Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2015-02-17: SCOTTISH STUDENT CONFERENCE AND SPB THIS WEEKEND!

Hey gang!

We’re getting very close to two very exciting events, both happening this coming Saturday (21st). The first, during the day is the Scottish Student Conference. It’s kicking off with registration at 10 for an 11 AM start, and we have more information and a programme to follow. That very same evening we’ve got the just as exciting, multi-award-winning Secret Policeman’s Ball. Doors will be opening at 7 PM for the night of comedy; but if you can’t join us for that you can still come along for the wonderful afterparty from 11 PM.

Tuesday 17th February 2015: Intro to Sri Lanka

5PM, Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 222, Boyd Orr Building

Please note the change of venue- this week we are over in the Boyd Orr!

Although we are moving on to our Sri Lanka campaign that we collectively chose, we aren’t leaving Transgender Rights behind completely (not that any campaign is quite left behind completely!). We will be compiling the questions the groups came up with last week into survey mentioned, which we hope to collaborate with LGBTQ+ on.

For the intro to our Sri Lanka campaign, we will be watching Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished (assuming we can get 4oD to cooperate!). It’s not an easy watch and can be disturbing at times.

Thursday 19th February 2015: Bake Sale & SPB Promo

Thursday, Outside the QMU

Calling all bakers! Have your rolling pins ready for our bake sale this week. Because of the dual nature of sales and promotion of this one, we could really use all hands on deck. The more tasty treats we have, I reckon the more likely will feel inclined to come along to the Secret Policeman’s Ball. We have a baking doodle, which is to indicate if you can make something for the stall– not necessarily to be there selling on the day! So, doo the doodle: http://doodle.com/74r7cc7mudgsqahs#table.

There will also be a Doodle for those equally-awesome folks who are able to come along on the day to sell and promote the SPB, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and group for that. Anyone who is able to help out by baking or selling or both will have a special place in my heart!

Saturday 21st February 2015: Scottish Student Conference & Secret Policeman’s Ball

The time is upon us at last! Months in the planning. Lots of dedicated volunteers making them happen. Anticipation is high. It’s going to be a great weekend folks, I hope you’re all ready.

First up, we have:

Scottish Student Conference @ QMU

11-4, Committee Rooms, QMU

We’re kicking things off with registration from 10 AM on Saturday morning. After that we’ll have opening statements, followed by a plenary on Scotland’s Role on the World Stage. Thereafter we have a workshop on Forming a Partnership with AIUK’s Scottish office, which will deal with how we work with both the Scottish office and other student groups. After lunch we will have a plenary on El Salvador’s Ban on Abortion, which will be an excellent talk in view of International Women’s Week coming up at the start of March. Our next workshop will be on Campaigning and Funraising, where groups can share their experiences of what works well (and what doesn’t!) on campus. After that we will have closing remarks, and then on to the SPB!

Skip the lie-in and come along on Saturday morning as it promises to be an informative day!

Secret Policeman’s Ball @ QUDOS

Doors 7 PM

Our wonderful SPB! I’m so looking forward to this.

I’ll let the event page do the talking:

GU Amnesty International’s multi-award winning comedy night, ‘The Secret Policeman’s Ball‘ is back for its 7th year and is as big as ever. Hosted by the fantastic Billy Kirkwood and featuring a line-up of stand up, sketch and a little bit of magic that is sure to have you in stitches. This will be followed by afterparty, hosted yet again by the ever-rising Philanthrobeats but this time featuring some other top talent to take you through til 2!

Line-up includes:

  • The Colour Ham – an ingenious and quite frankly absurd group of comics that are the latest big name on the UK comedy scene.
  • Gareth Waugh – an Edinburgh Festival regular known for his quick witted and self-depreciating sets is definitely one to look out for in the future
  • JD Brown – Winner of this years ‘Vespbar Virgins’ ‘Best New Comedy Act’, and being touted for bigger things!
  • Also featuring Daisy Earl, Gary Faulds and G.L.A.S.S. (Glasgow Laughter and Sketch Society).

Super exciting! If you haven’t already, you can buy your tickets online for a discount from the on-the-door fee.

SPB Afterparty @ JIM’S BAR

Doors 11 PM

What’s a Secret Policeman’s Ball without a Secret Policeman’s Ball’s Afterparty? Well, we have one!

Featuring the stylings of Janneman (from Philanthrobeats), Anphu & Bata and Wuh Oh. We’ll see you at 11!

Whew, what a weekend! See you on Saturday!

Opportunity with Scottish Refugee Council – Closes Tomorrow!

As I mentioned at last week’s meeting, we’ve had a note in from the [Scottish Refugee Council]((http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk) about volunteering opportunities. These guys do some excellent work, and the chance to work with them in a voluntary role would be most rewarding.

There are six roles available in total and all the details can be found here: http://w.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.ukww/what_you_can_do/volunteer/roles

Two of the roles we would particularly like to emphasis are the Fundraising Events and Administration volunteer which involves undertaking a range of tasks, from filing and administration to events organisation and representing the organisation to potential supporters and members. The other role is Community Celebrations Volunteer and this role will provide administrative, marketing and organisational assistance in supporting the Community Celebrations programme and the participating community groups.

Detailed descriptions of both roles can be found here http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/what_you_can_do/volunteer/roles/fundraising_events_and_administration_volunteer and here http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/what_you_can_do/volunteer/roles/community_celebrations_volunteer. Details of how to apply and application forms can also be found on our website.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 18 February, 2015 at 5pm. We are also holding a Volunteer Open Evening at our Glasgow office on Thursday 5 February, 2015 at 4:30-6:30pm. Come and meet our friendly team, and let us answer all your questions about volunteering at Scottish Refugee Council.

Quite an opportunity here, but the deadline is tomorrow, so get your skates on. If you’re not sure about it, get in touch with our VP Duncan McNab, who works there!

Photos From Last Week’s Meeting

You can see the full album here.

Thanks too to everyone who took part in our Trans Rights are Human Rights (#translivesmatter) photo petition.

Thanks For Reading

This week’s bonus is the only one that’s appropriate- photos from last year’s SPB!

And of course the afterparty!

You can find more (including photos from previous years) on our Facebook 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

Photos from Meeting 16 2015-02-10: Transgender Rights II

Rob Hallam

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

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

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

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

Patrick Stewart on #PoemsMenCryStephen Fry on #PoemsMenCry

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 10th February: Transgender Experiences & Photo Petition

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1
Transgender flag-triangle

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

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

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

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

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

See you on Tuesday!

Secret Policeman’s Ball Update

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

SPB 2015 Poster Tickets are on sale now!

Get buying!

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

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

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

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

Super excited!

Scottish Student Conference Update

Saturday 21st February 2014, Queen Margaret Union

Doodle for next (asap) meeting for those interested

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

This is also really exciting 😀

Upcoming Events

Book Launch & Panel Discussion:

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

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

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

You can get tickets from the Eventbrite page.

Action for Change 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Women’s Week 2015

IWW

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

End of Term Ceilidh

Provisionally Monday 23rd March 2015, Qudos, QMU

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

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

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

Photos from Meeting 15: Intro to Transgender Rights

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

You can see the rest of the photos right here.

Thanks for Reading

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

superfluid_helium

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Get in Touch

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

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-01-19: Campaigns Voting Round 2 and This Semester

Welcome Back and Thanks

Hello all! I hope everyone is getting back into the swing of uni- lectures, labs, assignments, essays, deadlines, dissertations… and of course Amnesty meetings!

Last week we had the pleasure of having our sides split at the SPB 2015 Launch. Thanks to Duncan and Joe for talking us through what happens at and the organisation of the SPB. Massive massive thanks to Billy Kirkwood himself for helping us launch it again this year with the preview, and to the two comedians – Ryan Dooley and Gary Faulds – who also pitched in to do us all a favour and share their brand of humour!

We can do them a favour in return by checking them out and lending them your support:

If putting together a night of comedy for hundreds of people sounds like a fun challenge (or a boost to the CV), email spb@guamnesty.org.uk and get involved!

This Semester

As you will see in the This Week section, on Tuesday we will be voting for the campaigns for this semester. We have decided to focus on two campaigns this time around as we actually don’t have a lot of time left this academic year! We also have a couple of collaborative events on which are already organised or in the pipeline; namely Syria Week at the end of January (the week after next!) and International Women’s Week at the beginning of March. We will be looking at human rights aspects from these issues and tying them into our weekly meetings.

You may also remember the chat we had last term about the Student Conference in February. We’re putting together a subcommittee to get the ball rolling with this; I know already the some are interested, and if you would like to be among them please let me know on Tuesday or by getting in touch.

As well as the Amnesty business we’ve got some other fun stuff coming up! We’re planning a fundraiser before the SPB, which looks like it’ll take the form of an open mic night. And at the end of term, according to annual traditions, we have our sponsored overnight trip to Arran!

This Week: Tuesday 20th January 2015 – Campaigns Voting

Remember the start of last term when we discussed and voted for campaigns? Well, we’re doing it again! You’ll hear about the choices on Tuesday, and if you have an idea for a campaign you can put that forward yourself – as happened last term in the form of the Ferguson and Food Banks campaigns, and some others we didn’t have an opportunity to do.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Israel/Palestine
  • Stop Torture
  • Confucius Institute
  • My Body, My Rights
  • Russia
  • Free Speech

For a little bit more information you can have a look at the brief overviews we have for these campaign suggestions, and the folks who will be talking about them. Any of these would be interesting to focus on, but we only have time for two this term. Like Indiana Jones- choose wisely!

If you would like to put forward a campaign as a suggestion – like Sri Lanka at the top of the list there – you can can do this on Tuesday; but if you would be more comfortable with one of us talking it through please let us know and we’ll figure something out 🙂

Next Week: Syria Week

We’ve got a big collaboration next week, starting from Monday 26th January! That week is Syria week, which we hope will raise awareness of the plight of Syrian refugees and internally-displaced persons (IDPs). The conflict has been going on for nearly 4 years now, with hundreds of thousands killed and millions of refugees and IDPs, extensive destruction and no end in sight.

The week is full of events, and I hope you’ll join us for them all:

We’re really lucky to have GRASS, Oxfam, Unicef, Red Cross, the SRC and others pitching in to make this week happen.

Past Photos

Over the holiday break I went through a number of photograph sets which I had previous taken (or folks had taken for me- you now who you are and thank you!) but not yet published. I know folks have been keen to see some of these, so I appreciate everyone’s patience; going through and processing photos is a long task!

Enjoy these by clicking through and looking at the full set!

Jamnesty Preview / Bingo Photos

(full album)

Light Against Darkness – Syrian Children Art Exhibition Photos

(full album)

Jamnesty 2014 Photos!

(full album – see them all!)

Reclaim the Night 2014 Photos

(full album)

Thanks for Reading

This week following on from #JeSuisCharlie, we have the response to an Orthodox Jewish newspaper removing women from a photo of the solidarity march. Thrust and parry:

parody

parody2

#touché

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

Photos from Post-SPB 2015 Launch Social @ Champions

Rob Hallam

Photos from SPB 2015 Launch

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2015-01-12: Welcome Back and SPB Launch!


Welcome to 2015!

I hope everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday period and a great new year! I also hope everyone is looking forward to the second semester as much as I am. We had a great first half of the year, and the second will be even better! I’m really proud of everything we’ve achieved so far and I know we can achieve even more. Let’s make it happen in 2015.

Due to a couple of unfortunate computer mishaps I’ve lost progress in writing this newsletter, so tho first edition will be a succinct account of what’s on this week; with a bigger, better edition to follow next week. Thanks for your patience, and on with the show.

First Meeting: Tuesday 13th January 2015 – SPB Preview!

Tuesday 13th January 2015 5PM, Williams Room, John MacIntyre Building

spblaunch2

I’m very excited to inform you that this week we have a real treat: the Secret Policeman’s Ball preview. This will be held in the Williams Room of the John MacIntyre Building, which is right at the main gates. You can find the room on the left at the top of the stairs if you enter from the doors on University Avenue. If you enter from the other side of the building you can find the stairs at the back, along the corridor and the vending machines. Any questions, just get in touch and we’ll help you out.

Billy Kirkwood is coming along to show us all the high standards of comedy we have at the SPB (check out the photos from last year) so you can get an idea of what to expect. Duncan and Joe will be there to tell us all about it too.

So bring along your friends and flatmates on Tuesday to see what comedic treats we’re in for in February! Join the Facebook event and invite folks along too!

Collaboration Event: Ebola Awareness Evening

‘The Face Behind the Symptoms’ – Thursday 15th January 5PM, John MacIntyre Building Room 208

stopebola2

In collaboration with Oxfam, we would like to being to your attention The Face Behind the Symptoms, and ebola awareness event presented by Hannah Davies (who is just back from Sierra Leone) this Thursday at 5 PM in the John MacIntyre Building, in Room 208. Since the outbreak in west Africa in March 2014, there have been over 17 000 reported cases of ebola, and over 6 000 deaths. This makes it the worst ebola outbreak since the first known ones in 1976; and in fact worse than all other outbreaks combined.

Come along to learn more about what is happening, the people affected, and what you can do to help.

Here’s the Facebook event, please come along to what promises to be a very informative event.

Coalition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow University Screens ‘Blood in the Mobile’

Monday 19th January 2015, Venue TBC

bloodinthemobile2

We’ve previously screened Blood in the Mobile ourselves. It’s a compelling look at the conflict mineral mining operations in the DR Congo; you’ll never look at a phone, tablet or camera the same again. The Coalition for a Conflict-Free Glasgow University (who hosted a recent conference) are planning on screening this powerful film again this Monday; we’re going along to watch it because as difficult as it is to see these things, it’s an important film.

Keep your eyes on their Facebook pageor ours! – for more details.

Thanks for Reading

With the awful events taking place this week it’s ever more important that we speak out for human right- freedom of speech and expression is fundamental. With that in mind, I will let the following images say more than I ever could:

charliehebdo2
charliehebdo
charliehebdo3

#JeSuisCharlie

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 2014-11-14: Food Banks Q&A, Jamnesty Preview, Newsletter Update

Special Notice

Special notice: We are still collecting for Maryhill Food Bank this week, so please keep up the generosity and bring along cans and packets of food on Tuesday at 5! Thank you!

The newsletter got sent out without formatting due to an oversight in settings, so this will probably be the second copy you receive- apologies for that! The template needs a bit of tweaking, but this will suffice for this week.

Welcome to another instalment of the newsletter! Hopefully this week the newsletter will actually reach more than half of our lovely subscribers (that’s you!); if you were following the situation or are subscribed to the mailing list with a Yahoo or Hotmail address, you’ll know that the newsletter wasn’t delivered last week. My apologies to anyone affected by this. In the meantime, we’ve moved to MailChimp for newsletter delivery.

There will be a bit of a transition while we get used to how MailChimp works. The design of the email version of the newsletter may change a bit, but hopefully delivery should be rock solid. If you have any feedback or want to report any issues please do contact us.

Last week saw the kickoff of our third chosen campaign for the first semester: food banks. This is a completely new campaign for us, so it’s really exciting to start getting our teeth into it. A big well done to Rebecca and Seb for putting together an interesting and varied meeting! It was extremely provocative. Those that missed the meeting or would like a reminder can find more info in our weekly blog writeup.

As I promised in the last newsletter, I will try and keep this as brief as possible, so on with the show!

This Week: More on Food Banks – Q&A and the Situation Elsewhere; Then Crafting!

Tuesday 18th November 2014 5PM, Committee Room 1, QMU

Maryhill Food Bank

Last week we saw the video wherein Julie Webster talks about Maryhill Food Bank, the running of it, some of the cases of people who use it and so forth. This Tuesday we’re hoping to get her along to the meeting to do a brief talk and Q&A session, which is a great opportunity to learn more about food banks in general and Maryhill Food Bank in particular. Get your thinking caps on for those questions!

We will also have a brief talk about the situation on food banks elsewhere- Sarah’s mention last week of laws prohibiting the feeding of homeless people caused a not inconsiderable amount of consternation, and we’ll take the opportunity to revisit that in a little more detail.

Lastly, we are at time of writing only 12 days away from Jamnesty! So after the food banks chat there will be a crafting session to bank the big banner for the night. If you could also save and bring any plastic bottles you have, we could really use those for decoration! Thank you.

Jamnesty Is Getting Near

Wednesday 26th November 2014, Stereo, Renfield Lane

Jamnesty 2014 Banner

You may have seen a number of brave souls enduring the wind and rain on Library Hill, going around shops and cafes and handing out one of our lovely fliers:

Jamnesty 2014 Flier FrontJamnesty 2014 Flier Back

These awesome folk are the people doing the flyering. Big time kudos to them all! If we want to pack out Stereo – which we do – we need to make people aware that this big amazing event is happening on the 26th. So if you haven’t already get inviting’! If you have them, please bring plastic bottles along to the meetings so that we can use them for decorations.

Jamnesty Social & Preview: MINI-JAM with Harry & The Hendersons and Twister!

Twister!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/673470369433251/

So as above you’re all undoubtedly inviting your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and people on the street, 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’ve got a preview social for you.

Come along and hear one of the fabby bands playing on the 26th – Harry & The Hendersons – and join us for bingo, twister, drinks and possibly more!

If nothing else, come along on the 26th and enjoy yourself 🙂

Coalition for Syrian Refugees Meeting

Wednesday 19th November 2014, 4PM, Fraser Building

We’re only a few weeks away from the end of term, and the Syrian Week is pretty close to the start of semester 2. The week is taking shape, but if you or someone you know would be interested in being involved in organising events for the week there is a meeting this Wednesday at 4 in the Fraser Building. Please feel free to come along even if you haven’t before.

International Women’s Week 2015

IWW

It’s a while away yet – International Women’s Day is March 8th – but the planning for International Women’s Week 2015 will be starting soon. As with last year there will be an organising committee forming to coordinate all the various events, and if you’re interested please let us know by email. Otherwise keep an eye on Facebook as we will be posting information on meetings etc there.

It’s a great opportunity to be involved in a big-impact very visible event or the whole week of events, and last year there was a big team made of up of lots of different societies so you’ll have platy of support. Don’t be shy!

SPB Poster Competition Winner, Kaitlyn Hair!

We have a winner in the Secret Policeman’s Ball 2015 Poster Competition:

SPB 2015 Poster Competition Winner

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Hair for her winning entry! It’s bold and eye-catching, which is just what we want in a poster for a bold night of comedy! Kaitlyn wins two tickets to the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Well done to all the other entrants too; the quality of entries was high and it was a tough choice this year, as ever.

Upcoming Events

These are reminders from last week, but since most folk didn’t get the newsletter I reckon this is fair game.

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.

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 the news this week, I thought the following image would be appropriate:

The image shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov 12, 2014 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel.

The image shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov 12, 2014 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR

1

For the first time, humanity has landed a robot on a comet. We have automated robots on the surface of Mars – Opportunity has been going for over ten years at this point – and now we have a robot on a comet. We may see a lot of terrible, desperate things as an Amnesty International group, but the way I see it is this is one of the things that makes you proud to be a human. Nice work, ESA.

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 2014-10-19: Ferguson, PUB QUIZ THIS SUNDAY and some Reminders

Hello again! With the passing of another week I would like to thank everyone who tended the shop while I was away in the south. You all kept things running smoothly! I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who came along to the screening of In Prison My Whole Life and to the debate with the Dialectics where we got some more photos for our #notodeathpenalty campaign. If you missed Bex’s writeup on the documentary it’s well worth a read, and it ties in nicely to what we’ll be doing in the week ahead.

All in all given how well the week went, I may have to go away more often…

This Week: Ferguson

Tuesday 14th October, 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

Ferguson protest in the street

From the death penalty we move on to our first choice of campaign for this year: Ferguson. This is the first time that we’ve covered something of this nature happening in the US, so it’s new ground for novel campaigning ideas!

Announcing: GU Amnesty’s Pub Quiz!

Sunday 26th October 2014, Jim’s Bar, 8PM

Pub quiz 2013 team

So you think you know your stuff? It’s that time of year again: time for another GU Amnesty Pub Quiz! Join us on Sunday 26th October (this coming Sunday, a week today) in Jim’s bar for several rounds of delightful brain-teasing questions. Entrance is £3 (thinking of the Raise-off already!) and there will be some great prizes to be won. So get those thinking caps on!

Click ‘going’ on the Facebook event page, you know you want to! And invite your friends too- the more people that go the higher the pot!

You can also have a look at the photos from last year’s Pub Quiz which should show what a great time we had.

SPB Poster Competition

Accepting entries now!

Do you think you heave what it takes to win an award from an award-winning show? If you have some creative flair and a knack for digital artistry you mays be interested in participating in our very own poster competition!

The competition has run for the last couple of years and produced some great results:

2013 Poster2014 Poster

…And yours could take their place amongst them! The details we need are:

GU Amnesty International
Date :February 21st
Title :The Secret Policeman’s Ball
Hosted by Billy Kirkwood
The Venue : Qudos, Queen Margaret Union
Price: £6 for comedy only £8 with afterparty in Jim’s Bar (£7/9 O.T.D.)
Doors: at 7.30pm

If it’s a format that translates well between large poster (A3) and flyer (A5) sizes so much the better, even if the two versions are slightly different.

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.

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

More info can be found in the Facebook event.

AIUK Student Conference – Reminder and Motions

November 1-2 2014, London (deadline for motions is Monday 23rd October)

Student conference

I’ll be reminding you again about the student conference (see below) but first we had a message in from Rachel Statham, the Scottish STAN rep about making policy proposals at the student conference:

The Student Conference AGM is the opportunity for students to have their say, and resolutions can be passed on pretty much any aspect of Amnesty policy, provided that the action you call for is to ask the STAN Committee to do something. For example previous resolutions have asked that the STAN Committee not fly within the UK (exempting Northern Ireland) when travelling to meetings, and have asked us to raise particular issues with the AIUK Board.

This is a brilliant chance for every student activist to engage in the governance of Amnesty, as you can also ask us to help facilitate bringing a motion to National AGM, on a campaign you would like to see Amnesty UK doing. Last year this is exactly what happened when a motion brought forward requesting a focus on Human Rights Abuses in Guatemala, was passed at the AGM in Edinburgh. This motion, stemming from a proposal from a student group at the student AGM, and is now a formal AIUK Campaign.

The deadline for submitting resolutions is Midday on 23rd October, so it’s very soon. Please consider bringing forward a motion, and engaging with the AGM. Don’t hesitate to contact us, by email or facebook, for any advice or more information.

Governance and policy are really important areas to get right, and it’s vital we all are able to have a say in how Amnesty International (and STAN, in this case) conducts its business. Please get in touch very soon if you have something you would like raised or would like more info on the process.

Don’t forget to register on the student conference page! Although the registration fee costs £20, we can apply to the SRC for a reimbursement on that so keep those receipts! There are workshops, campaign actions, discussions, socialising and much more. Let’s not forget we have an award to pick up for last year’s Secret Policeman’s Ball! Please let me know if you are interested in coming and we can try to make travel plans for the group.

Jamnesty Update: Venue confirmed!

Wednesday 26th November 2014

Thanks to the efforts of Domi, Joe and Milia we have confirmed Stereo as a venue for Jamnesty on 26th November. This will be an excellent place to host the great music we’ll be hearing over the course of the night and is a significant expansion over our previous venue of The Halt.

It should be a great night! Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements closer to the time.

Sleep Out Reminder!

Friday 24th October 2014

Last reminder this week I promise!

The annual sleep-out returns! GU Amnesty has long been involved in these and they’re a really good way to raise both money and awareness. Basically the idea is to meet up with sleep gear (bags/mats/etc), hang out for a bit in the evening to chat and listen to the music and/or theatre sketch (latter TBC!).

Unfortunately it looks like it won’t be possible to use the Wellington Church as a venue this year, which is a shame as it was almost ideal! The venue is still TBC at time of writing.

Update: Kit has confirmed that the sleep out will be held in the cloisters as he was able to secure permission for it to be held there.

The SurveyMonkey poll for the charity to be fundraised for in the sleep-out is here.

Thanks for Reading

This week’s newsletter had a generous portion of reminders of upcoming events and things of note. But sometimes they’re necessary (I do try and keep the newsletter short and also mark reminders clearly!); and some don’t mind them:

A pair of seagulls from Port Issac

Including this couple from Port Issac.

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.

Just don’t say ‘less reminders’, please!