along to see the Film Pride at Cineworld on Thursday evening. It comes highly-regarded, so it should be a good trip and a chance for another informal social. Grab a bag of popcorn and come along.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/566709056790636/

Pride cinema trip!

Get in Touch

Prince Rupert's Drops

This newsletter’s ‘I read all the way though’ reward is a cool thing that came up in conversation this week: a Prince Rupert’s Drop. This are drops of glass with a thick end and a thin end: hammer on the thick end and you won’t do a thing. Snap a tiny bit of the thin end off and the glass explodes. I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking:

(link for those reading in email form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe-f4gokRBs#t=122)

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

To Russia With Love

While our very own Coca-Cola petition is doing swimmingly, there’s another one that the folks over At AI Norway have come up with that you might be interested in: To Russia With Love.

Each signature is marked as a dot on the picture above, and the goal is to fill the entire map of Russia with these dots.

All they’re asking for is age, gender and country. At time of writing the maps of Russia is just under 30% filled with the expanding heart- let’s help fill it further 🙂

Rob Hallam

Lush’s ‘Sign of Love’ Photo Petition

Thanks to everyone who held the pink triangle for Lush’s Sign of Love photo petition! A quick description from Lush’s website:

We believe in love for everyone, between everyone. As part of our Sign of Love campaign, Lush are creating photo petition books which we will send to Russian embassies worldwide on the 14th February – the international day of love.

If you want to take part but didn’t get a chance, see the link above or send us your photos and we’ll pass them on to Lush.

Ruth

Tuesday 4th February: SPB and Guantanamo Bay Banner-Making

Hello GU Amnesty!

A big welcome to our new members who signed up at the re-freshers fair and to our new committee members as well. The results of our EGM last week are as follows:

Campaigns Coordinator – Ali Cooper

Press Officer – Ellen MacAskill

Ordinary Board Member – Alex Pancheva

Last week was especially busy with the events by the Coalition for Syrian Refugees, including the panel discussion, the challenge and the ceilidh. We raised over £600 for charities supporting Syrian refugees! It was great to see some of you at these events and you can read all about it on our website with Ellen’s first blog as Press Officer.

We are back in our usual spot on Tuesday for a more light-hearted meeting after last week’s hard-hitting documentary about Syria. Thanks again to Amby from UNICEF on Campus who came along for the discussion and if you missed the documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ then you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SD5QWi-FRU **This documentary contains footage of burn victims, including children and young people.**

Coca-Cola Petition

GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola has been live for about a week on Change.org. The petition demands that Coca-Cola put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi. At time of writing, we have about 8,000 signatures!!

Our Publicity Officer, Nikola, has been tweeting celebrities all over the place and asking them to show support for our campaign. Please join her by tweeting everyone you know! Here’s the link.

Next meeting: Tuesday 4th February – 5pm Committee Room 1, QMU

We will be having a meeting to make some banners for the Secret Policeman’s Ball as well as campaign materials for the Guantanamo Bay demonstration which will hopefully be happening in the next couple of weeks.

See below for updates on the Secret Policeman’s Ball publicity campaign.

Proposed agenda for the next few weeks:

Tuesday 11th February: Human Trafficking (Campaign for February/March)

–          A discussion about recent cases in the UK

–          Presentation from Stop the Traffik Glasgow. Last semester we made plans to run a joint campaign so I will get back in touch with the group and check their availability to come and talk to us.

Tuesday 18th February: Illegal organ harvesting in China with Guest speaker, Yuyu Williams

–          Every year we hear a presentation from Yuyu about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

–          Documentary film screening of ‘Free China: the Courage to Believe’

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 recently gained official charity status and have raised money for many excellent causes since their first club night in 2012. Check out their website to see their events and how to get involved!

This year looks to be even bigger and better – remember to get your tickets in advance! Here’s the event page for those on Facebook and website page for those who aren’t.

Important updates – Flyering and photo competition

We have now received the posters and flyers and are ready to go crazy with publicity!

Debbie has created a Doodle for flyering so please add your name and spare an hour or so to hand out flyers on campus.

Very soon we will be launching a competition to see who can take a photo of themselves with a poster/flyer in the strangest place. More details will be announced at the meeting on Tuesday but the winner will receive a prize, so don’t forget to take away flyers from the meeting!

Upcoming events with Amnesty International UK

Action for Change: Friday 28 February & Saturday 1 March 2014 – Human Rights Action Centre, London
FREE activism training event for Amnesty Student Groups, perfect for new groups and new committee members.  Booking opening soon!  Keep an eye on amnesty.org.uk/student

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.

Any student can sign up for AIUK’s monthly emails by filling in this quick form.

I can’t believe it’s SPB month already! Let the countdown begin.

See you Tuesday,

Ruth

Ruth

Tuesday 28th January: EGM, Guantanamo Bay and Syria

Hello all,

This one is coming early as there is an important announcement about the EGM NEXT WEEK. The committee has decided that we would like to create the new position of Press Officer, as there is great importance of using media outlets to publicise our campaigns and events- which is something that we have not achieved due to a lack of time that everyone else on the committee experiences because there is so much else going on! Given the very exciting news that we have received in response to our LGBT rights campaign and petition to Coca-Cola, we felt that the creation of this position couldn’t wait until the AGM in March. Read on for more!

We have an updated Doodle poll for our Guantanamo Bay demonstration next week so please update your availability! http://www.doodle.com/fr7gq32u4xr2rkq6

Next meeting: Tuesday 28th January, 5pm -7pm Room 433 St. Andrews Building

**We are back in the same room as last week**

Extraordinary General Meeting

There will be two positions open:

Campaigns Coordinator – responsible for overseeing the campaign actions. The person with this role will help to research the chosen campaigns and coordinate any events in collaboration with other societies/organisations. Be prepared for lots and lots of emailing.

Press Officer – responsible for engaging with student and local media as well as updating our Facebook/Twitter accounts. The person with this role will work closely with the Campaigns Coordinator and Publicity Officer to put together press releases, blogs and update Amnesty International UK with our news and planned events. AIUK has published resources to help with writing press releases and support this role.

Anyone can run for these positions and if you are interested, then you are welcome to email us and we will be happy to answer any questions.

– After the meeting we will be heading for a drink to welcome the new committee members so everyone is invited for that.

Guantanamo Bay documentary and Syria presentation with guest speakers

Last week we heard a very interesting and useful presentation on the history of Guantanamo Bay and so next week we will show a 15 minute documentary that takes a closer look at the treatment of prisoners who are still held there, the ongoing hunger strikes and the campaign for the release of British resident Shaker Aamer.

The last part of the meeting will focus on Syria with a presentation by Jana. We are also inviting some of the guest speakers from the Panel Discussion which will be held the next day so that those of you who cannot make it have still had the opportunity to hear from other organisations that are working on the to help those affected by the conflict.

Coca-Cola Petition Update

Dom has now launched GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola through Change.org, requesting that they put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Not only was this a fantastic idea in the first place, but it has received special attention from the staff at Change.org who have been in contact with us to establish a plan to promote the petition further. They have told us that there are people within the USA and Ukraine who have expressed a desire to help promote the campaign, so this is very exciting news!

1)      Please sign and share with friends!

2)      Join our Thunderclap!

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Events

GU Amnesty are a member of the GU Coalition for Syrian Refugees, a group formed last year to hold events to raise money for charities who are providing aid to those affected by the conflict in Syria.

Wednesday 29th January: Panel Discussion 7-9pm, Boyd Orr LT 1

“Syria: I can still see hope”

This is shaping up to be a fantastic event so I hope you can make it!

Chairperson: Assaad Al Achi from the Syrian Non-Violence Movement, a group that AIUK is working with and supporting.

Other speakers include:

Kurt Mills, Convenor of the Glasgow Human Rights Network

A guest speaker from Syria, supported by the Scottish Refugee Council

Oxfam UK

Unicef on Campus

Friends of MSF Glasgow

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/573301232761988/

Saturday 1st February: The Challenge and Ceilidh

The Challenge is for team of up to 4 people who are enjoy a little competition – all in the name of raising money for various funds for Syrian refugees. Registration is open from 12noon and teams will be given a list of challenges to complete in about 2 hours. The challenges are to be filmed on a smart phone and the winners will be announced at the ceilidh.

The ceilidh is happening in QUDOS at 7pm. Of course there is a raffle with some fantastic prizes, and this event will round up all our efforts and hopefully see a considerable sum raised for our cause.

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 recently gained official charity status and have raised money for many excellent causes since their first club night in 2012. Check out their website to see their events and how to get involved!

This year looks to be even bigger and better – remember to get your tickets in advance! Here’s the event page for those on Facebook and website page for those who aren’t.

Other events

An opportunity with HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust)

**The deadline for this is the 28th January**

Do you have a passion for human rights and a talent for art, writing or campaigning? Enter the HART Scholarship Competition 2014.

The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) works to provide lasting change through aid and advocacy for those suffering oppression and persecution. The communities we work with have little presence in the international media, and the humanitarian situations they face are largely unknown and unreported. Many live behind closed borders, meaning it is difficult for aid and support to get in, and for information to get out.

We are calling for essays, artwork and campaign strategies which focus on the political and humanitarian situations faced by our partners around the world, and which raise awareness of human rights violations.

HART Scholarships will be awarded to winning entrants, including the chance to see your work published or exhibited, or to put your campaign plan into action, a cash prize and an invite to tea in the House of Lords. For more information, please visit www.hart-uk.org/campaigns/hart-scholarship-competitions.

14th – 16th February: Students for Co-operation: Founding Conference (Birmingham)

Details on Facebook

Ruth

**Special Notice: EGM (and our Petition to Coca-Cola!)**

Hi again,

Here are a couple of very important things that require your attention!

Tuesday 28th January: Extraordinary General Meeting

We are sad to announce that our Campaigns Coordinator is stepping down. Dom has put in a huge amount of effort since the start of the year and we are so grateful for all his time and dedication to the role.

This means that in two weeks’ time we will be holding an EGM to elect a new Campaigns Coordinator. Anyone can run for this position and if you are interested, I recommend that you get in touch with Dom or myself to find out more about the role. You can talk to us at the next meeting, or email us and we will be happy to answer any questions.

Coca-Cola Petition

Dom has now launched GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola through Change.org, requesting that they put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Please sign and share with friends!

Thanks!

Ruth

Ruth

Christmas Carolling, Human Rights Day and Winter Social 2013!

Hello hello, sorry this is late!

I know this a very busy time for everyone so I’ll keep it brief! Remember – there will be no meeting on Tuesday.

Last week of Women’s Rights

I think last week’s film was a great choice, and thanks to Cate who pointed out that there are follow-up actions to take on the website. So if you are taking a revision break, you can sign a petition to world leaders demanding an end to ‘gendercide’ in India.

December’s Fundraiser: Carol Singing!

This is happening TOMORROW (Monday) so hopefully if you wanted to take part you are in the planning group. If not, then you can still come along! We are meeting outside Hillhead Subway station at 12noon and I will have song sheets; don’t think we actually expected you to remember all the verses to Good King Wenceslas.

Human Rights Day/Winter Social!

On Tuesday we are having a social instead of a meeting and hope to see as many of you as possible. Join the event if you are coming and if you are not sure then don’t worry, we have reserved extra seating to cover ‘maybes’. If you have exams, let this be your study break! We will be gathering from 6pm onward and you can pop along for as long or as short a time as you want.

 

For those of you with exams, GOOD LUCK !!

Ruth

Ruth

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow


CFGlasgow BannerWatch our campaign video on YouTube.

GU SRC Motion on Conflict Free Campus

Petition to: David Newall (Secretary of Court), Professor Anton Muscatelli (Principal)

Gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum are found in the electronic products we use every day, such as computers, mobile phones, and MP3 players. These minerals are now known as ‘conflict minerals’ because they are extracted from mines controlled by armed groups who use violence and mass rape to control local populations. These armed groups generate an estimated $144 million each year by trading in conflict minerals 1.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries worst affected by this illicit trade, with an estimated death toll of over six million2; and hundreds of thousands of women and children having been raped 3. Children are also forced into mines, undertaking heavy labour and 80% of the population lives on 30 cents or less per day 4. The sheer scale of this forced labour amounts to modern slavery.

This is a conflict that major electronics companies have known about for nearly two decades, yet little has been done to prevent the use of conflict minerals in our everyday technologies. While it is an inescapable reality that we are all going to keep using our mobiles and other essential consumer electronics, this should not be at the expense of fuelling the deadliest conflict in the world. Companies that use these minerals in their manufacturing processes must ensure that these minerals do not come with the cost of human lives.

Glasgow University Amnesty International has joined Raise Hope for Congo’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI), a global movement of students campaigning for peace and justice in the Congo. By encouraging university officials and stakeholders to commit to measures that pressure electronics’ companies to responsibly invest in Congo’s minerals sector, we are voicing the University of Glasgow’s collective demand for certified conflict-free products.

While we recognise that a more multifaceted and comprehensive plan of action is needed to solve the current crisis in Congo, ending the largely unrecognised illicit extraction and trade of conflict minerals will certainly remove a major economic incentive for numerous state and non-state sponsored militias. The direct link between war in Congo and the consumer products we use every day gives our University enormous power to demand change from electronics’ companies. By issuing a resolution supporting the conflict-free movement, the University of Glasgow would amplify and strengthen efforts calling for companies to trace, audit, and certify their supply chains to ensure their products do not support a minerals trade that is benefiting militia groups.

The University of Glasgow’s Sustainable Development Policy 5 states:

“The University of Glasgow recognises the significance of sustainable development in global, national and local contexts and acknowledges a commitment to the protection of the environment and the conservation of our natural resources.

“The University is concerned about the effects of its decisions and actions on the quality of life, the economy and world poverty, as well as the environment and natural resources.”

The University has agreed to adopt the following actions:

“To build partnerships and create local information networks for sharing experience and knowledge of sustainability, and to contribute to national and global discussions of sustainability issues”

We the undersigned call for the University of Glasgow to action the proposals set out in the SRC Motion for a Conflict-Free Campus, which are:

  • To call for the University to give priority to companies who implement due diligence when sourcing their minerals – tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold – from the Democratic Republic of Congo, when considering vendors for future electronic product purchases
  • To call for the University to express and foster a strong commitment to purchasing products that have been certified as ‘conflict-free’, upon considering the future procurement of electronic devices, once commercially available.
  • To call for the University to express a strong commitment to purchasing electronic products from companies that respect and promote human rights throughout the products’ lifecycle including the mineral extraction and trading phases.
  • To call for the University to issue formal letters of inquiry to contracted electronics suppliers on the status of company efforts to address mineral supply chain transparency and accountability.
  • Attempts to address these issues of transparency and accountability should pay heed to these guidelines, developed by the University of Pennsylvania Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, instructing companies to:
    1. Strengthen company management systems (including establishing and distributing a supply chain policy);
    2. Identify and assess risks in the supply chain;
    3. Design and implement a strategy to respond to identified risks;
    4. Ensure independent third-party audits of supply chain due diligence at identified points in the supply chain;
    5. Disclose publicly supply chain due diligence and findings.
  • If these approaches fail to bring change in a reasonable amount of time, the University should give purchasing preference to compliant companies as well as consider not renewing contracts and divesting from non-compliant ones.
  • To mandate the Students’ Association to do all of the above in their sourcing of electronics.

Petition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow

PETITION TO: DAVID NEWALL (SECRETARY OF COURT), PROFESSOR ANTON MUSCATELLI (PRINCIPAL)

We would like to see the University of Glasgow make the pledge to be ‘conflict-free’ as a step towards promoting peace in the Congo. This move would make the university the largest Conflict-Free University in the UK and a leader in the market for conflict-free products.

‘Conflict minerals’ - gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum - are found in the consumer electronics that we use every day, such as computers, mobile phones, and MP3 players. They originate in countries like Congo, where they are extracted from mines controlled by armed groups who use violence and mass rape to control local populations. It is estimated that over 6 million people have died since 1998, making this the deadliest conflict since World War II.

Glasgow University Amnesty International has joined the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, a global movement demanding that companies exercise due diligence and take responsibility for their supply chains by not sourcing minerals from Congo’s conflict-ridden mines.

We the undersigned request that:
The University of Glasgow actions the requests outlined in the SRC Motion for a Conflict-Free Campus thereby issuing a resolution supporting the conflict-free movement.

[signature]

120 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

  1.  http://www.jww.org/conflictareas/congo/overview/conflict-minerals
  2. http://www.caritas.org/activities/emergencies/SixMillionDeadInCongoWar.html
  3. http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/conflictareas/congo/overview/women-under-siege
  4. http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/images/pdf/fact_sheet.pdf
  5. www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_142656_en.doc