Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2014-10-12: Election Results, Upcoming Events and CFCI Update!

Another week has flown in! Congratulations to our three new committee members:

  • Fundraising Officer Joe Clerke
  • Ordinary Board Sarah Bacom
  • Ordinary Board Seb Hammani

And my deep regrets to those who stood but were not elected- please don’t be too disheartened, we definitely still very much want and appreciate your input over the coming months! The main AGM will take place in the second semester for those interested in standing then. I hope you will be just as keen!

Thanks to everyone who helped making the banners for the death penalty demo on Friday; and my apologies for the confusion over the crafting session- due to issues with room bookings we decided to use the banners we already had plus the two that were made on Tuesday. A big well done especially to those who braved the intermittent showers to get all the #notodeathpenalty photos on Friday!

If all the death penalty campaigning has piqued your interest and you have ideas or want to get involved give us an email at campaigns@guamnesty.org.uk.

Tuesday 14th October: Film Screening of In Prison My Whole Life

5PM, Boyd Orr Building Room 222

In Prison My Whole Life

Please note the venue! We’re over in the Boyd Orr Building for the meeting this Tuesday. We’ll be watching the film In Prison My Whole Life, which we saw the trailer for last week. If you missed it, you can see it here:

(link for those reading in email: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7K3pdnsWmM)

The film deals with the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in July 1982 of killing a police officer. The title comes from the day in December 1981 of Abu-Jamal’s arrest- the day Will Francome (creator of the documentary) was born. We’re lucky to have Will Francome joining us via teleconference after the screening too. It should be a very good watch! More information and join the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/721239527960240/.

Wednesday 15th October: Death Penalty Debate with Dialectics

6PM, Boyd Orr Building

Rounding off our look at the death penalty (for the time being) will be this debate conducted by the Dialectics society. Join us for a discussion of how the death penalty is used internationally in what promises to be a very informative look at some of the issues surrounding extrajudicial killings, war crimes and mob justice.

Get more info and join the event on Facebook!

Reminder: AIUK Student Conference

November 1-2 2014, London

Student conference

Another quick reminder about the student conference coming up soon. We’ve got a few folks confirmed as going, so do get in touch if you want to come along! It’s a two-day dive into what Amnesty International is all about: campaigns, actions… and meeting and socialising with other groups!

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.

Places go quickly so don’t delay! More information and booking link are available on the student conference page; if you are travelling down please let me know and we can book something all together!

GU GRASS Info

GRASS header

Since there was interest in GRASS last week after Kit filled us in on some upcoming events (Thanks Kit!) I thought it would be worthwhile to give a few more details for those that might be interested in what’s happening and the great work that they do.

So first of all, from their about page:

At Glasgow University, we use our position as a university society to help asylum seekers and refugees in the best ways we can. As Glasgow is a distribution centre for refugees, a strong network of support for arriving refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow is really important. GRASS began in 1999 and has been working to improve the lives of refugees ever since.

You can find them on Facebook and their website is pretty informative for things like past and current projects. Also on Facebook is the event page for their Pub Quiz which Kit also mentioned.

Sleep-Out: Friday 24th October 2014

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! Despite this it will be going ahead in a couple of weeks, so dig out the sleeping bag and get sponsored!

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

Jamnesty Update

Domi and Milia have been working hard to get things sorted out for Jamnesty in November, which is already shaping up to be a fantastic night! We’ve a number of options for venues, and the line up of acts is looking good. If you want to get involved there’s still time, just email jamnesty@guamnesty.org.uk.

SPB Update

As mentioned last week the SPB organisation is truly getting underway. Billy is totally on board with the plans and also wants to make this year bigger and better than ever!

Duncan will be organising another meeting of the SPB subcommittee this week – likely to be Monday afternoon – for those coming on-board (such as those who signed up on Tuesday- thanks to you guys!), so keep an eye on Facebook for the details on that. If you want to be involved, either get in touch via FB or email spb@guamnesty.org.uk.

CFCI News!

CFCI banner

The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative has been a campaign GU Amnesty has been at the heart of for over two years. Briefly, it aims to change University purchasing policy to favour electronic items (PCs, laptops, tablets etc) which are produced in a ‘conflict free’ way. This means that, for example, the minerals such as gold, tin, tantalum and so forth are extracted and traded in a way that doesn’t result in millions of deaths. You can read more about the background of the CFCI, conflict minerals and what’s being asked asking for in our petition or the other information we have on it.

The CFCI is now an inter-society coalition, much like the fossil fuel divestment group was. And much like the fossil fuel divestment group had a very good result result in the uni senate recently so did the CFCI! The senate agreed to set up a working group (much like it did previously with the fossil fuels group) to examine the case for implementing the CFCI proposals. It’s a big step on the road, but there’s still a ways to go. On that note:

Wednesday 29th October: Conference

‘Conflict in the Congo: Responses from the International Community’

4-6PM, Senate Room, Main Building, University of Glasgow

With several interesting speakers, this conference co-hosted by CFCI Glasgow, GHRN and Global Security Network is a great opportunity to find out in a bit more detail what has been going on in the Congo and what the response has been.

The event will be free and open to everyone, including all students and staff at the University, members of the Glasgow Human Rights Network and the Global Security Network, and anyone outwith the University who may be interested. The hope is that this event will provide an education to those who have little or no understanding of the on-going conflict in the DRC, as well as giving people from campaigning/academic backgrounds with a focus on the DRC or human rights and conflicts the opportunity to engage with a range of speakers who can discuss various aspects of international interventions.

It looks really great and I know that Ruth has put a lot of work into organising the event, so I would strongly recommend gong if you’re free at 4 on Wednesday 29th! You can always check out the CFCI Facebook page for more info and updates.

Glasgow West Comedy Night

Wednesday 22nd October, 7:30 PM, The Stand Woodlands Road, £7

Our friends at the wonderful Glasgow West Amnesty group are putting on their annual comedy night, which is coming up on the 22nd of October. I’ve been to these before and it’s a great laugh!

More info is available on the event listing page, and you might want to check out Glasgow West’s page as well.

Closing

This week the newsletter comes to you from Sandridge Barton, near Stoke Gabriel in Devon. Reflecting those environs, I will leave you simply with a photo facing down to the River Dart. Enjoy.

View down to River Dart
(Click for bigger size)

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 2014-10-04: Important Announcement, Death Penalty and Many Events

Hello again to everyone. Thanks to everyone who took part in the #DemocracyNowHK photo action last week. Those photos had a huge reach on Facebook and are being Tweeted out- showing that we stand in solidarity with those protesting and risking so much in Hong Kong. We’ve some important announcements in this week’s newsletter, so be sure to read at least those. It also means this week’s instalment is another lengthy bulletin; please bear with me!

** Important Elections Announcement! **

Tuesday 7th October

For the last couple of weeks we’ve been reminding you of the elections for 2x Ordinary Board member committee positions happening this Tuesday. In addition, our lovely Fundraising Officer Nikola has taken the difficult decision to step down as a committee member.

This means that the position of Fundraising Officer will also be available for election this Tuesday (7th October).

Nikola has been an enthusiastic member for the last couple years and did a great turn last year as Publicity Officer; and we are very sad to see such a talented person leave the committee. But we’re still happy as she will be coming along to weekly meetings!

Nikola

If you are interested in the positions available (OBM or Fundraising Officer), it may be of interest to read the position descriptions written for the AGM last year. This might help you decide if the role is for you. If you have ideas (and some of the folk I’ve talked to who seemed keen do) you can certainly go beyond the job description!

All the best to Nikola and good luck to anyone standing on Tuesday.

First Semester Campaigns

In other exciting news, we all discussed, debated and ultimately chose the campaigns we will be prioritising in the first part of the year. Up to Christmas (82 days at time of writing- start buying those presents now!) we will be focusing on:

  • Unrest situation in Ferguson, MO (starting in 2 weeks!)
  • Human Trafficking
  • Food Banks
  • and, if we have time, Human Rights in Russia

The voting was very close! It was really positive to both have suggestions from the group (as opposed to from the committee) and that they were taken on board to such a great extent. Please don’t be too disappointed if your preferred campaign(s) didn’t get selected- there is always next semester! We are also hoping to get a letter-writing lunchtime session up and running, as well as expanding how we do online actions. You’ll never be stuck for campaigning with GU Amnesty!

Drinking Bird Loves Campaigns

And so am I.

As a side note, we have plans to work on both Syria and Women’s Rights in the second semester, due to collaborations with the Coalition for Syrian Refugees and International Women’s Week. Stay tuned!

This Week: Elections and Death Penalty

Tuesday 7th October, 5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

I’ve already covered elections in the special notice earlier in this newsletter; if you missed it please skip back a couple of paragraphs and read the info! We intend to kick things off with the elections first of all, as the prospect of speaking can make people somewhat nervous. Try not to stress too much about it though, we’re all friendly; and if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

12th Day Against the Death penalty

Thanks to the work of our Campaigns Officer Alex, we have a ready-to-go campaign for you all to get involved with before we start on our chosen campaign of Ferguson later on this month. Our first campaign is the worldwide abolition of the Death Penalty, a perennial favourite. We have a few events planned for this already!

Upcoming Events

Death Penalty-Related

Demo Against the Death Penalty

Friday 10th October, Library Hill

There will be a demo, probably on Library Hill on October 10th, International Day Against the Death Penalty. We have some decorations and such from our demo last year, but we’re always mad keen for banner-making!

Death Penalty Film Screening

Tuesday October 14th, 5PM, Venue TBA (Likely Boyd Orr Building)

We intend to screen a documentary or film as part of the death penalty campaign, which will happen a week on Tuesday. More details closer to the time.

Death Penalty Debate with Dialectics

Wednesday 15th October, Time/Venue TBA

This should be an interesting one. While the debate over the death penalty as an judicial option rages on, we and the Dialectics felt it had been overdone. So this debate will likely centre around extrajudicial uses of the death penalty- in times of war, in terms of mob/vigilante ‘justice’, and in the use of drones. These are all scenarios which have cropped up over again in recent times, and yet they don’t seem to provoke the same sort of response as killings carried out on the orders of judges.

Come along and join the debate.

Other Events

Academics at Risk Event (Reminder)

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.

UK Premiere: Beneath the Blindfold

Thursday 9th October, 6-8PM, GFT 12 Rose St

We’re lucky as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival to be able to attend the UK premiere of this documentary giving accounts of torture:

Screened in partnership with Document, the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, four torture survivors from around the globe courageously tell the stories of their mistreatment and their subsequent attempts to move beyond these horrifying experiences. The film follows them as they build new lives and, despite the continued psychological and physical fallout from their experience, become public advocates for an end to torture.

See the information page for more details.

Student Forum at Document 12

Friday 10th October, 12-3PM, CCA Glasgow on Sauchiehall Street

This may be of interest to some as part of the Document 12 film festival on in Glasgow from 9-12th October.

On Friday 10th October from 12-3pm we have a FREE Student Forum in the Club Room of the CCA (Sauchiehall St). Presented in conjunction with GRAMNet and the Glasgow Human Rights Network, the forum will screen two documentaries taking different perspectives on the contemporary experience of Palestinian children: Stone Cold Justice (Dir. Gabi Weber) looks at the contrasting legal rights enjoyed by young Israelis and Palestinians in the context of increasing arrests of Palestinian boys by the Israeli police force, while Since I Was Born (Dir. LAURA DELLE PIANE) tells the story of 11-year-old Tamer growing up in Dheisheh refugee camp, The West Bank. The screenings will be followed by a discussion led by Beth Pearson, Keith Hammond and Dr. Naomi Head all from Glasgow Uni.

See the facebook event for more details.

Amnesty UK Student Conference

London, 1-2 November

Student conferences are always a blast! In a little under a month the UK Student Conference will kick off at Amnesty UK’s HQ in London. It costs’s £20, and 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.

Places go quickly so don’t delay!

Amneslunchtime Amnesletters

Weekly

I mentioned this at the meeting last week but in case anyone missed it, we’re intending to start up a weekly lunchtime letter-writing session in the Fraser Building. It’ll give us a chance to go a bit further in taking action on campaigns and harnessing the keenness of the group.

Details will follow once we’ve decided on a day. The intention is to tweet / say on FB when we are there and roughly where we’re seated.

Watch this space!

Secret Policeman’s Ball Update

21st February 2015!

It may only be the start of October, but we already have a date for all your diaries:

Saturday 21st February 2015 will be night we have our Secret Policeman’s Ball!

If you haven’t heard of the SPB before, the short version is that it’s a night of comedy (modelled on the ones put on by Amnesty international) and our biggest fundraiser of the year. It’s hosted by the ever-funny Billy Kirkwood, and we’ve won multiple awards for them over the years.

SPB 2014 LaunchSPB 2014SPB 2014 Afterparty

More details will come over the next few weeks and months, but there’s plenty to be doing in the meantime- publicity, decoration, organisation. If there’s any aspect of this huge event you’d like to get involved with – looks great on the CV, by the way – please let Duncan or me know. Duncan is heading up the organisation of the SPB this year, for which we’re all very thankful!

Well Done For Reading Reward

This week’s ‘thanks for reading’ bounty is one for fans of Rube Goldberg machines (that’s a Heath Robinson machine if you’re on this side of the Atlantic). Some of you may have seen this before, but it’s so delightfully done I could watch it again and again.

(link for those reading in email format: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w)

See you all on Tuesday for the elections and Death Penalty!

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 2014-06-18: Amnestea Mark 2, Stop Torture Launch, Other Upcoming Events and Things of Interest

Hello all! I hope everyone that’s still here has been enjoying the frankly stunning weather we’ve been having in Glasgow, and for those who have gone home already I hope the weather’s good there too. Despite us being out-of-term there’s quite a bit on! Briefly: we’re having a small social gathering in Kelvingrove park on Friday 20th, there’s the “Feast of Stories” as part of Scottish Refugee Week on Saturday 21st; Stop Torture Campaign launch on Wednesday 25th with Amnesty Scotland; a ‘Scotland as a Good Glocal Citizen’ Amnesty Scotland event on Monday 30th; and some other upcoming things and opportunities for everyone- whether in
Glasgow or not!

It’s a long one even from looking at that paragraph, so if you get to the end of the newsletter there will be a surprise! Ooh, the suspense.

This Friday 20th June Afternoon: Social in Kelvingrove Park / AKA ‘Amnestea Mark II’

We had a great time at the last Amnestea back at the start of the month. Thanks to Ruth for hosting us when the weather just didn’t want to cooperate. So in the spirit of getting the sunshine that we missed out on last time, we figured we’d have a relaxed social gathering in Kelvingrove Park this Friday afternoon. We’ll aim to kick off after lunch (maybe 1 or 2 PM) which we will announce on FB and Twitter, but please feel free to turn up whenever suits- we have at least one or two joining us onice they escape from work! Also, don’t feel you have to bring or bake anything – we had our fill of confection last time around!

A table *full* of cakes biscuits sweets and tea!

And if you aren’t in Glasgow but feel like joining in the spirit of things, please take a selfie of yourself with some tea or a picnic or of a teapot and send it to us or tweet it to us or get it to us somehow! Might sound a bit silly on the face of it but we’d like to build a library of “people being involved with GU Amnesty” even when not in Glasgow.

Wednesday 25th June 1800: Stop Torture Campaign Launch – John McIntyre Building Room 201

Exciting times next week – we’re playing host to Amnesty Scotland’s launch of the Stop Torture campaign. With canapes and Alistair Carmichael, Secretart of State for Scotland, as a confirmed speaker it promises to be an interesting launch for a campaign that is right at the heart of Amnesty International’s work. If you’re in Glasgow or within travelling distance please come along. You can find the event page on Facebook as ever.

Please note that this is in Room 201 (downstairs) in the John McIntyre building rather than the more usual venue of the Williams Room.

Also on Wednesday 25th June: CFCI Goes to Court

As <a href=”http://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2014/06/june-2014-amnestea-in-the-park-stop-torture-campaign-launch-refugee-week-and-more/>Ruth mentioned in the last newsletter, our CFCI petition is finally making its way to the university court. After the SRC passed a motion of support we hope that Jess McGrellis can convince the court of the miportance of the motion and the need for change. Fingers crossed.

Coming Up on 19th July: Glasgow Pride!

<a href=”https://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2012/07/pride/>GU Amnesty are no strangers to Pride. We will be marching again this year, and our friends over at the Glasgow West Amnesty group will hopefully be joining us 🙂 We will post up more details about where and when to meet closer to the time. Please note that tickets for the main event (not the parade!) are £5 this year, which the Pride Glasgow website notes is due to decreased grant funding this year. It’s a shame, but if they don’t have the same level of funding I think a fiver to cover such a massive event is very reasonable. One day our SPB will be just as big– more on that later…

Other Events

Saturday 21st June: Feast of Stories

This event is going on as part of Scottish Refugee Week and sounds fab. I’ll let the description speak for itself:

Tales of Migration and Welcome

Come and celebrate the rituals of sharing food and storytelling with people and organisations in Glasgow who welcome refugees and asylum seekers! I would really appreciate if you can share this on your fb page as well.

There will be tales about migration and welcome from seasoned storytellers, alongside a delicious, local and organic meal cooked by volunteers on the day. There will be space to share your own story, as well as music, poetry and maybe even dancing. Proceeds will go to a local charity.

Saturday 21st June, 7pm-11pm
Kinning Park Complex 43 Cornwall Street Glasgow, G41 1BA

Price on a sliding scale from FREE – £15. Booking essential!

For more information about how to get involved and how to book a place, please visit: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feast-of-stories-scottish-refugee-week-2014-tickets-10965912339 or contact bridgetholtom@hotmail.co.uk

Monday 23rd June: Free Online Course – Right Versus Might in International Relations

Looks very interesting, we had a chat about this at Amnestea and folks were very keen on it. More info: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/right-vs-might. Check it out!

(Change of Date) Monday 30th June 1830: Business and Human Rights: Scotland as a Good Global Citizen

Another event by Amnesty Scotland, this is on at The Lighthouse in town and also looks really interesting. Please note it was moved from 23rd June to 30th due to unforseen circumstances. More details on the event page:

Modern day slavery, forced labour, human trafficking, the illegal arms trade- these are all human rights abuses resulting from unscrutinised and irresponsible business practices. This is an opportunity to hear from both sides of the Scottish Independence Referendum debate as to how they will ensure that Scotland stands for human rights.

Guest Speakers:

  • Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Relations
  • Robert Brown, Liberal Democrat Councillor for the Rutherglen South Ward of South Lanarkshire Council
  • Chaired by Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK’s Programme Director – Economic Affairs

Tickets are free but you need to book via eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/business-and-human-rights-scotland-as-a-good-global-citizen-tickets-11929323929

Opportunities

Those of you who were around at the AGM a couple months back and heard the speeches will know that we’ve some big plans for next year. For those of you who weren’t at the AGM… we have some big plans for next year! I’d like to talk about those a bit over the summer as we hash out the ideas and figure out what’s going to work. As ever, if you’ve an idea please contact us and let us know 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a couple of things to consider getting involved in:

SPB Subcommittee

Last year our lovely former VP and SPB Convenor Debbie White took charge of the running of our Secret Policeman’s Ball, which is a major night of comedy modelled on the one also held by Amnesty UK. She did a fantastic job but I’m sure she’d be the first to point out the contribution of the SPB Subcommittee. It’s much more than just being a pair of helping hands, it’s an opportunity to shape a really big event. One of the things Debbie pointed out is it’s a great thing to see your ideas realised and to take ownership of the event. Plus it’s a great thing in terms of experience to talk about in interviews, cover letters, personal statements and the like.

GU Amnezine

For those who aren’t familiar with our incessant puns, we’re also planning on doing an Amnesty Magazine this summer in time for Freshers’ Week. We’d like some quotes from members to give people a taste of what it’s like, for example:

  • meetings
  • memorable campaign actions
  • favourite events
  • one important thing you learned

If you’ve 30 seconds to dash off a sentence or two on one or more of those headings, or anything else, that would be great! And because it’s so easy to forget I will probably mention these topics again over the course of the summer.

Naturally, if you’d like to be involved with either, please let us know!

The Surprise

Well done for making this far! Or for skipping ahead to the end to see the reward. Either way, you deserve some pictorial fun. I already mentioned <a href=”https://www.guamnesty.org.uk/2014/06/photos-from-amnestea-2014/>Amnestea and the photos from there, but there are now finally photos up from the ceilidh the other week, including this gem of someone really enjoying themself:

A jump and heel click

But since you all are avid readers of the website you’ve probably seen the ceilidh photos already. So here’s something different, our dear friend VP:

putin_rights

Yeah. Thanks for reading folks!

Ruth

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

Hi everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

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

 

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

 

IT’S HERE, IT’S FINALLY HERE!!

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

Last Week of Publicity

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget…

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Keep wrapped up in those ponchos,

Ruth

Ruth

Tuesday 11th February: GHRN Event and Something for Every Other Day of the Week

Hey folks,

It was great to meet new members last week, and I hope you all enjoyed the banner-making session last week. Both SPB and campaigns materials look great, so thanks for all your efforts!

Have a look at photos from our meeting and read Ellen’s latest blog on recent LGBT triumphs in Scotland and ongoing battles in Russia.

Updates:

–          Our Fundraising Officer, Maisie, is looking into accommodation for our annual trip to Arran for our sponsored walk up Goatfell. This will happen sometime in the Easter break so when we have more details we’ll let you know!

–          In the coming weeks, we will be getting back to work on our conflict minerals campaign as part of the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. Secretary of Court, David Newall, has finally replied and agreed to arrange a meeting. We have also been invited to co-host a screening of ‘Blood in the Mobile’ with a charity called Earthmovies in March and are trying to arrange a panel discussion to follow the screening. See our campaign video and petition!

There are a looooot of things coming up, so here’s a summary:

Next meeting: Tuesday 11th February -Sir Charles Wilson Building, Basement Seminar Room, 5pm

Glasgow Human Rights Network – Lecture Series:

‘LGBT equality and the geopolitics of human rights: insights from Russia’

We have had a great year for clashing our events with other relevant events or dates and it has happened again. We realised that the next event by the GHRN is actually at the same time as our meeting. It looks like it’s going to be a great event and is very relevant to all our LGBT campaigning so we have decided to push back our plans and go along to this instead of our usual meeting.

‘The seminar will explore the Russian socio-political context and broader human rights issues within it, and the effects of international solidarity campaigns and foreign diplomacy on the issue. It will be opened by a talk by the editors of the Russian samizdat lesbian journal Ostrov’

The Sir Charles Wilson Building is opposite the GUU; find it on the campus map (E15): http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_1887_en.pdf 

Tuesday 18th February: Human Trafficking/Organ Harvesting in China

We are still waiting for confirmation from both Stop the Traffik Glasgow and Yuyu (our guest speaker on illegal organ harvesting) so it depends who we hear from first. The meeting will either be:

–          Presentation from Stop the Traffik Glasgow about their campaigns and a discussion led by Duncan from our committee on sex trafficking in Russia.

–          Documentary film screening of ‘Free China: the Courage to Believe’ and presentation by Yuyu about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

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

Our multi-award winning night of comedy is back. Once again we are bringing you the biggest student charity fundraiser on campus, hosted by Billy Kirkwood. Our afterparty is being kindly hosted by Philanthrobeats who have an event on this Friday – check it out!

Remember to get your tickets in advance! Here’s the event page for those on Facebook and website page for those who aren’t.

Flyering and competition

Flyering is starting this week!!

Debbie has created a Doodle for flyering so please add your name and spare 20 minutes or so to hand out flyers on campus.

Enter the flyering competition to help with publicity and win a cool prize.

Upcoming events with Amnesty International UK

Action for Change

Friday 28 February & Saturday 1 March 2014 – Human Rights Action Centre, London

FREE with crash-pad accommodation and food included.

Booking is now open!

This event is ideal if you are a member of a new Amnesty group or have recently joined your group’s committee. Think of it as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for activism training – a kind of Amnesty bootcamp! We’ll run sessions on all the elements of campaigning and equip you with invaluable skills – from how to secure media coverage, to how to make your MP really listen to what you’ve got to say.

  • Sharpen your campaigning skills at a range of interactive workshops
  • Hear what we’re planning to work on in the coming year
  • Take part in a campaign action which you can replicate back on campus
  • Network with your STAN Committee rep and Amnesty groups from your area

8th – 9th March 2014: Scottish Student Conference, Edinburgh

Amnesty International’s annual Scottish Student Conference is back, and this time will be hosted by Edinburgh University Amnesty International.

Speakers/workshops/actions TBC but these are the topics we will be focussing on:
– LGBT rights
– Human rights of sex workers
– Scottish Independence and Human Rights
– International Women’s Day

AIUK’s National Conference & AGM

Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 April 2014 – Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh

This is the annual event where Amnesty members and activists from all around the UK come together for a weekend of learning, discussion, and decision-making. We’re a membership-led organisation, so decisions made at the AGM are reflected in what we work on, and the way we work.

Student Human Rights Reporter Competition

Amnesty, the National Union of Students, the Observer and Unreported World are proud to once again be running a competition to find the Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year. The first prize is two weeks’ work experience at the Observer, a behind-the-scenes tour of Channel 4 News, and an award to be presented at the Amnesty International Media Awards 2014. The competition deadline is 20 June 2014. Please see here for the Terms & Conditions and details of how to enter.

Other events

Wednesday 12th February: GRAMNet film screening, CCA on Sauchiehall St. Doors open 5.30pm (6pm start)

The Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network are hosting a screening of ‘Here We Stay’ and ‘Portraits from Cameroon’ at the Centre for Contemporary Arts on Sauchiehall St.

Using song, spoken word and music, Here We Stay celebrates the rich and diverse life stories of refugees, asylum seekers and their communities in Glasgow today.

Portraits from Cameroon is a series of short testimonies of the banana workers who work in the Fako region. The film sparked international debate on working conditions in Cameroon and led to both ASDA and TESCO opening investigations on these plantations and a Global Gap audit.

Thursday 13th February: GU Unicef on Campus film screening, Boyd Orr 222, 7pm

UNICEF on Campus will screen “Children on the Front Line”: a documentary about the current conflict in Syria, and the story of five young children whose lives have been changed forever by the civil war.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided free of charge.

All donations will go to the UNICEF UK Syrian appeal, to provide food, shelter, care and education to the children and refugees of the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.

Friday 14th February: Philanthrobeats @ St. Mary’s Cathedral

As a newly formed SCIO, PB is running a series of projects over the next year to actively and creatively better our communities through music and art. All proceeds from this Friday’s event & afterparty will go towards making these projects (and many others to come!) possible. Thanks for your support!

Check out the Facebook event for tickets and more information on the projects to be funded.

If you actually read all of that, you deserve a medal.

Hope to see you at the GHRN event on Tuesday,

Ruth

Rob Hallam

Photos from Banner Making

Some photos of the fantastic banners being made!

Ruth

Tuesday 21st January: Guantanamo Bay Events, CSR Panel Discussion, Challenge and Ceilidh

Hey all,

Happy Saturday and congratulations for making it through the first week back! It was great to see so many people at the SPB publicity launch on Tuesday; I hope you all enjoyed the comedy preview!

In short, here are the most important links:

 

Next meeting on Tuesday 21st January: Guantanamo Bay (Campaign for January)

**Room change: St Andrew’s Building Room 433A/B**

Our chosen campaign for this month is Guantanamo Bay. Despite Obama’s promise to have it closed, Saturday 11th marked the 12th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay and for a number of inmates, including British resident Shaker Aamer, this will also be their 12th year as prisoners. Many of these individuals have in fact been cleared for release but remain detained at the facility despite international pressure to have them released. Find out more on the AIUK website.

Guest speaker: we are hoping to have Dr Iain Banks from the University to deliver a presentation on the history of Guantanamo Bay.

Demonstration on campus: we are still waiting for the orange jumpsuits so the demo will take place later next week. Fill in the Doodle if you want to take part.

Back-up plan – conflict minerals continued: Our chosen campaign for the year

Communication has been difficult with Dr Banks so this is the alternative arrangement if he is unavailable. We plan on making full use of the fact we have a better room for showing documentaries and will be screening ‘Blood in the Mobile’ a documentary film that looks more into the use of conflict minerals in our everyday consumer electronics. http://bloodinthemobile.org/the-film/

Coalition for Syrian Refugees (CSR) 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 – Syria: I can still see hope

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

Other speakers include: Unicef on Campus and 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:

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

A message from Students for Co-operation:

Hi, we’d appreciate it if you could see if any of your members are interested in or are in student cooperatives as we are having our founding conference of Students for Cooperation in Birmingham in February! We have some funding too to get students down from Scotland. It is a new national organisation (and cooperative!) for student cooperatives to get together and to help new cooperatives form, thanks!

Here is the event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1424534744446779/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

22nd – 23rd March: Newcastle University hosts the NE Regional Student Conference

We are invited to the North-East regional conference organised by students at Newcastle University. The agenda will be emailed to us at the end of the month but they have requested that we let them know if any of us are interested in attending. Arrangements for food and accommodation will also be detailed later on.

If you are interested then let me know – president@guamnesty.org.uk

As you can probably tell, we have a very busy semester ahead of us! It’s going to be fantastically hectic for the committee but huge amounts of fun for all.

Ruth

Ruth

Meeting on Tuesday 29th October and our Pub Quiz Today (Sunday)!


Hi everyone,

Welcome to our new members! It’s lovely to still have people joining the society. If you missed the meeting, you can read Ali’s blog on what happened.

I hope you are all remembering our PUB QUIZ TODAY!! Looking forward to seeing you then! We will be starting at 7.30pm in Jim’s Bar, QMU and those of you who are bringing home-baking, thank you in advance, we will add them to the stall with our tote bags.

Conflict-Free Campus Initiative

If you didn’t make this meeting (2 weeks ago), you can read the blog to see what this is all about. Some people who were there said that they would ask certain lecturers if they would support the campaign – please do this is you haven’t already. I will also remind folk on Tuesday!

Next meeting – Tuesday 29th 5pm, QMU

We have been unsuccessful in finding another meeting room for Tuesday so will still be in Committee Room 1.

Unfortunately the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance do not have anyone who can come and talk to us on Tuesday, but there is a small chance of getting a speaker towards the end of term leaving us with the opportunity to show a recent documentary featuring Stephen Fry who has travelled to various countries where the gay community face persecution, violence and potentially the death penalty.

As this is officially our final LGBT rights meeting, we were hoping to finish with a quick letter writing action to the International Olympic Committee to send with our photos.

Debbie will be bringing along our previous Secret Policeman’s Ball posters so that we can think about the design for this year, and for those of you who want to enter the competition, this is an opportunity to get started!

November Campaign – Women’s Rights with a focus on India

For those of you who have just joined us, we voted this as our 2nd campaign of the year. At Tuesday’s meeting we will have a discussion about what particular topics to cover in our meetings in November and possible campaign actions we want to do.

Day of Silence

Wednesday 20th November – Day of Silence

‘The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.’

Although the date for this is in April and focuses on schools in the USA, we thought this was a brilliant solidarity action and even better when we can end our Day of Silence with our Jamnesty gig.  We will invite the LGBTQ+ Society to take part with us and anyone else who wants to join in is welcome to, so spread the word!

Love is a Human Right Jamnesty

Wednesday 20th November, The Halt 2 (Woodlands Road), 7.30pm

Well the banners are looking amazing! Thank you to everyone last week who helped make them J Ali is printing off all of our LGBT campaign photos as well so that we can stick these up all over the venue.

We are going to start selling tickets for this event because the Halt 2 need to know numbers in advance in order to organise staffing for the night. For this reason we decided to make tickets £3 in advance and £4 on the door- so remember to get yours on Sunday at the Pub Quiz, or at our next meeting.

See you later on!

Ruth

Ruth

This Year’s Events, Tibet Meeting and a Reminder About the Elections!

Hi everyone,

I hope you all survived the first week!

I am thrilled that so many people have joined Amnesty this year and it was great to meet most of you at our social on Tuesday. For those of you who didn’t make it, don’t worry, there will be another one soon enough.

Next meeting: Tuesday 1st October 5pm QMU

This Tuesday we will be voting for our campaigns and fundraisers for the year. Some of you made some really good suggestions, so we will be discussing all the ideas in more detail at the meeting. Whichever campaign and fundraising event we decide to do first, we will start planning and organising.

See photos of past events on our Facebook page and find more information on our website.

I know there are people who cannot make our meetings at 5pm but there will still be plenty to get involved with outside our usual slot. Psychology students – see note at the end*.

A Sacrifice Poster
Tibet meeting: Wednesday 2nd October

A Sacrifice

Don’t forget we have our joint event with STAR next Wednesday, 6-8pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/597440403650551/

Theo Hessing is coming to Glasgow to promote his documentary ‘A Sacrifice’, which will be shown in Boyd Orr 412 (Lecture Theatre B). The Students for a Free Tibet society will introduce the meeting and then we will show Theo’s film. The documentary lasts 30 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with Theo.

“A Sacrifice” follows the journey of Lhamo Kyab, a Tibetan nomad living in India, as he secretly returns to Tibet to highlight suffering of the Tibetan people. Meanwhile, 100 Tibetans set themselves on fire. “A Sacrifice” considers the implications of the sacrifices being committed by Tibetans in the name of freedom.

More information can be found on the film’s website: http://asacrificefilm.com/

ELECTIONS: Tuesday 8th October

As we mentioned at our first meeting, there will be elections in two week’s time for 2 x Ordinary Board members.

These elections are open to all members of the society, whether you have just joined or not. If you are interested in standing for the position of Ordinary Board member, please come and chat to me or anyone else on the committee on Tuesday and we’ll tell you why you should J.

I should also mention that we will be forming a Secret Policeman’s Ball sub-committee. The Secret Policeman’s Ball is our huge annual comedy fundraiser and will be held in February next year. As it’s such a big event to organise, we have decided to form a sub-committee consisting of both current committee and non-committee members. So, this is something else to bear in mind. Again, come and chat to us if you are interested and want to know more about getting involved with that.

I can’t wait to get cracking with our events! This year is going to be awesome, I can tell.

See you Tuesday,

Ruth

[*Note for 1st year Psychology students:  I had an informal chat with Jason Bohan, who is in charge of Level 1, about those of you who can’t make our meetings on Tuesdays. He said that in the coming weeks, attendance will naturally drop and if you are free at 9am, then you should be fine to attend this lecture instead. Keep me posted though and let me know if any problems arise. I know some of you have other classes at this time, in which case, I hope you can still come to our events outwith our Tuesday meetings.]

 

 

Rob Hallam

Photos From The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2013

As Martin said, the whole of Saturday was a great success. Thanks to everyone who made it possible; there were a lot of you who pitched in and made it what it was. (Photos after the jump) Read the rest of this entry →