Rob Hallam

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

Welcome to February! Semester 2 marches on very quickly…

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

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

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

Tuesday 2nd February: Transgender Rights

5PM, QMU Committee Room 1

trangender_flag_photo

We are back in our usual meeting place this week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CFCI Update!

GU CFCI Banner

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

SPB Update

Saturday 21st February 2015, Qudos @ QMU

We have posters and fliers!

SPB 2015 Flyer Face

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

Please get inviting to the Facebook event!
Doooo iiitttttt

Online Actions and Info

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

Greater Maryhill Food Bank Theft

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

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

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

(more info from BBC News)

Call for Pardon for Convicted Gay Men

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

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

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

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

Syria Week Photos!

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

Red Cross Info Tent (Monday)

Thanks to Red Cross for putting this on! More photos

Journey to Safety: A Syrian Perspective (Tuesday)

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

Documentary Screening (Wednesday)

Fundraising Ceilidh (Friday)

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

Fundraising Pub Quiz (Sunday)

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

Thanks for Reading

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

Rabbits in a loop

Rabbits!

Animated GIF of rabbits eating

“Foooood!”

Once again, d’awww….

Get in Touch

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

Rob Hallam

Photos from Syria Week 2015 – Pub Quiz

Rob Hallam

Photos from Syria Week 2015 – Fundraising Ceilidh

Rob Hallam

Photos from Syria Week 2015 – Journey to Safety

Thanks to GRASS for putting this on!

Rob Hallam

Syria Week Info Tent Photos

Thanks to Red Cross for putting this up last week 🙂

 

Rob Hallam

Newsletter 2015-01-25 – SYRIA WEEK THIS WEEK, Campaigns and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to another newsletter!

I would like to start by saying another big thanks to everyone who came along last week and helped us decide on our campaigns for this semester, and an extra thanks to those who spoke about each campaign. I wish we had the time to do all of them, as the cases were compelling and eloquently presented; although two were chosen hopefully we will get the opportunity to visit others.

So, as chosen by you guys, our campaigns for Semester 2 2014-15 are Sri Lanka and *Transgender Rights**.

Sri Lanka Go To The Polls In The Civil War Ravaged North Province As we heard on Tuesday, the situation in Sri Lanka is at a crossroads, with the positive result in the elections earlier this month, there is an opportunity for promoting human rights protection in Sri Lanka going forward.

Leelah-AlcornThe death of Leelah Alcorn at the end of last year caught the attention of many, and rightly so. There is a solidarity march on 7th February, which I would urge you to attend. Terrible though it is, so-called conversion therapy is only one issue facing transgender people. There is a lot we can look at doing, both on campus and more widely.

Once again, I am very excited about the choices for this semester, and I hope you all are too.

Before all that, starting tomorrow, we have…

This Week: Syria Week

syrian_refugee_10

This week is Syria Week, which aims to raise awareness of the plight of Syrian refugees and internally-displaced persons (IDPs). As I mentioned last week, 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. We have looked at the conflict in past years, and helped organise events as a member of the Coalition for Syrian refugees last year. There are also fundraising events, the proceeds of which will go to help Syrian refugees and IDPs.

We have a week of events planned from Monday-Sunday, please invite your friends along- raise awareness with others 🙂

Monday 26th January: Introduction

Info Point
Tent in front of Fraser Building, 12-5 PM

Come along to find out the facts and figures of the Syrian conflict, and take part in a photo action.

Evening Talk – Syrian Refugees: Dynamics of the Exodous
5 PM, Boyd Orr Building Room 407

3.8 million refugees from Syria (95 per cent) are in just five countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. This already gives you an idea of how difficult the situation with the Syrian refugees is. While considering this humanitarian crisis, we can’t ignore the history behind it, that’s why the first event of Syria week will be a historical overview of the events since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War.

Speaker: Dr Thomas Pierret (University of Edinburgh, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies)

The event will be free and open to everyone, including all students and staff at the University of Glasgow, and anyone outwith the University who may be interested.

Join the Facebook event and invite others along too!

Tuesday 27th January: Journey to Safety – A Syrian Perspective

5-7 PM, Adam Smith Building Room 702

With the very lovely folks at GRASS– check them out!

We all know how awful the situation in Syria is right now. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that huge numbers of Syrians have fled the country in fear. Although the majority of Syrian refugees settle in bordering countries, many of them have made the dangerous journey to Europe in order to seek safety here. However, the UK government do not give them a warm welcome.

The number of Syrians who make it to the UK is very small, and we should consider it our responsibility to provide the safety they are seeking. However, the UK Home Office have created a hostile and unfair asylum system that anyone seeking safety in the UK must endure before they are granted refugee status.

This free interactive workshop will provide an introduction to the UK asylum system and it’s many pitfalls. We focus on Syrian refugees, but keep in mind – everyone who comes to the UK seeking safety from any persecution in any country must go through this. There are a vast number of problems with the way the Home Office handle asylum seekers, but we hope this workshop will provide a good introduction to the some of the largest of these problems. So come along to the Adam Smith Building, Room 702!

PS The Adam Smith building is behind the library: Google Maps

Thanks to the folks at GRASS for putting this on! Join the Facebook event.

Wednesday 28th January: Refugee Documentary Screening

Screening of documentaries with informal Q&A
5-7 PM, QMU Committee Room 2

We will first watch a 30 minute documentary about Syrian refugees in Calais, who are trying to get into the UK. The documentary shows the journey they have to make to get to Calais, and the terrible treatment they receive from both the French and UK governments.

We will then watch two 15 minute documentaries showing us the other side of the coin – in countries bordering Syria, huge refugee camps have been set up to support the millions of Syrians who have now fled the country. We focus on Zaatari, a camp in Lebanon that has grown to such a size that it is now the fourth largest city in the country.

Afterwards, we’ll have an informal Q&A and discussion about these films. So come along to Committee Room 2 of the QMU!

You can see these documentaries on Youtube:
Displaced
Syria’s Lost Generation
Ground Zero Syria

You can also join this event on Facebook.

Thursday 29th January: Panel Discussion with Q&A (POSTPONED)

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to postpone this event. Because the speakers are excellent, we hope to rearrange this for a future week as it will be a very informative event. Watch this space!

Friday 30th January: Fundraising Ceilidh!

7-10, Qudos @ QMU

Come along and dance to the delightful Spootiskerry to raise funds for Syrian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. Entry is a suggested donation of £3, and there will be a raffle and a whiskey toss! Not to be missed 😀

The hard work organising this was put in by the wonderful Oxfam Glasgow University, well done them!

Get inviting to the Facebook event!

Sunday 1st February: Syrian Pub Quiz

Bank Street Pub, 7 PM

Our second fundraiser! Come and test your knowledge on a variety of topics, with more fab prizes to be won. Invite your friends and help us raise money 😀

To close Syria week, we’re hosting a pub quiz to raise funds for the relief effort in Syria. So come along to the Bank Street Bar at 7pm for a great night of fun questions, and a chance to win some exciting prizes! There will also be a raffle! Entry will cost £3, £1 of which will go into the pot to be used as our 1st place prize.

If like me you weren’t sure about where the Bank Street Pub is- it’s near the GUU, on… Bank Street. If you’re still not sure, see Google Maps / Street View

You can also join the Facebook event.

Student Conference Info

Thanks to everyone who signed up to indicate their interest in helping with the putative Student Conference in February. We’ll get the ball rolling with a meeting next week, so please indicate your availability on the doodle: http://doodle.com/6ritsxpmcwcynwbr#table

There’s lots to be done so we’re going to get started on this pretty quickly!

More Photos!

SPB 2015 Launch

More photos!

Post-SPB 2015 Launch Social @ Champions

More post-launch social photos featuring a copious amount of pool!

Campaigns Voting, Round Two

More voting! More photos!

Post-Campaigns Voting II Social @ Jim’s

Woo, social photos!

Thanks for Reading

This past week has been… a little chilly. But Glasgow in the snow can be pretty, I think:

IMG_0219IMG_0215IMG_0192-Edit

(click for bigger versions)

Ahhh. Of course, after the snow (eventually) melted and it rained on the ice, I was of course subject to a very comic (so I’m told) pratfall, but them’s the (fortunately not my arm) breaks .

See you around at Syria Week!

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.