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February Meeting Info + January 2022 Minutes!

Thank you to FL for these minutes! As ever, you can read them as a PDF if you would prefer.

Attendees:

FL, MDS, CC, CL, E, JG, KM, MR

Patrick Grady MP Visit in February

We look forward to welcoming back Patrick Grady MP who is coming to talk to the group at our meeting on the 10th February. Patrick Grady is the MP for Glasgow North and friend of the group. We talked about the different points we would like to discuss with Patrick during the meeting.

We'd like to encourage a large turnout to welcome our guest speaker so please share details of the meeting with anyone you think may be interested.

Treasurer's Report and Fundraising Needs

Due to COVID limiting our fundraising activities, the group is low on
funds. Some of the things we need to pay for include meeting room costs,
Amnesty affiliation fees and very importantly, postage costs.

We talked about some of the ways we could fundraise over the next couple
of months.

CC suggested providing a fundraising link on our social media. She is
going to look into the best websites to use for this. Other group
members also suggested putting out a call for donations to our mailing
list.

We aim to start organising face to face fundraising activities again
later in the year when hopefully COVID is less of a concern...

Secretary's Report

Local Group Update

You can read the latest Local Groups Update online

Our group features in this month's Local Groups Update!

Issues covered in this month's mailing:

  • Write for Rights 2021

  • Campaign to stop young girls from being forced into early marriage
    in West & Central Africa

  • Amnesty Activism during COP26

  • Appeal for funds

  • Volunteering opportunity: Become an Activism Rep!

  • JCB Off Track: New Report & Local Action - Israel / Occupied
    Palestinian Territories

  • Training opportunities: Introduction to Equity and Inclusion Course
    and Climate Change and Human Rights Course

No One Is Illegal Events in January

There is a lot of concern in Glasgow and across the country about the UK Government's Borders Bill and it's potential impact on people applying for asylum here. Please join us in protesting against this new and damaging legislation.

You can find Amnesty's Truth Behind the Bill fact sheet here: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/nationality-borders-bill-truth-behind-claims

12-2pm, Saturday 22nd January: We All Belong - No One Is Illegal!

gathering in Maxwell Square Park, Kenmure Street

(NB: This is a different place to the larger Maxwell Park). This is an opportunity to learn more about the issue and prepare for the march the following week. There will be free food, information stalls, spearhead and poster and badge making. Please make sure to take a lateral flow test before attending. We are hoping to have a stall at this event.

More on Facebook: https://fb.me/e/4oEJvyAg9

Saturday 29th January -- March

11am, Saturday 29th January

We All Belong - No One Is Illegal! march from the Bowling Green, Kenmure Street, Pollokshields to George Square to join Refugees for Justice who will be holding an event starting at noon in support of asylum seekers and against hotel detention. Please bring posters and banners.

The march route is approximately 2 miles.

More on Facebook:

Other Upcoming Events

Saturday 15th January Poland Embassy Protest: Stop Refugees Freezing!

We will be outside the Poland Consulate in Edinburgh on the 15th January as part of an International Day of Action in solidarity with thousands of refugees stuck on the Belarus/ Poland border in freezing conditions. We will join with activists from Edinburgh Undercroft Amnesty group, Edinburgh Portobello Amnesty group, Edinburgh University Amnesty group, and Europe Must Act - Scotland group.

The Government of Poland must stop illegal pushback tactics against refugees who arrive in Poland and allow humanitarian assistance from NGOs.

EU should enforce European law but also ensure Poland and other border states are supported to look after the increased number of refugees and to safely and legally settle then in countries across Europe. The UK Government said we are only leaving EU and not Europe so we too have a moral responsibility to support in this way as well, especially if Poland is truly an ally.

Alexander Lukashenko and the Government of Belarus must stop using these refugees as pawns in their geo-politocal games, bringing them to the border on false promises, subjecting them to horrific violence from the police, and then in some cases forcing them back to their home countries where they are at risk.

No country comes out of this situation with any credit, while these humans freeze in temperatures that will drop to below zero this winter!

We stand in solidarity with our fellow activists around Europe raising this issue and to all refugees living in inhumane conditions. As our friends say, Europe Must Act.

Contact Mal (malcolm.ds@gmail.com) for more information.

Saturday 19th March UN Anti-Racism Day March

More details of this march to follow. Please save the date.

Urgent Actions

Thank you to MR for sharing these urgent actions.

Congo: Peaceful activists jailed for 'defamation' (act by 31 Jan)

Activists Claude Lwaboshi Buhazi (32), Faustin Ombeni Tulinabo (26) and Serge Mikindo Waso (33), members of the citizen movement, Jicho la Raiya (The Eye of the Citizens) were arrested on 18 February in Kirotshe, in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, as they were preparing to take part in a peaceful protest against "illegal road taxation" and allegations of mismanagement at the Kirotshe health district. They were accused of defamation and jailed at the police station in Kirotshe before being transferred to Goma Central Prison on 2 March. On 26 November, their request for release on bail was rejected by a military magistrate in Goma. Amnesty International calls for the three activists' immediate and unconditional release.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/peaceful-activists-jailed-defamation

China: Covid-19 journalist must be granted medical bail (act by 20 Jan)

Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who has been on partial hunger strike in protest of her incarceration, is at grave risk of death and her family does not expect her to live through the winter if she is not released on medical grounds. Shanghai Women's Prison has not responded to an application for her bail on medical grounds filed by her family on 15 November. Meanwhile, Zhang Zhan's lawyer and family members continue to file applications to visit her in person, but to no avail. Pending her release, the Chinese authorities must accept the application of medical bail before she dies in the prison.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/covid-19-journalist-must-be-granted-medical-bail

Morocco: Sahrawi activist raped by Moroccan forces (act by 25 Jan)

On 15 November, Moroccan security forces broke into the house of Sultana Khaya, Sahrawi woman activist and defender of Sahrawis' right to self-determination. They raped her and sexually abused her sisters and 80-year-old mother. This is not the first time Moroccan forces have committed acts of torture and other ill-treatment against Sultana Khaya and her family, who have been under de facto house arrest since November 2020.

[https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/sahrawi-activist-raped-moroccan-forces]

You can download the full PDF or click Take Action at the top of the page for a link to a pre-prepared email/letter action.

Keep checking the Urgent Actions sites for actions you can take from your home: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions

Next meeting

Thursday 10th February, Woodlands Methodist Church, Woodlands Road, 7:30pm.

Full details in our Facebook event: [https://fb.me/e/1uIvdEML6]

Guest speaker Patrick Grady MP for Glasgow North!
https://patrickgrady.scot/

Please bring your face masks and do a lateral flow test prior to attending.

You can also contact Freya (freya_lyte\@hotmail.co.uk) with any questions.

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