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

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 2014-10-26: PUB QUIZ, Ferguson and Beyond, Jamnesty Tickets


Notwithstanding the egregious howler of a typo that started last week’s emailed newsletter, I bring you yet another missive full to overflowing with words for you to decipher.

Another round of thanks are in order this week. Firstly to Sarah and Alex for presenting on Tuesday. It was really handy to have an introduction to the history of race relations in the US as it set the context for what is happening in Ferguson (and elsewhere) succinctly. Well done to everyone who wrote a letter too- sending those off will surely have an impact; and the photos for #FergusonOctober show our solidarity. Have a look at Bex’s take on the Ferguson situation too, as it is definitely worth a read.

Thanks too to everyone who helped out with the bake sale on Friday- with all the informative events we put on it’s easy to overlook the fact that we need some money to operate; so well done to all involved.

This Week: Ferguson and Other Cases of Racial Discrimination

Tuesday 28th October 2014, 5PM, Committee Room 1 of the QMU

We are planning to build on the work we did on Ferguson last week, with a guest speaker* coming to talk about case studies on injustice and racial discrimination. After that we are going to have a group discussion about cases to come up with new some letter-writing templates, which we can add to our list of resources.

Given that we now know Ferguson is just one incident in a sea of many in the US and around the world which involves police brutality and racial discrimination, it’s important to shine a light on the others so that we can send a message that whoever it may happen it is not acceptable.

The session should be informative and also practical, as the group discussion should illuminate how the letters that we (and Amnesty at large) write are composed.

**subject to confirmation*

SUNDAY (TODAY): PUB QUIZ!

Sunday 26th October 2014, 8PM, Jim’s Bar (1st Floor of the QMU)

IMG_4480_v2

When: Sunday 26th October, 8PM
Where: Jim’s Bar, on the first floor of the QM Union
Entry: £3

Join the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Come to Jim’s and test your knowledge in our pub quiz. Show off your expertise in equestrian, your panache for performance art or just your magnificence at multiple choice.

Bring your reclusive genius mate to help you along, and your others as padding to laugh at when they miss a date by a couple odd centuries.

Prizes to be confirmed!

All proceeds from the night will go to Amnesty International UK.

£3 entry

It’ll be a great night!

Syrian Coalition / Week Update

Next meeting this Thursday 30th October 2014, 4PM Fraser Building

Syrian refugees

You may remember a previous update in a newsletter about the Coalition for Syrian Refugees. If not, then briefly it’s an inter-society coalition with aim of raising funds for and awareness of the plight of Syrian Refugees. GU Amnesty has been involved and none moreso than now. We’ve already had a meeting which included Oxfam, GRASS and UNICEF with the aim of organising and promoting a Syrian Week of events and information in January. The good news is that the SRC are considering officially endorsing the week!

There’s still lots to organise and although January seems miles off by now it’ll definitely come rushing up- particularly given there’s a whole bunch of exams in December! So if you’d like to get involved please feel free to come along to the meeting this Thursday at 4PM in the Fraser Building and contribute to the week!

Jamnesty Tickets On Sale This Week

With the groovy Jamnesty coming up in just under a month on Wednesday 26th November in Stereo, you might be wondering “where can I buy tickets for this awesome event?”. And the answer would be: right here! The ticketing system we used for the SPB is being redeployed to serve the needs of our gig night too. You’ll also be able to buy tickets from us in person, of course.

Watch this space! If you have any other questions, please email [jamnesty@guamnesty.org.uk](mailto:jamnesty@guamnesty.org.uk].

Reminder! Wednesday 29th October: Conference – ‘Conflict in the Congo: Responses from the International Community’

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

In case anyone missed it (again!) last week, this is coming up this Wednesday. Ruth is looking for a few volunteers – more CV material! – so if you’re interested please email mail@conflictfreeglasgow.org.uk and let her know.

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.

As I said last week 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.

Have a look at the Facebook event for the conference and come along!

Student Conference Travel Plans

In case anyone is coming along to the student conference that we don’t know about yet, please get in touch and let us know if you would like to organise group travel with us. No obligation, but it would be nice to travel a group and if nothing else it’s good to know who is going!

A Recap In Photos

Maybe you’re one of the many people who have joined us in the last few weeks, or recently subscribed to the newsletter. I bet you’d love a recap of some of the things we’ve done so far, right? Even if you’ve been with us for years and years, everyone loves photos. So, since I got caught up with the last few weeks of photos this weekend, I can show you what has been happening since term’s start.

In reverse chronological order, ish:
– A recent meeting we had on Ferguson, MO: Photos and our contribution to the #FergusonOctober photo petition
– A meeting to elect new committee members and death penalty demo preparation
– Our #DemocracyNowHK solidarity photos
– Choosing our campaigns for the semester
– Our welcome meeting – standing room only!
– A few photos from our stall at the Freshers Fair
– A campaign – the Conflict Free Campus Initiative – that we started on a couple of years ago now has its own coalition and motion before the court- we showed our continued support by taking photos during Freshers Fair and our welcome meeting!

It’s great to see so many people taking part and enjoying themselves in the photos- keep it up guys 🙂

Thanks for Reading

This week’s ‘thanks for reading’ reward is something a little closer to home, an animated GIF I made from everyone who took a photo for the #FergusonOctober solidarity action:

FergusonOctober - animated

You guys continue to rock.

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!

Ruth

Tuesday 14th January: SPB Publicity Launch with Billy Kirkwood and Guests

Hello everyone and happy New Year!

I hope you all had a lovely break and if you are feeling a bit rubbish about being back at uni then I hope this gives you a few things to look forward to at least. If you didn’t make any of our meetings last year but are still interested in what we do, then we would love to see you. As always though, you can join us at any time and there are no membership fees – just come along when you can! This weekly newsletter will detail all of our upcoming events so even if you can’t make the meetings, there are plenty of other occasions to join us. If you have any questions about anything, just drop us an email: mail@guamnesty or you can get in touch with the relevant committee member who are listed on our Facebook page and website.

We’ve got a very busy semester with lots of campaigning events and our biggest fundraiser of the year coming up. Here are our plans for January, and some other events that may be of interest to you:

Next meeting: Tuesday 14th 5pm Williams Room, John McIntyre (SRC) Building

–          Secret Policeman’s Ball Publicity Launch

**Please note the change of venue for this meeting!**

Our Vice President, Debbie, and the SPB Sub-committee have been working very hard to get everything organised for our 6th annual Secret Policeman’s Ball comedy fundraiser. This is our biggest event of the year and has won multiple awards from both the SRC and Amnesty International UK for its success.

The date this year is the 22nd February, so get that in your diary! Tickets will be available online soon.

Our first meeting back is going to be the official publicity launch and our host Billy Kirkwood has organised for a few of the performers to give us a short preview of their material to get us excited for the main event. Since it is our first meeting back, we will be going for food/drinks afterwards so you are all welcome to come along.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/245702882272000/

Tuesday 21st January: Guantanamo Bay

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 but are awaiting confirmation.

Wednesday 29th January: Panel Discussion – Syria: I can still see hope

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. One of these events is a panel discussion which we have co-organised and will welcome guest speaker Assaad Al Achi from the Syrian Non-Violence Movement, a group that AIUK is working with and supporting.

 

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

I hope your first week back doesn’t hit too hard. See you on Tuesday for some laughs 🙂

Ruth

 

 

 

Ruth

Meeting on Tuesday 15th October- Conflict Minerals, The Student Conference and our Pub Quiz!

Hello everyone, sorry this is so late.

**IMPORTANT: there has been a double booking for our usual slot in Committee Room 1 so we are moving to the ST ANDREWS BUILDING ROOM 443A at the bottom of Gibson Street, opposite The Old Schoolhouse. There will be someone inside to show you where to go.**

First things first, congratulations bakers and crusaders – what a success on Thursday! We certainly marked International Day Against the Death Penalty, raising £121.30 and collecting over 60 signatures for Reggie Clemons: a great start to the year. Thanks again to those of you who stood in the beautiful sunshine/freezing shade to help out.

In summary:

Tomorrow’s meeting – Conflict minerals and the crisis in the DRC

We shall be taking a break from LGBT rights for this week and looking at our conflict minerals campaign. We need to get this back up and running before David Newall (our Secretary of Court) starts thinking that we have disappeared.  I will take you through the Conflict Free Campus Initiative’s mission and give an overview of the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and how we as consumers are linked to this deadly conflict through the technology that we use every day.

Tuesday 22nd – LGBT rights continued, pizza and ‘Cured’ at The Arches

Presentation on LGBT persecution in Russia. This is when we will take a closer look at the situation in Russia decide how best to use our photos and publicise our ‘Day of Silence’ solidarity action.

I know that some of you didn’t make last week’s meeting and therefore haven’t participated in our LGBT photo campaign, but don’t worry, because we will continue with this the week after. In the meantime, we shall be adding photos of the SRC, GUSA and hopefully the QMU and GUU to the bundle.Also at this meeting we will need to make our visual props for our ‘Love is a Human Right’ Jamnesty in November so we’ll have the paints out again.

This is the day that we were hoping to go and see ‘Stef Smith: Cured’ at The Arches in town. Since it starts at 7.30pm, a brilliant suggestion was put forward for us to grab some Dominos ‘Two for Tuesday’ action during the meeting so that we can head into town together after the meeting. I am currently waiting for a reply about getting a group discount for the play, so will get back to you with that – without discount, tickets are £8.

Tuesday 29th – Guest speakers

Our campaigns officer Dom is working very hard to get someone from Equality Network/the Scottish Transgender Alliance/Patrick Harvie MSP (or all of them!) to come and talk to us about LGBT rights and UK based campaigns.  We’ll keep you posted, but fingers crossed.

Student Conference – book your place!

We will be finalising numbers on Tuesday so that we can book our travel so let us know by then if you are coming!

Dates: 2nd-3rd November 2013

Location: Amnesty International UK HQ – London

Cost: £20 + travel

Fun to be had: Are you kidding? 250 students in the same place at the same time, I guarantee it will be one of your most memorable experiences at university.

There have been several people interested in heading down to London for the Student Conference, which is great. We have 8 places to fill so get cracking and book your place here. Also let us know if you are planning to come and we can all arrange our travel together.

These Amnesty weekends are truly inspirational and empowering.

This year’s agenda includes:

  • Syria: ‘I can still see hope’
  • Afghanistan: Violence against women
  • Sri Lanka: Torture and impunity
  • Northern Ireland: Failure to deal with the legacy of past human rights abuses
  • Looking to Amnesty’s future

As well as this, there will be workshops and campaign actions to get involved with, not forgetting a social event on Saturday night. We shall also be collecting our award for our Secret Policeman’s Ball 2013!

[If you are unable to attend the Student Conference in November, remember that Action for Change happens in March. This is a similar weekend in terms of structure and workshops, but will have different speakers and talks and campaign actions. ]

PUB QUIZ – Sunday 27th in Jim’s Bar

We are all set for our pub quiz – all we need is for you to bring friends. We are making it £3 entry per person, of which £2 will go to us and £1 will be added to the winning pot.

Game on.

See you (somewhere) tomorrow,

Ruth

 

 

Secret Policeman’s Success and Tomorrow’s Meeting

Hey everybody, I’ve got to say that Saturday was a rampant success even by our own already high standards.

Our first Scottish Student Conference was a succession of powerful and lucid speakers in front of an gather of activists from all over Scotland. The after party hosted by Philanthrobeats was the perfect end to a night that saw our Secret Policeman’s Ball raise a staggering £2248.85 – the highest total yet!

We’re going to have a meeting as usual tomorrow at 5pm in QMU Committee Room 1, but we’re going to take it relatively easy and head down to Jim’s after.

This Week’s Meeting

Since it’ll just a short meeting this week we’re just going to focus on an Urgent Action appeal from Amnesty International regarding the situation in Cambodia. It ties into quite a few things we have already touched on this year including women’s rights and forced evictions. We’ll head down to Jim’s afterwards to say thanks to everyone and who helped out on the Saturday night and try to take it a bit easy (if only this week).

Coming Up

There are a few good events to look forward to in the near future: 8pm Wednesday in Qudos – the GU Independence Referendum are having a debate on the Foreign Policy of an Independent Scotland. Regardless of your opinion on Independence this will be a talk worth seeing (even if only for our campaign video star Patrick Harvie MSP). http://www.facebook.com/events/101019473410409/ On Thursday Philanthrobeats are hosting a night at the SubClub to raise money for anti domestic violence campaign One Billion Raising. http://www.facebook.com/events/552663334755030/?ref=ts&fref=ts Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of March is Action For Change – a fantastic training weekend at Amnesty International HQ in London. The weekend is free to attend and includes food and accommodation. It is a great opportunity to learn some campaigning skills and I can’t recommend it thoroughly enough. http://www.facebook.com/events/463814903674353/?fref=ts

See you tomorrow, Martin