Categories
minutes

February 2024 Meeting and January Updates

Thanks to AMG for these updates. If you would likle to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This update includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming February 2024 meeting;

  • How to get tickets for our 12th February Comedy Fundraiser at The Stand;

  • Information on current AIUK campaigns;

  • Minutes of our local Group meeting held last month; and

  • A note of our local Group's meeting dates for 2024.

February 2024 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 8th February, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 8th February 2024 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.

Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the February meeting include:

  • Planning for our forthcoming local Comedy Night Fundraiser for Amnesty International, which is being held at The Stand, Glasgow on Monday 12th February 2024; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AIUK.

12th February - Comedy Fundraising Event for AI Glasgow West

Some Tickets Still Remaining - Get Your Tickets Now!

A Comedy night will be held at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Monday 12th February 2024 to raise funds for Amnesty International.

All the comedians on the bill, including the high profile mystery host, are giving their input to our worthwhile cost for free. Likewise, The Stand is providing its facilities for no charge. All profits from ticket sales will go to AIUK's charitable arm. A cash raffle will be held on the night, with the proceeds going directly to our local AI group's campaigning and expenses.

Tickets cost £12 / £10 and are on sale now. Further information is available from The Stand website.

Updates On Current AIUK Campaigns

Gaza – Call For Ceasefire

Demand An Urgent Ceasefire In Gaza And Israel – Now

Countless lives have been shattered, ripped apart, and upended due to the crisis in Gaza, Israel and wider Occupied Palestinian Territories. In the face of such devastation and suffering, humanity must prevail. For further details, click the Link.

UK Government's Prevent Strategy

What Is Prevent?

How much do you know about Prevent – the UK's strategy ‘to stop people becoming terrorists'?

Our new report - This Is The Thought Police: The Prevent duty and its chilling effect on human rights - illustrates that Prevent is a dangerously broken system.

As a `pre-crime intervention', it is supposed to protect us by identifying people at risk of radicalisation into terrorism and stopping them before they do. But in reality, the vast majority of people reported under Prevent do not present any threat and the referrals require no further action. Prevent is seriously interfering with the lives and freedoms of thousands of innocent people, and it is leading to many people self-censoring out of fear of being reported to it.

Scrap New Anti-Protest Laws

Photo by Mike Kemp via Getty Image

What does the future hold if we allow the government to restrict our right to protest?

The answer is: nothing good.

Join us to demand the Home Secretary scraps the government's anti-protest laws today.

ACT NOW

Shop Amnesty

Amnesty Shop – Browse AI's wide range of ethical gifts and everyday items via this link.

Further information from AIUK

Further information from AIUK can be found on the webpage.

January 2024 Updates

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 11th January 2024

Present: Claire (Chair), Mal, Merle, Chakar, Han, Sophie, Neil and Andrew.

Apologies submitted: Kirstie, Cait, Fatma and Mhairi.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, particularly Chakar, who's asylum application had finally been approved in recent weeks, following a process that took just over three years. Claire indicated that Fatma would resume attendance at the group in the Spring.

Minutes of meeting held on 14th December 2023 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed, with an update provided on the following matters arising:-

Political Cartoons Display - A couple of colleagues had gone along to the Mitchell Library to see the display board with political cartoons, including several directly relating to AI. Andrew had previously circulated some photographs of the display on the Glasgow West AI activists' Signal group.

Write 4 Rights - The Glasgow AI Groups' Write for Rights event held in December resulted in just over 100 cards and letters being sent.

Lift the Ban Campaign – Fatma can advise on any opportunities for group members to participate in Lift the Ban actions.

AI Comedy Night Fundraiser Preparation

  • Event takes place at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Mon 12th Feb 8pm – 10pm.

  • We can check how many tickets have been sold via this link (40 tickets sold as at 25/1/24)

  • Ticket sales money will go directly to AIUK charitable arm. All proceeds from raffle with go to our local group's campaigning activities and running expenses.

  • Andrew to Contact Glasgow Univ Group and ask them to promote the show / help get the tickets sold.

  • Andrew to contact Sarah at Freedom From Torture and ask FFT to promote our event to their members / mailing list.

  • Cait has created online poster for use in social media.

  • Han will create / print physical posters for use in local shops / bars / universities, etc for promoting the event. (QR code to be added to poster with direct link to booking via The Stand).

  • Mal will contact AIUK to arrange a direct mailing from them to all AI members in the Greater Glasgow postcode.

  • Andrew has taken large AI banner & bungee clips / placards / Raffle Tickets, 3 collecting tins / AI stickers & badges and will bring these to The Stand

  • Fatma will drop off the new banner at the church hall and Mal will bring it on the night

  • Eva at The Stand has indicated that Mark Nelson will act as ‘Special Guest Host', but has asked not to be named on the publicity, as he is planning his own show in the coming months.

  • Mal will liaise with the host comedian, including in relation to the raffle draw.

  • Mal will also provide a short overview of the work of AI to the audience during the interval prior to commencing the raffle.

  • Mal will take photos on the night for posting to social media. He will also ask if there is anyone not wishing to be photographed.

  • Neil, Han and Sophie have volunteered to sell raffle tickets – others welcome to assist with this too.

  • Raffle tickets to be sold at £2 per strip and £5 for three strips

  • Raffle prizes – all to consider donating raffle prizes on the night. (Preference is not to have loads of prizes, but rather to have a manageable number of decent quality prizes. (e.g. bottles of wine / spirits / champagne, etc.

  • A small number of our group should come early to The Stand to help set up.

  • Final details, etc to be sorted at our next meeting, which takes place a few days before the event.

AI Glasgow Archive material

Following discussion at last month's meeting about the AI archive material left by former Glasgow AI member Brian Donnelly, Merle indicated that she had a sizeable collection of archive material from our group. This dates back to 1975, when the Glasgow AI group was founded. It was agreed that this ought to be preserved in a secure place for posterity. Merle agreed to liaise with the archivist service at the Mitchell Library to enquire as to whether they might be interested in holding the material.

Action - Merle

Mailchimp / Website Log-in

Merle will check if she still has up-to-date log-in details for our Group's Mailchimp account (which is used by Rob to send out the monthly meeting notices, including minutes of previous meeting, AIUK Local group updates, etc). Likewise, she will do the same regarding our local group's website.

Action – Merle to liaise with Andrew on this

Annual General Meeting

The meeting notice had indicated that our AGM would be included as part of this meeting. Claire had previously circulated details of all posts and indicated that all were available for anyone interested. This included the opportunity to act as shadow / support for anyone not yet prepared to take on a role immediately. After discussion, including an outline of various roles, including some that were currently unfilled, the following post-holders were confirmed for the year ahead:-

  • Chair – Claire

  • Treasurer – Kirstie

  • Secretary – Andrew

  • Urgent Actions co-ordinator – Merle

  • Social Media co-ordinator – Cait / Mal

  • Welfare & Diversity co-ordinator– Sophie

  • Political liaison co-ordinator - Neil

  • Prisoner of Conscience / Individual at Risk Co-ordinator* – Han

(*Mal explained that there are options for individuals or local groups to work long-term on individual cases, countries or regions, particular professions or thematic areas. This typically involves liaison with colleagues in AIUK, as well as work led locally)

Mal also noted that he had taken on the role of Co-ordinator for Myanmar / South East Asia in recent months and was working with colleagues in AIUK on this. It was agreed that it would be interesting to invite Mal to speak about this work at one of our future meetings.

Action - Mal

Post meeting script

AI subsequently posted information on vacant country co-ordinator roles:-

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/jobs/activism?utm_content=142118&utm_campaign=MCFR1294S_CC_Roles_LGs&utm_medium=email&utm_source=amnestyuk

Claire posted this on our Glasgow West activists' Signal group. Chakar expressed an interest in the Iran co-ordinator role. Details of the application process are in the link above.

Urgent Actions

Merle circulated information relating to a number of Urgent Actions and members were invited to respond to them following the meeting:-

Other Urgent Actions can also be accessed via AIUK's Urgent Actions link and individual Group members may also wish to follow up on these. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions

ACTION – All to consider responding to the AI Urgent Action appeals

AIUK Local Groups' Update

Due to the holiday period, there was only a very brief details from the latest AIUK Local Groups' Update, which had been circulated with the meeting notice.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 8th February 2024, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

Claire noted that she would be unable to attend the February and March meetings.

Andrew noted he is unable to attend the February meeting. Mal will take a note of the meeting.

Mal agreed to chair the meetings. Claire will prepare the February agenda. Andrew will prepare the March agenda.

2024 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 11th January 2024

  • Thursday 8th February 2024

  • Thursday 14th March 2024

  • Thursday 11th April 2024

  • Thursday 9th May 2024

  • Thursday 13th June 2024

  • Thursday 11th July 2024

  • Thursday 8th August 2024

  • Thursday 12th September 2024

  • Thursday 10th October 2024

  • Thursday 14th November 2024

  • Thursday 12th December 2024

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

January 2024 Meeting + December 2023 Updates!

Thank you to AMG for these updates. If you would prefer to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This update includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming January 2024 meeting, which includes our AGM;
  • How to get tickets for our February Comedy Fundraiser;
  • Feedback on our annual Write for Rights Campaign;
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups;
  • Minutes of our local Group meeting held last month; and
  • A note of our local Group's meeting dates for 2024.

January 2024 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 11th January, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 11th January 2024 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.
Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the January meeting include:

  • Our local Group's AGM, including agreeing the various postholders, such as chair, treasurer, secretary, social media co-ordinator, etc. We are always keen to involve new members and would love to have new volunteers coming along;

  • Planning for our forthcoming local Comedy Night Fundraiser for Amnesty International, which is being held at The Stand, Glasgow on Monday 12th February 2024;

  • Discussing a collaboration proposal from the neighbouring Dumbarton / Lomond local AI Group; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AIUK.

Comedy Fundraising Night at The Stand - 12th Feb 2024

Get Your Tickets Now!

Amnesty International Glasgow West – Comedy Fundraising Event

A Comedy night will be held at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Monday 12th February 2024 to raise funds for Amnesty International.

All the comedians on the bill, including the high profile mystery host, are giving their input to our worthwhile cost for free. Likewise, The Stand is providing its facilities for no charge. All profits from ticket sales will go to AIUK's charitable arm. A cash raffle will be held on the night, with the proceeds going directly to our local AI group's campaigning and expenses.

Tickets cost £12 / £10 and are on sale now. Further information is available from The Stand website.

Write for Rights Campaign

Write a letter, change a life

The Glasgow AI Groups held a Write for Rights event in Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow on Sunday 10th December (the UN's Human Rights Day). Despite the rainy weather, the event helped to engage members of the public in writing letters of support to those unfairly detained, as well as letters of protest to Authorities around the world responsible for human rights abuses.

In total, over one hundred cards and letters were sent from the Glasgow AI Groups.

Photo: Activists from the Glasgow AI Groups with a member of the public at our Dec 2023 Write for Rights event

Amnesty International's Write for Rights campaign transforms the lives of people whose rights have been wronged.

This year's campaign features people from around the world, all connected because their human rights have been violated. Some by their governments, others by the police, or by big corporations. All because of who they are and what they do.

The current Right for Rights Campaign runs until the end of January. Links to two of the 2023 Write for Rights cases are highlighted below.

Demand Freedom for Ahmed

Before his arrest, Ahmed was the last voice in the UAE providing the rest of the world with credible independent information about human rights abuses in the country. He regularly drew attention to the detention, torture, and unfair trials of dissenters. He spoke about problems with the judicial system and national laws that violate international laws.

ACT NOW: Demand Ahmed Mansoor be freed from prison in the UAE

Free Tunisian activist Chaima Issa

When Tunisian president Kais Saied suspended parliament in July 2021, dismissed the prime minister, and seized control of the country citing emergency powers, Chaima was one of the first to publicly oppose him. Since he seized power, human rights in Tunisia are more fragile than ever. Freedom of expression is under attack. Military courts target critics of the government, and the legal system lacks independence.

ACT NOW: Sign the petition to call on the Tunisian authorities to drop the investigation and other restrictions against Chaima Issa

Read more: censorship and freedom of expression

You can also support all eleven of the 2023 individuals by signing the petition.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK is shorter than usual, due to the Christmas / New Year holiday period, but includes the following:

AIUK Board of Directors Vacancies

Amnesty International UK will be seeking to fill five vacancies on its Board during 2024.

Details of the vacancies and election process are included on the AIUK website.

The deadline for applications is 23rd February 2024.

Upcoming dates

Invitation to Manchester Amnesty's online meeting with JENGbA

On Monday 8 January at 7pm, Manchester Amnesty group is holding an online meeting with speakers from Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA).

This meeting follows the passing of Manchester Amnesty's resolution at Amnesty UK's 2023 AGM meeting, which focuses on the ways in which the Joint Enterprise and conspiracy laws are being used against communities in the UK, including the use of racist gang narratives in prosecutions, particularly of young people of colour. The speakers from JENGbA will explain more about their work and we will discuss ways in which we can support their organisation.

In Manchester, we are following the case of the Manchester 10 who are all currently serving prison sentences and were convicted using conspiracy laws, relying heavily on racist gang narratives, read more here, Unfortunately there are many cases across the UK, which JENGbA will refer to during the meeting.

We are opening up this meeting to all UK Amnesty groups and members and will be pleased to welcome anyone who is able to join us. Please email hazelerrey@gmail.com if you would like the joining link, which will be sent out nearer the time.

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

December 2023 Updates

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 14th December 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Mhairi, Merle, Han, Sophie, Christine, Kirstie, Neil, Carol, Andrew, Clare, Cara (and Ophelia!).

Apologies submitted: Mal, Cait, Fatma and Jean.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, particularly Cara, who was attending her first meeting.

As this was the last meeting of 2023, there would be a shortened agenda, with the main focus being on writing cards and letters as part of the Write for Rights campaign. Christine was thanked for bringing along mulled wine, whilst various members had provided home baking, chocolates, etc.

Minutes of meeting held on 9th November 2023 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed, with no matters arising.

Brian Donnelly's old AI material

Brian Donnelly had been a local AI activist in Glasgow for many years, but had died in 2022. Stephen Curran of Relics Antiques in Ruthven Lane, Glasgow had contacted our Group secretary (Andrew), who subsequently met with Brian's widow and was given a box and a bag of old AI materials, from Brian's time as the local AI Group secretary. The vast majority of this material covered the 1970s / 1980s and comprised routine correspondence (from pre internet / email era), such as letters arranging meetings, booking venues, etc. However, there was also a number of interesting AI documents, campaign leaflets, etc. Andrew had brought these along to this meeting for Group members to review / borrow. After the meeting, the material was placed in one of the AI plastic boxes in the church hall storage cupboard, should anyone wish to review it further in the future.

Write for Rights

The annual Write for Rights event had taken place at Hillhead Library on Sunday 10th December 2023 (Human Rights Day) and was a success.

There had been input at the Sunday event from a range of colleagues from both the Glasgow West and Glasgow Daytime Groups.

In order to further add to the cards and letters from the library event, Group members spent this evening writing further cards and letters.

Last year's event resulted in 118 cards / letters being sent. This year, the total was 101 (the latter figure was subsequently provided by Kirstie following this meeting).

Urgent Actions

Merle circulated information relating to a number of Urgent Actions and members were invited to respond to them following the meeting:-

Other Urgent Actions can also be accessed via AIUK's Urgent Actions link and individual Group members may also wish to follow up on these. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions

ACTION – All to consider responding to the AI Urgent Action appeals

AIUK Local Groups' Update

As usual, a summary of the latest AIUK Local Groups' Update had been circulated with the meeting notice.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 11th January 2024, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

2024 Meeting Dates

New members very welcome!

The group meets every second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 11th January 2024

  • Thursday 8th February 2024

  • Thursday 14th March 2024

  • Thursday 11th April 2024

  • Thursday 9th May 2024

  • Thursday 13th June 2024

  • Thursday 11th July 2024

  • Thursday 8th August 2024

  • Thursday 12th September 2024

  • Thursday 10th October 2024

  • Thursday 14th November 2024

  • Thursday 12th December 2024

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

December 2023 Meeting + November Updates

Thank you to AMG for these updates. If you would prefer to read thm in PDF format, you may do so here.


We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming December 2023 meeting;

  • How to get tickets for our February Comedy Fundraiser;

  • Information on our annual Write for Rights Campaign;

  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups;

  • Minutes of our local Group meeting held last month

  • A note of our local Group's meeting dates for 2024

December 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 14th November, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 14th December 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.

Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the December meeting include:

  • Planning for our forthcoming local Comedy Night Fundraiser for Amnesty International, which is being held at The Stand, Glasgow on Monday 12th February 2024;

  • Reflecting on the Glasgow AI local Groups' annual ‘Write for Rights' event, which will take place on Sunday 10th December 2023 within Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow between 12pm – 5pm.

  • Preparing for our local Group's AGM, which will take place early in 2024

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AIUK

Save the Date: 12 Feb 2024 - AIGW Comedy Fundraising Event

Get your tickets now!

A comedy night will be held at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Monday 12th February 2024 to raise funds for Amnesty International.

All the comedians on the bill, together with the mystery host are giving their input to our worthwhile cause for free. Likewise, The Stand is providing its facilities for no charge. All profits from ticket sales will go to AIUK's charitable arm. A cash raffle will be held on the night, with the proceeds going directly to our local AI group's campaigning and expenses.

Tickets cost £12 / £10 and are on sale now. Further information is available from The Stand website.

Write a letter, change a life - Write for Rights 2023

Amnesty International's Write for Rights campaign transforms the lives of people whose rights have been wronged.

Write for Rights supporters are united by their desire to make a difference. In recent years, we've seen real change to people's lives because of Write for Rights action. From Zimbabwe to Guatemala, activists have been released and justice delivered.

This year's campaign features people from around the world, all connected because their human rights have been violated. Some by their governments, others by the police, or by big corporations. All because of who they are and what they do.

Together, we can fight for their rights.

Join Write for Rights today.

“I really appreciate the thoughts, the love and the solidarity.

It means so much to me and I don't take it for granted.”

– Netsai Marova, Zimbabwean opposition activist.

Two 2023 Write for Rights Cases

CENSORSHIP AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Demand Freedom for Ahmed

ACT NOW

CENSORSHIP AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Free Tunisian activist Chaima Issa

ACT NOW

You can also support all eleven of the 2023 Individuals by signing the petition.

The Glasgow AI Groups will be holding their own Write for Rights event in Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow between 12noon – 5pm on Sunday 10th December. This event is designed to encourage members of the public to join us - and thousands of people across the world – to write letters supporting those whose human rights have been violated.

What better way to help protect and defend human rights on the UN's Human Rights Day!

Gaza

Amnesty International has recently published a range of statements and publications relating to the escalating crisis in Gaza.

As the situation is so fast moving, Amnesty is publishing the latest developments via press release publications, which are available from the above link.

Members of AI's Glasgow Groups have participated in a range of demonstrations and protests.

Regular vigils are taking place on Fridays at 6.30pm on the steps at the top of Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

Amnesty's donation gift cards

We are pleased to launch Amnesty's new donation gift cards, just in time for Christmas.

Amnesty's donation gift cards are gifts for minimum fuss and maximum impact. Whether you don't like the idea of buying more ‘stuff' for people who have everything; worry about the environmental impact of buying gifts or have simply left things a bit late, our range of donation gift cards could be for you.

Your donation will be used to enable vital human rights work in the UK and around the world - wherever it's needed most. Choose either a digital e-card or a traditional paper card to be sent to the recipient of your choice. You can add your personalised message, and send it straight to your friend or family member - simple!

Anti-Racism: New Report on the Government's Prevent Strategy

What Is Prevent?

How much do you know about Prevent – the UK's strategy ‘to stop people becoming terrorists'? This has led to Prevent having a racist and discriminatory impact. In many cases, those worst affected are among society's most vulnerable and marginalised people. For example, children, neurodivergent people and Muslims are most often wrongly flagged up as carrying a high risk of being ‘drawn into terrorism' – even though they have never committed a crime. The reasons why people have been referred to Prevent are often shrouded in secrecy and there is no clear way to challenge referrals.

Our new report - This Is The Thought Police: The Prevent duty and its chilling effect on human rights - illustrates that Prevent is a dangerously broken system. As a ‘pre-crime intervention', it is supposed to protect us by identifying people at risk of radicalisation into terrorism and stopping them before they do. But in reality, the vast majority of people reported under Prevent do not present any threat and the referrals require no further action. Prevent is seriously interfering with the lives and freedoms of thousands of innocent people. Prevent is stripping people of their basic human rights and hampering their ability to live, work and speak freely. It is ineffective and a waste of public resources, where this resource can be better allocated.

Read the report

The Human Rights Impact Of Prevent

The Prevent strategy defines certain indicators of ‘radicalisation', but through speaking to interviewees, we found that decisions about who to refer to Prevent ultimately rely on ‘gut feeling’.

This has led to Prevent having a racist and discriminatory impact. In many cases, those worst affected are among society’s most vulnerable and marginalised people. For example, children, neurodivergent people and Muslims are most often wrongly flagged up as carrying a high risk of being ‘drawn into terrorism’ – even though they have never committed a crime. The reasons why people have been referred to Prevent are often shrouded in secrecy and there is no clear way to challenge referrals.

Prevent is stripping people of their basic human rights and hampering their ability to live, work and speak freely. It is ineffective and a waste of public resources, where this resource can be better allocated.

It must be scrapped.

Upcoming dates

10th Dec - Human Rights Day, 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

10th Dec – 12pm – 5pm AI Glasgow Groups' Write for Rights event, Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

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November 2023 Updates

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 9th November 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Mhairi, Merle, Han, Christine, Kirstie, Neil, Carol, Cait and Andrew.

Guest Speaker: Linsay Taylor, Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND)

Apologies submitted: Mal, Fatma and Jean.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting and circulated hard copies of the meeting agenda.

Minutes of meeting held on 12th October 2023 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and any matters arising were included in this month's agenda.

Guest Speaker – Linsay Taylor, Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND)

Claire introduced Linsay, who is Head of Community Engagement & Development and Scotland Regional Manager for MEND. Linsay had been invited to attend our meeting as part of Islamaphobia Awareness month. Members of the Glasgow University and Glasgow Daytime Groups had been invited to attend and participate in this discussion.

Linsay delivered a presentation, which included consideration of 1.) various forms of discrimination and marginalisation that take place in society; 2.) the Equality Act's protected characteristics and 3.) how individuals and communities can stand up to discrimination.

A wide-ranging discussion and Q&A session followed Linsay's presentation.

Claire thanked Linsay for her input to the meeting.

Finance Update

Kirstie provided an update on recent transactions on the Group's finances, noting that the hall hire bill of £78 had recently been paid and that there was now a current balance of £486.

Kirstie invited colleagues to claim travel expenses for attending the meeting.

Social Media Co-ordinator

Claire indicated that Silvia had stood down from the role of the Group's social media co-ordinator due to other commitments. Silvia was thanked for the work she had carried out on behalf of the group and it was hoped she would be able to pick up her work as a volunteer activist again in the near future.

Claire noted that Mal had agreed to input to the role of Social Media Co-ordinator on a temporary basis until a replacement could be found. Cait said that she would also be available to assist.

ACTION – Mal & Cait

Lift the Ban

It was noted that there would be an opportunity for members of our Group to join with Lift the Ban (LTB) colleagues to take part in promoting LTB to local businesses at a future ‘street walk' awareness raising event. Fatma would be able to share information on appropriate future events.

ACTION - Fatma

Mitchell Library Exhibition

Carol and Claire provided a further update on the exhibition of political cartoons, spanning several decades, which have been produced by a former AI Daytime Group member. The exhibition is now underway on the second floor of the Mitchell Library and will run until the end of December. Alongside the exhibition, there is a poster with information on the local AI groups within Glasgow. It is intended that the exhibition will help raise awareness of human rights issues.

A brief discussion took place on the desire to find a suitable permanent home for the collection. There are duplicates of a number of the cartoons and the question has been posed by the Daytime Group as to whether our Group might assume custodianship of the duplicates. This matter can be discussed further at a future meeting once our group members have had the opportunity to view the exhibition.

A number of members of the group expressed their interest in attending the exhibition.

ACTION – All to consider attending the exhibition

ACTION – Further discussion to take place at a future meeting regarding whether our Group ought to take custodianship of the duplicate cartoons

Write for Rights Event

Kirstie confirmed the agreed date and time of 12noon – 5pm on Sunday 10th December 2023 (Human Rights Day) for the annual Write for Rights event.

The Daytime and University groups had been asked if they wanted to help run this as a joint event between the three Glasgow-based AI Groups. Andrew advised that the Daytime was keen to participate and that Meredith, Floris and Alex from that Group were intending to come along. The University Group indicated that they were planning their own event at the University on 13th December and said they may struggle to input on Sunday 10th due to study commitments.

Andrew and Kirstie had received a number of Write for Rights booklets and posters. The booklets were distributed to all attending the meeting.

ALL MEMBERS - PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING THE ‘WRITE FOR RIGHTS' BOOKLET AND POSTERS, COLLECTION TINS, CARDS, WRITING MATERIALS, ETC WITH YOU TO HILLHEAD LIBRARY!

Write4Rights Sunday 10th December – Minimum Rota

  • 12pm – 1pm – Christine, Merle, Claire & Andrew

  • 1pm – 2pm - Han & Sophie

  • 2pm – 3pm - Mhari

  • 3pm – 4pm - Neil

  • 4pm – 5pm - Kirstie

These are the minimum times and personnel to ensure cover throughout the event. It's fine to come and help earlier and stay longer. Those not listed can come along anytime that suits. It is also noted that Daytime Group members will be inputting. Each person on the rota will tell the next person what to do. Andrew will bring the large AI Banner and the remaining booklets that he has. Mal will produce a social media update on the event. Claire will invite MPs / MSPs to attend.

ACTION – All members

Urgent Actions

Merle circulated information relating to the undernoted Urgent Actions and members were invited to respond to them following the meeting:

Other Urgent Actions can also be accessed via AIUK's Urgent Actions link and individual Group members may also wish to follow up on these. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions

ACTION – All to consider responding to the AI Urgent Action appeals

AIUK Local Groups' Update

A summary of the latest AIUK Local Groups' Update was circulated with the meeting notice and Claire briefly highlighted some of the key issues covered.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 14th December 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

2024 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 11th January 2024

  • Thursday 8th February 2024

  • Thursday 14th March 2024

  • Thursday 11th April 2024

  • Thursday 9th May 2024

  • Thursday 13th June 2024

  • Thursday 11th July 2024

  • Thursday 8th August 2024

  • Thursday 12th September 2024

  • Thursday 10th October 2024

  • Thursday 14th November 2024

  • Thursday 12th December 2024

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

November 2023 Meeting + October Updates

Thank you to AMG for providing these updates. If you would prefer to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This update includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming November 2023 meeting
  • An update from AI on the current situation within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • A brief report on our Group's recent meeting with a AIUK country volunteer lead for Russia
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups
  • Minutes of our local Group meeting held last month
  • A note of our local Group's meeting dates for 2023

November 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 9th November, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 9th November 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.
Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the November meeting include:

  • Guest Speaker - Daniel Gilius from Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) will lead a discussion/workshop on Islamophobia Awareness;

  • Planning the Glasgow AI local Groups' annual ‘Write for Rights' event, which will take place on Sunday 10th December 2023 within Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow between 12pm – 5pm; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AIUK.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

Crisis in Gaza, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel

© MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International has provided an update on the crisis in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT).

As the situation is so fast moving, Amnesty is publishing the latest developments via publications on the press releases page of the AIUK website.

Further details can also be found on AIUK's IOPT Campaign page.

Since the start of the current crisis in IOPT, members of the AI Glasgow West Group have participated in various vigils and gatherings within Glasgow.

We are horrified by the escalating crisis for civilians in Gaza, the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Israel. Amnesty International is issuing an urgent call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties in the occupied Gaza Strip and Israel.

If you want to write to your MP, you can take from our key calls or press releases. And you can take our urgent action calling for the Israeli military to rescind their evacuation order against Gaza hospitals.
Take action now.

Human Rights in Russia – Guest Speaker at Recent Glasgow AI Groups' meeting

Photo – Iona Fletcher, AIUK Volunteer Co-ordinator for Russia, with some of the members of the Glasgow West and Glasgow Daytime AI Groups

The Glasgow AI Groups hosted a discussion in October, which was led by Iona Fletcher, who has recently taken up the role as an AIUK Volunteer Co-ordinator for Russia.

Iona spoke about her role, working alongside AIUK's country co-ordinator team. Iona is a Russian national, with family living in Russia, though she herself has lived in Scotland for several years. She has had a long-standing involvement in human rights issues concerning Russia.

Iona provided details on a number of live cases that AIUK is currently supporting, including Russian artist and musician Aleksandra ‘Sasha' Skochilenko, the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and the prominent journalist and political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza. Iona also spoke more generally about protecting the right to protest within Russia.

She indicated that there has been an estimated 20,000 individual protesters placed under arrest / detention in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. She noted that the AI office in Russia has been closed due to safety concerns, so there is no direct official, permanent AI presence within the country.

A wide-ranging discussion and Q&A session followed Iona's presentation, with members of both the Glasgow West and Glasgow Daytime Groups in attendance at the event.

The Chair thanked Iona for her input to the meeting and for providing a thought-provoking insight into the many Human Rights challenges in Russia.

Digital Campaign Training for AI activists

Weds 15 November: 5:30-7pm (Online)

The objectives of this training are to help you gain a better understanding of digital mobilisation, explore different tactics for mobilising supporters online, and apply those tactics to achieve your campaign objectives.

This training is designed for those who have a foundational knowledge of digital tools and platforms and are looking to enhance their skills in the area of digital mobilisation. If you are interested sign up here.

Anti-racism and human rights course for AI activists

Racism is deeply rooted in the structures of our society. Challenging these structures and the ideologies that support them is key to human rights progress. This short course has been created as a first step for anyone who wants to learn about racism and its relation to and impact on human rights in the UK and around the world. It will help you to understand and confront racism, discrimination, inequality and disempowerment.

Click this link to access the course or find the rest of our courses here.

Amnesty Christmas Raffle

Enter the AIUK Christmas Raffle and grab your chance to feel like a winner! How would you spend £5,000? That's what's up for grabs when we draw the raffle in December.
Tickets cost just £2 and with every ticket you buy, you're speaking up for humanity.

Buy your raffle tickets online today for your chance to experience that winning feeling, and you could help more people like unfairly imprisoned Taner Kılıç walk free!

Upcoming dates

4th Nov 10am - AIUK National Conference 2023 - Free online tickets here

9th Nov 6pm - Young Human Rights Journalists panel event - Sign up here

10th Dec - Human Rights Day, 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

10th Dec (12pm – 5pm) - AI Glasgow Groups' Write for Rights event, which will be held in Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

Freedom From Torture – Comedy Fundraising Event

The organisation Freedom From Torture (FfT) has asked us to share information on its forthcoming fundraising event Amnesty members. The Comedy event for FfT is being held at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Sunday 12th November 2023.

Tickets cost £12 / £10. Further information is available from The Stand website.

(*Please note, whilst this is not an Amnesty International event, it is a very worthwhile cause!)

img

Updates from October 2023

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 12th October 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Merle, Christine, Kirstie, Neil, Carol, Cait, Mal, Jim McGrath and Andrew. Guest speaker – Iona Fletcher, AIUK Russia Volunteer Co-ordinator.

Apologies submitted: Silvia, Mal, Jean, Fatma, Han, Sophie and Jim Gillies.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, particularly Cait, who was attending our Group for the first time.

Claire circulated hard copies of the meeting agenda.

Minutes of meeting held on 14th September 2023 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and any matters arising were included in this month's agenda.

Guest Speaker – Iona Fletcher, AIUK Volunteer Co-ordinator for Russia

Claire introduced Iona to speak about her role as one of AIUK's volunteer co-ordinator for Russia.

Iona indicated that she has been in this role for the past three months, working with AIUK's country co-ordinator team, but that she had a long-standing involvement in human rights issues concerning Russia. Iona is a Russian national, with family living in Russia, though she herself has lived in Scotland since 2015.

Iona circulated information sheets and provided details on a number of live cases that AIUK is currently supporting, namely Russian artist and musician Aleksandra ‘Sasha' Skochilenko, the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and the prominent journalist and political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza. Iona also spoke more generally about protecting the right to protest within Russia.

She indicated that there has been an estimated 20,000 individuals put under arrest / detention in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. The AI office in Russia has been closed due to safety concerns, so there is no direct official AI presence within the country.

A wide-ranging discussion and Q&A session followed Iona's presentation.

Claire thanked Iona for her input to the meeting and for providing a thought-provoking insight into the many Human Rights challenges in Russia.

Finance Update

Kirstie provided an update on recent transactions on the Group's finances, noting that there was a current balance of £595.37.

Kirstie invited colleagues to claim travel expenses for attending the meeting.

Social Media Update

In Silvia's absence, there was no social media update provided at the evening, although activities had been continuing, including promoting our guest speaker and also highlighting the request from Freedom from Torture to advertise its forthcoming Comedy evening fundraiser, which takes place on 12th November 2023.

ACTION – Silvia to continue to further develop our Group's social media presence.

Lift the Ban

It was noted that there would be an opportunity for members of our Group to join with Lift the Ban (LTB) colleagues to take part in promoting LTB to local businesses at a future ‘street walk' awareness raising event – date tbc.

ACTION - Fatma

MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development)

Claire advised that she had attended a meeting on 25th September with representatives of the Dundee, Perth and Edinburgh AI Groups. This had included discussion of options for a potential joint Amnesty-MEND event during November, which had been designated ‘Islamophobia Awareness Month'.

Claire spoke to Thea from AIUK on getting agreement for an AI Glasgow West logo to be added to the MEND website, highlighting our Group as a ‘supporter' of MEND's work.

ACTION - Claire

We will also share relevant MEND social media posts via our own social media during November – ACTION Silvia

Claire will liaise with AI Glasgow University Group to ask if they wish to put up MEND posters, etc within the university (e.g. library).

ACTION - Claire

We will invite MEND to provide a speaker for our November meeting to lead a discussion.

ACTION – Claire

We will invite members of the Daytime Group and University Group to join us to hear the MEND Guest speaker.

ACTION – Claire

Glasgow Daytime Group members' update on Forthcoming Exhibition

Carol and Jim provided an update on a forthcoming exhibition of political cartoons that had been produced by a Daytime Group member, spanning several decades. The cartoons were extremely high quality and will be displayed in the Mitchell Library at a date tbc. It was noted that there was also a need to find a suitable permanent home for the collection.

Members of the group expressed their interest in attending and asked the Daytime Group members to keep us advised of the exhibition date, once it had been agreed.

ACTION – Carol / Jim McG / (Meredith)

Write for Rights Event

Kirstie has been liaising with Hillhead Library and has agreed a date and time of 12noon – 5pm on Sunday 10th December 2023 (Human Rights Day) for the annual Write for Rights event. It was agreed that it would be beneficial if this could, once again, be run as a joint event between the three Glasgow-based AI Groups. Andrew will continue to liaise with the Daytime and University Groups on this.

Thirty Write for Rights booklets have been requested from Thea in AIUK, along with any relevant posters, or other publicity materials that may be available.

Preparation for the event will be considered further at our next meeting in November – and with the secretaries of the other Glasgow AI Groups.

ACTION – Kirstie / Andrew / Claire

Public Liability Certificate

It was noted that the September 2023 Local Updates report from AIUK contained a downloadable Public Liability Insurance document, which could be used by local AIUK for any event they were hosting.

Urgent Actions

Merle circulated information relating to Urgent Actions in Iran, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and members were invited to respond to them following the meeting.

Urgent actions can also be accessed via AIUK's Urgent Actions link, and individual Group members may wish to follow up on these.

The Daytime Group members attending (Carol and Jim McG) described the way their Group organised Urgent Actions, with individuals preparing letters in advance of their meetings and meeting attendees then adding their signatures.

ACTION – All to consider responding to the Urgent Action appeals

AIUK Local Groups' Update

A summary of the latest AIUK Local Groups' Update was circulated with the meeting notice and Claire briefly highlighted some of the issues covered, including:

  • Anti-racism and human rights course: This short course has been created as a first step for anyone who wants to learn about racism and its relation to and impact on human rights in the UK and around the world. It will help you to understand and confront racism, discrimination, inequality and disempowerment.

  • Amnesty Christmas Raffle: £5,000 prize. Tickets £2

  • Letter to editor on refugees' rights: Please share this template letter to editors on Refugees and Migrants rights issues with your local media.

  • Amnesty UK National Conference 2023 - 10am – 7:30pm, 4 November 2023; London & livestreamed online. Free! Workshops & speakers. Book here.

  • School requests for talks on Human Rights & Amnesty: the Amnesty Speaker programme closed in 2021. However, if there are requests from schools for talks about AI's work, local activists have access to a number of useful resources. If you require any other support or have any questions you can contact the AI education team at: hre@amnesty.org.uk.

  • Activism Representatives: AIUK is still looking for voluntary lead activists to coordinate and support local Amnesty groups across the UK: Find out more here

  • 2023 Priority Campaigns: Priority Campaigns

  • Amnesty training e.g. Delivering human rights education and Anti-Racism and Human Rights

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 9th November 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

Mal noted his apologies for the next meeting.

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12th January 2023

  • Thursday 9th February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

October 2023 Meeting + September Updates

Thanks to AMG for these updates. If you would like to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming October 2023 meeting;
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups;
  • Minutes of our local group meeting held last month; and
  • A note of all our local Group's meeting dates for 2023.

October 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 12th October, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 12th October 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.
Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the October meeting include:

  • Guest Speaker - Iona Fletcher, AIUK's country coordinator for Russia;

  • Planning our annual ‘Write for Rights' event; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AIUK.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

Amnesty Christmas Raffle

Enter the AIUK Christmas Raffle and grab your chance to feel like a winner! How would you spend £5,000? That's what's up for grabs when we draw the raffle in December.

Tickets cost just £2 and with every ticket you buy, you're speaking up for humanity.

Buy your raffle tickets online today for your chance to experience that winning feeling, and you could help more people like unfairly imprisoned Taner Kılıç walk free!

Anti-racism and human rights course

Launching in October: Anti-racism and human rights course for AI members

Racism is deeply rooted in the structures of our society. Challenging these structures and the ideologies that support them is key to human rights progress. This short course has been created as a first step for anyone who wants to learn about racism and its relation to and impact on human rights in the UK and around the world. It will help you to understand and confront racism, discrimination, inequality and disempowerment.

Click here from 2 October to access the course or find the rest of our courses here.

School requests for talks on Human Rights & Amnesty

The Amnesty Speaker programme closed in 2021. We do, however, still get some requests from schools for talks about our work. We have asked that these be directed to local activists who will likely have a more direct and relevant connection to the school and its students. AIUK has a number of useful resources to support this. Find out more here. If you require any other support or have any questions you can contact the education team here.

Real Lives Autumn 2023

real lives image

Letter-writing changes lives. A letter from you could help free a prisoner, stop an execution or help a bereaved family receive justice. This edition of Real Lives is produced for those wishing to write more letters in support of individuals at risk. Download the Real Lives supplement here.

To order more copies, email sct@amnesty.org.uk

Letter to editor on refugees rights

Please share this template letter to editor on Refugees and Migrants rights issues with your local media.
Thank you,
The Media Team
Download the letter

Upcoming dates

4 Nov, 10 am - Acknowledging Israel's Apartheid Conference (in-person), Cardiff. Book here

4 Nov *10am *- AIUK National Conference 2023 - Free online tickets here

10 Dec - Human Rights Day, 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

Freedom From Torture – Comedy Fundraising Event

The organisation Freedom From Torture (FfT) has asked us to share information on its forthcoming fundraising event Amnesty members. The Comedy event for FfT is being held at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Sunday 12th November 2023.

Tickets cost £12 / £10. Further information is available from The Stand website.

(*Please note, whilst this is not an Amnesty International event, it is a very worthwhile cause!)

img

Updates From September 2023 Meeting

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 14th September 2023

Minutes

Welcome and apologies

(introductions round table)

Attending: Claire (Chair), Neil, Kirstie, Han, Sophie, Fatma, Chakar, Mal and Jean.

Apologies: Merle, Christine, Silvia and Andrew

Agreement of previous meeting minutes

Team Updates

Treasurer

(& travel expenses reminder)

  1. No recent donations to PayPal

  2. £5 donation in the donation tin last meeting

  3. Current balance: £595.37

Social Media & website

  1. Sylvia was absent, no updates

Actions from previous meeting Minutes

  1. China - Hong Kong/Uighur - Friday 29th September - Kurt from Scottish HongKongers says they aren't doing anything for mid-autumn festival.

  2. Anti-boycott Bill End Israeli Apartheid - The AIUK Media team made template letters on the Government's controversial new “anti-boycott bill”. Scotland letter here. Please share!

  3. No-one has any links/ideas of places to get tote bags made. On hold.

LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign

Lift the Ban - High Street Challenge Handbook

Aim of campaign is to overturn ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered.

Fatma feedback on LtB's Glasgow contact: Maryhill Integration Network (MIN) did a successful campaign in Maryhill (~9 shops put the LtB poster up in their window, said they support the campaign, and in turn got their shop advertised on MIN/LtB's social media. Plan to do another in October/November - the Amnesty group agreed we would take part in a joint event, with the aim of learning how to do it and then doing our own event in the West End.

Claire emailed Uni and Daytime groups - no response from Uni group; Daytime interested in joint action

Resources from LtB:

  • Common Sense campaign reports (for anyone who is keen to read more detail on the arguments for reform)
  • High Street Challenge handbooks (with tips on how to do the HSC, for members of your group)
  • A5 leaflets that you can hand out to businesses, asking for their support with the campaign
  • A4 posters saying "I'm supporting Lift the Ban"/"We're supporting Lift the Ban"- these can be offered to businesses and will need to be stuck up with either tape or some places use blutack. Some campaigners also use them to pose for photos inside/outside the local business, like this photo and this photo. MIN has a supply of the large A2 placards in those photos (in blue and yellow) - we can borrow.
  • Window stickers which can be stuck inside or outside any glass surface (beer mat size).
  • Small stickers/badges which can be handed out to individuals to be worn

Free Bus Travel for Asylum Seekers campaign

(Maryhill Integration Network action)

The petition is now with the Petitions Committee.

Sophie gave feedback on her experience with Petitions Committee - the committee will now call for evidence, so MIN needs to have this prepared. Fatma will feedback to MIN and link up with Sophie if MIN would like further advice on the process.

All to sign & share petition: https://petitions.parliament.scot/petitions/PE2028

Proposed AIGW-MEND Collaboration

Daniel Gilius from Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) wants to do a joint Amnesty-MEND thing during November (Islamophobia Awareness Month).

MEND played a key role in helping to organise and promote the Edinburgh and Glasgow Human Rights Iftars in May. For MEND the focus of Islamophobia Awareness Month will be mainly on the human rights and experiences of Muslims in Scotland and the UK rather than on international issues, but there may be some opportunities to highlight issues of Islamophobia in an international context also (e.g. in Xinjiang).

→ Zoom meeting scheduled Monday 25th Sep at 6pm, with Edinburgh/Perth/Dundee groups - Fatma and Claire to attend; Claire to share Zoom link with Perth/Dundee groups

Stand Up To Racism Rally

  1. Claire highlighted the upcoming Stand Up to Racism Erskine Hotel (Muthu Hotel) rally in support of the asylum seekers held there - Sunday 17.09.23

Write 4 Rights!

Kirstie is on the ball! Agreed:

  • Sunday 10 Dec - Human Rights Day, 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
  • Hillhead Library, 11am-4pm - rota/details to be confirmed in October/Nov meeting. Kirstie has ordered the W4R pack.
  • Kirstie to confirm with the library.

Russia Action

Mal met Iona Fletcher, the new Amnesty UK country coordinator for Russia. She is originally from Russia but now lives in Kirkintilloch. Iona shared actions to support IAR cases including Alexandra Skochilenko (info: https://youtu.be/S4u-1zvVyvE)

  • The group took a photo of us holding posters to mark Alexandra's (Sasha) birthday and court hearing (14th September) → Mal share and tag Sasha's social media platforms

  • Some members took the poster with the action: take a picture of yourself in a supermarket holding this poster up and then post in on any social media with hashtags #FreeSashaSkochilenko #HappyBirthdaySashaSkochilenko. And tag:

    1. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skochilenko/

    2. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sasha.skochilenko

    3. Twitter: https://twitter.com/Freedomforsasha

  • The group agreed Mal would invite Iona to a future meeting (October/November) - @Mal to liaise.

Presentation on Balochistan

(currently a province of Pakistan)

Group member Chakar gave a presentation on the Balochistan:

  1. Background: In 1947 when the UK left the area, they divided Balochistan into 3 parts, across areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. The population is more than 30 million. The current situation includes cultural and religious persecution. In the last month, 64 people have been abducted in Pakistan and 24 arrested.

  2. Chakar shared this book title: https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/balochistan-british-great-game/

  3. Mal found links to Amnesty's work on abuses in Balochistan.

    1. An urgent action from February 2023 on case of Mahal Baloch. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/end-arbitrary-detention-mahal-baloch –> an update (quite a long way down the page) on Mahal's case saying she had been released on bail. https://www.amnesty.or.th/en/about-us/success/1145/

    2. A research report from 2020 on enforced disappearances in Balochistan. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa33/3334/2020/en/

    3. A news story from August 2023 based on a call from Amnesty https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/international/2570109-amnesty-international-slams-pakistan-for-cases-of-enforced-disappearances

  4. The group discussed what action we could do:

    1. All to look for any other AI resources we can use as evidence

    2. Chakar to link up again with Pakistani Country Coordinator Lucja Jastrzebska and get advice/find out what else has been done (inc. attempts to meet with the Pakistan embassies/consulates around the UK) as well as other Perth Amnesty contacts who had previously worked on the campaign

    3. → Build evidence to present to the Pakistani Consulate and ask for comments on/demand clear action. Arrange meeting with Consulate and local MPs, other AI groups,

    4. Chakar to also ask Lucja re. current situation with regards AIUK supporting Chakar with his UK asylum claim / including Chakar's evidence/experience in AI campaign materials.

  5. Bonding/Planning opportunity with the Perth Amnesty group: Barrie from the Perth group has invited us on a hill walk up Ben Vrachie, Sunday October 8th. Anyone interested to contact Claire/Chakar.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

AIUK is campaigning for political parties in the UK to commit to banning the import of goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Write to your MP and urge them to support our campaign.

Upcoming Events

Amnesty Disabled People's Human Rights Network launch

23 September, from 11am to 4pm;

London & online. Celebrating the long history of disabled people's activism in the UK as well as learning about what is meant exactly by disability justice. We will also be setting the agenda for the disabled people's human rights network and sharing thoughts and ideas on what the network should work on for the next year! Book here. * *

Torture Free Trade Treaty

Learn more about the campaign - join AIUK online for a campaign presentation and Q&A on 27 September 6pm-8.30pm. Register here.

Amnesty UK National Conference 2023

10am – 7:30pm, 4 November 2023

London & livestreamed online. Free! Workshops & speakers. Book here.

Ongoing: 2023 Calendar & brainstorm activities

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wB2Ko3rstxFmNqEmeRCfKHjqI9V4ouT5PAYmtNtT_Ns/edit?usp=sharing

Urgent Appeals

  • Real Lives Autumn 2023: Letter-writing changes lives. A letter from you could help free a prisoner, stop an execution or help a bereaved family receive justice. This edition of Real Lives is produced for those wishing to write more letters in support of individuals at risk. To order more copies, email sct@amnesty.org.uk

  • El Salvador: A state of exception in El Salvador was initiated originally in March 2022 and was due to last 30 days. It has been extended repeatedly and will now run to at least 13 September. During this time over 150 people have died in custody and the number of people who have been arbitrarily detained is well over 60,000. People are being held without a fair trial or means to legally defend themselves. Families are kept in the dark about why and where their loved ones have been detained. Prisons are overcrowded. There is a lack of hygiene, food and drinking water. And people are being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. The government claims that the measures have been a success and – sadly – they are generally quite popular, as homicide rates have been reduced, at least temporarily. But the underlying issues of poverty and violence are not being addressed. Please sign the petition here - demand that the Salvadoran government puts an end to the state of exception and respects the human rights of all people in El Salvador.

Urgent Actions

(Thanks Merle)

Local Group Updates

[Local Group Update available here]

AOB

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 12th October 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12th January 2023

  • Thursday 9th February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

September 2023 Meeting and August Updates

Thank you to AMG for these updates. If you would like to read them as a PDF you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming September 2023 meeting
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups
  • Minutes of our local group meeting held last month
  • A note of all our local Group's meeting dates for 2023

September 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 14th September, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 14th September 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.
Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the September meeting include:

  • Planning our annual ‘Write for Rights' events;

  • Working with other groups in Glasgow to help take forward local support for the LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign, which aims to overturn the ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AI.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

New Amnesty Shop catalogue out now!

This year, we are pleased to be able to offer you 10% off everything at the Amnesty Shop, as well as FREE P&P, on orders over £75.

We know that Local Groups and Student activists do amazing work for Amnesty.

Buying and sending out cards and gifts from the Amnesty Shop is another way in which you can get involved and help spread our message.

As always, we really appreciate your on-going support.

Click here to order online and set yourself up with an account and log-on. Enter the code 10AMNGRP into the Gift & Promo Codes box on the Payment Options stage of the checkout to receive your 10% off and FREE P&P (minimum spend: £75).

Email sct@amnesty.org.uk to a request a copy of our new catalogue.

Upcoming dates

See more on the Amnesty Events page. Post your events on the website via this link.

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

August 2023 Updates

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 10th August 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Fatma, Andrew, Han and Sophie.

Apologies submitted: Kirstie, Neil, Silvia, Mal and Mark.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, including Han and Sophie, who were attending our Group for the first time.

Claire circulated hard copies of the meeting Agenda.

Minutes of July 2023 Meeting and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and any matters arising were included in this month's agenda.

Social Media Update

In Silvia's absence, there was no social media update.

Action – Silvia to continue to further develop our Group's social media presence.

Finance Update

In Kirstie's absence, there was no finance update. However, she had given the cash float to Andrew so that any travel expenses, etc could be disbursed.

Doorbell for front door of meeting hall

To comply with the church hall's requirements for locking the front door, we have purchased a doorbell for our Group. The buzzer and a sign saying to press it for the AI meeting should be attached to the outside of the front door with Velcro, so that we hear anyone coming late to the meeting. The bell, buzzer and sign will be kept in the AI box in the meetng hall cupboard.

Action – Front door to be locked when meetings are taking place and doorbell buzzer and sign put up before meetings.

AI Merchandise

Claire brought along a range of free materials that she had requested from AIUK to support our work. This included badges, stickers, a new banner and a range of T-shirts.

It was also suggested that we could buy some blank tote bags and print AI logo / messages on them. We will try to get these for our next event.

It was suggested that members of our group may wish to take a t-shirt in exchange for a discretionary donation to the Group's funds.

Action – T-shirts and other materials are available to Group members and for use in our campaigns.

China / Hong Kong / Uighur

Claire noted that Fri 29th September is a traditional holiday in China and East Asia and that AIUK is encouraging local groups to mark this by highlighting relevant human rights issues.

Han noted that she had an interest in China related Human Rights issues.

Given that there is a Chinese Embassy office in Edinburgh, Claire will contact the Edinburgh group and enquire if they are planning any event that our Group may consider joining with.

Action – Claire to contact AI Edinburgh Group

Anti-boycott Bill - End Israeli Apartheid

The AIUK Media Team has produced template media letters on the Government's controversial new “anti-boycott bill”. This includes a template letter tailored for Scotland - here. All to consider forwarding this to local newspapers' letters pages.

Members can also sign and share AIUK's campaign to ban Israeli settlement goods, including contacting their local MP via this link.

Action – All Group members to consider 1.) forwarding the template letter to local news outlets and 2.) signing the Israeli settlement goods campaign / contacting their MP about this issue.

Urgent Actions

There had been no urgent actions prepared / printed off for this month's meeting.

However, urgent actions can be accessed via AIUK's Urgent Actions link, and individual Group members may wish to follow up on these.

Action – All to consider responding to the Urgent Action appeals

Local Groups' Update

A summary of the latest Local Groups' Update news Local Group's news Update was circulated with the meeting notice and Claire briefly highlighted some of the issues covered.

The latest update included information and photographs from our own Group's recent campaigns relating to refugees / asylum seekers.

Upcoming Events

Claire highlighted a number of upcoming AIUK events

Amnesty UK National Conference 2023 - 10am – 7:30pm, 4 November 2023; London & livestreamed online. Free of charge, with a range of workshops & speakers. Any member interested can book here.

Amnesty Disabled People's Human Rights Network launch - 23 September, from 11am to 4pm; London & online. Celebrating the long history of disabled people's activism in the UK, as well as learning about what is meant exactly by disability justice. We will also be setting the agenda for the disabled people's human rights network and sharing thoughts and ideas on what the network should work on for the next year! Anyone interested in inputting to this can book here.

Lift the Ban Campaign

Fatma has been involved in this campaign for some time. The purpose is to campaign in order to allow those seeking asylum to be entitled to legally work in the UK whilst their asylum application is being considered.

Many asylum seekers require to wait for very long periods of time (often years), for their asylum claim to be decided. This can result in financial problems due to lack of income, as well as mental health issues. It is also the case that many asylum seekers are qualified in occupations and sectors where there are labour shortages within the UK

Fatma has been undertaking voluntary work on Lift the Ban Campaign (LtB) with Maryhill Integration Network (MIN). This includes engaging local shop owners to encourage them to display posters and support the Campaign.

Fatma will discuss further with MIN colleagues how our Group might be able to contribute to the LtB work, e.g. via using our social media to highlight the LtB campaign or possibly for individual Group members to provide practical support.

Andrew suggested we could consider contacting Glasgow Chamber of Commerce or the relevant Scottish Minister with responsibility for Employment / Economy /relevant Councillors. (It may, however, be better to ensure that any such approach is co-ordinated via colleagues leading on Lift the Ban.

Further Information on Lift the Ban:

Action – Fatma to discuss further with MIN colleagues; Claire to share pdf info doc with Daytime group.

Other Matters

Action: Claire to share the email details of Arthur in AI North Ayrshire Group with Han.

Andrew suggested that members might find it useful to view the BBC interview with Agnes Callamard, AI Secretary General, which Merle had earlier shared the link to on our Signal Group.

Andrew had also included the link in the email that was circulated with this month's meeting notice.

img

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001p5g0

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 14th September 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

Chakar has requested to present and lead a discussion on Balochistan.

Andrew noted his own apologies for the next meeting and asked that someone else record the note of the meeting.

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12th January 2023

  • Thursday 9th February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

August 2023 Meeting + July Updates

Thanks to AMG for these updates. If you would like to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming August 2023 meeting;
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups;
  • Minutes of our local group meeting held last month; and
  • A note of all our local Group's meeting dates for 2023.

August 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 10th August, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 10th August 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.

Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the August meeting include:

  • Planning forthcoming events;
  • Discussing LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign. The aim of campaign is to overturn the ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered; and
  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AI.

Recent BBC Interview with Secretary General of AI

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001p5g0

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

Celebrating Refugee Week

Glasgow West Amnesty

Glasgow West Amnesty attended a solidarity gathering at Dungavel Immigration Detention Centre held by the organisation 'Justice and Peace Scotland', along with members from the local North Ayrshire Amnesty group.

The group has also attended several solidarity gatherings at the Muthu Hotel in Erskine to demonstrate support for people seeking asylum staying in the hotel.

Bristol Amnesty

Bristol Amnesty celebrated Sanctuary on 25 June, last day of refugee Week 2023.
There was a diverse international line-up of musicians including Bristol's refugee ensemble the Dovetail Orchestra, and the Bristol Griot Moussa Kouyate.

There were family activities, varied food to try as well as refugee trader stalls and information stalls including Bristol Amnesty. The group was able to engage with a lot of visitors and got plenty of signatures to letters protesting the immigration bill.

Amnesty UK National Conference 2023

Photo credit: Marie-Anne Ventoura

The AIUK National Conference returns on Saturday 4 November 2023! Expect a jam-packed day of workshops, speakers, networking, food and fun, showcasing and celebrating the amazing work going on across the Amnesty movement in the UK.

Join us in the fight for human rights on 04 November at the 2023 AIUK National Conference!

WHEN?

10am – 7:30pm, 4 November 2023

WHERE?

Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA and livestreamed online

TICKETS are free!

Here's a taster of what to expect:

  • Take part in training sessions and workshops
  • Learn about current campaigns, share skills, take action
  • Enjoy an evening of celebration, food and music
  • Meet and connect with friends old and new.

This conference is for everyone! You might be a student or local group member, a country coordinator or someone interested in Amnesty's work. This is an opportunity to come together and discuss how to build a more powerful, diverse and impactful movement across the UK.

See you there!

Book here

Amnesty Disabled People's Human Rights Network launch

Whether you're a seasoned disabled activist, a human rights defender, or new to making change, join us to celebrate the launch of our new Disabled People's Human Rights Network and cook up some trouble!

We will be celebrating the long history of disabled people's activism in the UK as well as learning about what is meant exactly by disability justice. We will also be setting the agenda for the disabled people's human rights network and sharing thoughts and ideas on what the network should work on for the next year!

WHERE?

At our Human Rights Action Centre and online

WHEN?

23 September, from 11am to 4pm

What's provided:

  • A full day of panels and workshops
  • Networking sessions
  • Tea and coffee
  • Lunch
  • Snacks

In person tickets are *FREE but limited, so book soon!

If you would prefer to join us online, we'll be livestreaming a selection of events online across the day as well as providing online networking opportunities. Tickets to join online are also free!

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Book your ticket here

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

img

Minutes and Updates from July 2023 Meeting

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 13th July 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Silvia, Fatma, Kirstie, Neil, Andrew, Mark, Jean, Carol (Daytime Group) and Marion (North Ayrshire Group).

Apologies tendered: Chakar and Merle.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, including those attending our Group for the first time.

Agenda

Claire circulated hard copies of the meeting agenda.

Guest Speaker – Marion MacPherson, North Ayrshire AI Group

Claire introduced Marion, from the North Ayrshire AI Group, who had been invited to speak about Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT).

Marion's initial experience with Israel was working in a Kibbutz many years ago. She discussed the complexity of the situation across IOPT. Marion has been involved in campaigning on this issue for many years and undertook a 10 day visit in May 2022 with the Amos Trust human rights charity. Marion provided our Group with a copy of her journal from that trip, for members that may wish to read it. (Neil has borrowed it initially).

In undertaking the 10 day trip, the group was advised to have a story of being on a pilgrimage, as members could be subject to questioning, given the raised tensions and extensive surveillance and security arrangements across the region. Marion described the different geographic zones and the range of restrictions, visas and permits required, often for everyday activities, which made life very difficult for those living there. This included the broad context of the Israeli authorities' narrative of Palestinian ‘troublemakers' and ‘terrorists', alongside a wide range of repressive measures routinely undertaken.

She discussed the boycott and sanctions campaigns and the Economic Activity of Public Bodies Bill, currently going through the UK Parliament, which seeks to prevent Local Authorities and other public bodies from pursuing sanctions, embargoes and restrictions, where that is not part of UK Government policy.

Marion also referenced the work of the Scottish Friends of Palestine (which is chaired by Arthur West of the North Ayrshire AI Group), the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (which has a stall on Buchanan St most weekends), as well as the, often useful, updates / factual information provided by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

An extended Q&A discussion took place, with a wide range of interesting points being made. Marion indicated that, in undertaking her campaigning work on IOPT, she had very little involvement with staff from AIUK or AI's Scotland Office, with the more general observation from colleagues being that AI had shifted significantly to online interaction in recent years.

Marion was thanked for her interesting input and she offered to come along to any future relevant events to share her knowledge and experiences of campaigning on IOPT.

Minutes of meeting held on 8th June 2023 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and any matters arising were included in this month's agenda.

Social Media Update

Silvia indicated that she had uploaded various updates to the Group's social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Silvia will continue to provide various social media updates and consider further improvements.

Action – Silvia to continue her good work in developing our Group's social media presence.

Church Hall meeting

Following the recent meeting of church hall user groups, which was attended by Silvia, we have been asked to ensure that the front door is locked when groups are meeting.

Kirstie suggested that we purchase a door bell system so that we can hear if anyone comes to the door whilst we are meeting.

Action – Front door to be locked when meetings are taking place. Doorbell purchase to be arranged.

Events

A brief update was provided on the following events that members of our Group had recently attended:

  • Maryhill Integration Network meeting re Refugees – Attended by Fatma.

  • Dungavel Immigration Detention Centre – Attended by Neil, Claire, Fatma & Chakar.

  • Muthu Hotel, Erskine – vigil to demonstrate support for Refugees accommodated on the premisies and to provide a counter demonstration to a small group protesting the refugees being accommodated within the local area – Attended by Claire. Mark indicated that he too had previously attended one of these vigils. The weekly vigils are organised by Stand Up To Racism Glasgow https://www.facebook.com/sutrglasgow and held at the Muthu Hotel, Erskine on Sundays at 11.30am.

Claire also indicated that a Pride event would take place in George Square on Saturday 15th July.

Finance Update

Kirstie indicated that the payments supporting Refugee work, which the Group agreed at our June meeting, had been made to Maryhill Integration Network (£50) and Refuweegee (£50).

She reminded all attending that she has a float of petty cash and anyone wishing to reclaim travel expenses to any of our meetings / events is encouraged to do so simply by speaking to her at any time before/during/after the meetings.

Action – All to note that all Group members may claim travelling expenses for any of our regular meetings and one-off events. Kirstie will be on holiday at the August meeting, so Andrew took the petty cash float and will provide expenses to any member that wants it.

UWS Potential event, Feb 2024

Mark indicated that he was a Community Education lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). He is seeking to organise an event to take place at the UWS Lanarkshire campus, which may be useful to have some AI Group members' input. Claire suggested that he might also want to connect with Glasgow University's AI Group, once the new academic year commences. Mark will discuss further nearer the time.

Action – Mark to discuss potential Group input to his proposed university event.

Lift The Ban Campaign

Fatma has been involved in this campaign for some time. The purpose is to campaign in order to allow refugees seeking asylum to be entitled to legally work in the UK, whilst their asylum application is being considered.

Due to lack of time, this item will be carried forward to the next meeting.

Action – Andrew to put on agenda for August meeting. (Also, it was previously agreed that Chakar would present on Balochstan at the August meeting)

AI Merchandise

Claire had been in touch with Thea from AIUK about AI merchandise available to support our work. There are certain items available to us free of charge via Thea and there is also a 10% discount available to the Group. It was agreed that we should follow up on this and get some materials that we can use to promote the Group's work (e.g. t-shirts, mugs, etc, which could be used at stalls in future events that we hold).

Action – Claire to follow up again with Thea re her offer of free merchandise and also to consider placing an order to buy other useful materials.

Urgent Actions

Claire pointed to the Urgent Actions link contained within the meeting agenda and encouraged individuals to follow up on these.

Action – All to consider responding to the Urgent Action appeals

Local Groups' Update

A summary of the latest Local Groups' Update news was circulated with the meeting notice and Claire briefly highlighted some of the issues covered.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 10th August 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

img

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12th January 2023

  • Thursday 9th February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

img

Categories
minutes

July 2023 Meeting + June Updates

Thank you to AMG for these updates. If you would prefer to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming July 2023 meeting, including our guest speaker;
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups;
  • Minutes of our local group meeting held last month; and
  • A note of all our local Group's meeting dates for 2023.

July 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 13th July, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 13th June 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.
Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there!

Our activities for the July meeting include:

  • A special Guest Speaker – Marion McPherson from AI's North Ayrshire Group, who will discuss campaigning work relating to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT), including information on a recent visit to Palestine that Marion had undertaken;
  • Discussing LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign. The aim of campaign is to overturn the ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered; and
  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AI.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

4 June Tiananmen vigils

Groups across the UK held vigils on 4 June to mark the 34th anniversary of the Chinese authorities' crackdown against peaceful demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

(As part of this, members of the Glasgow West AI Group joined colleagues from across Scotland in a vigil held outside the Chinese Embassy in Edinburgh).

AIUK is urging supporters to continue to support Chow Hang-Tung, who in 2021 encouraged people on social media to light candles in memory of the killings.

She was arrested and remains in prison.

Amnesty Summer Raffle

Enter the Amnesty Summer Raffle and grab your chance to feel like a winner! How would you spend £5,000? That's what's up for grabs when we draw the raffle in July.

Tickets cost just £2 and with every ticket you buy, you're speaking up for humanity.

Buy your raffle tickets online today for your chance to experience that winning feeling and you could help more people like unfairly imprisoned Yasaman Aryani & her mother Monireh Arabshahi walk free!

Immigration Bill updates

The government's latest immigration Bill has passed through the Commons and is currently being debated in the House of Lords. Despite widespread criticism, the government continues to push this cruel bill, using lies and sowing division in our communities.

AIUK is encouraging people to email the Prime Minister directly to call him to stop this cruel bill.

Email Rishi Sunak now

CC update - death penalty in Iran

The use of the death penalty in Iran continues to be an urgent issue.

Since the popular uprising - known as the Woman, Life, Freedom movement - began in September 2022, authorities have been using the death penalty as a tool of repression. The authorities attack civilians for protesting by shooting at them and throwing tear gas. Other ill treatments include flogging, sexual violence, electric shocks and death threats.

Since late April 2023 there has been a spike in death sentences and Amnesty have started an urgent action to release those detained for protesting, and to abolish the death penalty. For more information and to take urgent action soon as possible until 23rd July 2023, click here.

Read more

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

Updates From June 2023 Meeting

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 8th June 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Chakar, Silvia, Fatma, Kirstie, Neil and Andrew.

Apologies tendered: Merle, Jim and Mal.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, particularly Chakar, who was previously a member of Perth AI Group.

Given the good weather, this month's meeting was held in Kelvingrove Park, together with an informal picnic.

Minutes of meeting held on 11th May 2023 and Matters Arising

Thanks to Claire for recording the May minutes.

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and any matters arising were included in this month's agenda.

Social Media Update

Silvia indicated that she had begun looking at our website, but currently had limited access in terms of being able to amend some structural aspects. She would discuss with Rob, who has been responsible for developing and updating the website and other social media platforms for our Group for several years.

Claire suggested sharing the letter writing guide on our social media and also picking up on effective examples that other local AI groups had used.

Action – Silvia to liaise with Rob and also help develop our social media presence in the coming months, including the suggestion above from Claire.

Church Hall meetings

Silvia recently attended a meeting of groups that use the hall for meetings. There was a request that the front door be locked when groups are meeting. This is for security reasons. A buzzer system will be installed. The hall caretaker (Jim) will be in touch about this.

Action – Front door to be locked when meetings are taking place.

Finance Update

Kirstie indicated that she had been updating the Group's finance records and there were now more details included in the shared drive. Our current balance was £784.

Kirstie will keep a float of petty cash with her and anyone wishing to reclaim travel expenses to any of our meetings / events is encouraged to do so by speaking to Kirstie at any time before/during/after the meeting. Names won't be stored; receipts will be stored anonymously.

As part of our support for Refugee Month, the Group agreed to make a donation of £50 to Refuweegee and a further donation, also of £50, to Maryhill Integration Network. Potential further donations may be considered in the future.

Action – All to note that all Group members may claim travelling expenses for any of our regular meetings and one-off events.

Action - Kirstie to liaise with Refuweegee and Maryhill Integration Network to process the donations.

Local AI Events

Palestine - Claire updated that the recent Palestine rally had been good and that the AI Palestine Apartheid report had been referenced by speakers, so it was helpful to have had our AI banner on display.

Marion from the North Ayrshire Group will be invited to attend our 13th July meeting to speak about the N. Ayrshire Group's work on this issue. This will include exploring scope for our Group collaborating with the N. Ayrshire Group on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT), as part of a geographical focused activity.

Action – Claire to liaise with Marion about this.

Tiananmen Square – Amjad & Claire attended the recent commemoration vigil held in Edinburgh to mark the 34 year anniversary of the massacre.

Post–Iftar meeting – The planned meeting did not take place and was postponed until a future time.

Erskine Refugee Support – Members of our group attended the recent large rally at the Muthu Hotel in Erskine, to demonstrate support for refugees staying at the hotel. A much smaller anti-refugee protest also takes place. There are weekly protests every Sunday that everyone is invited to, which are organised by Stand Up To Racism Glasgow https://www.facebook.com/sutrglasgow . There are weekly rallies held, meeting at the Muthu Hotel Erskine on Sundays at 11.30am.

Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre – Following Claire's discussion with Arthur from the North Ayrshire AI Group, our Group will join with them and others outside Dungavel, to demonstrate love and support for the refugees currently resident there.

This will take place on Sunday 25th June.

Action - Neil has agreed to drive to the event and he will be joined by Chakar, Fatma and Claire. Others are welcome to join this event, though they would need to arrange another car (as the centre is not well served on a Sunday by public transport).

Maryhill Integration Network Event – Fatma updated on an event taking place in Maryhill on 20th June 5pm – 7pm linking with the work of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Migration.

Action – Members should contact Fatma on our Signal group for further details or if wishing to attend.

Refugee Festival Scotland Events – Andrew shared details of the Refugee Festival Scotland's programme of events taking place throughout June.

https://www.refugeefestivalscotland.co.uk/about-us/

Action – All members are encouraged to peruse the Festival programme and attend any events that are of interest.

LiftThe Ban Campaign – Fatma provided a brief overview of LiftTheBan “High Street Challenge” campaign ‘

Fatma has been involved in this campaign for some time. The purpose is to campaign in order to allow refugees seeking asylum to be entitled to legally work in the UK, whilst their asylum application is being considered. https://lifttheban.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/LTB_HighStreetChallenge_A4_Booklet_TP_WEB_SINGLES.pdf

The Group will further consider this issue at the July meeting.

Action – Andrew to put on agenda for July meeting / Fatma to lead a discussion at that meeting

Balochistan – New Group member, Chakar requested that the Group discuss the issue of human rights injustices in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, which he has campaigned for. It was agreed to put this on the agenda for the August meeting (delayed until August because we already have an external speaker on Palestine scheduled for our next meeting).

Action – Andrew to put on agenda / Chakar to lead a discussion for the August meeting

AIUK Campaign ‘Stop the Cruel Bill' (Illegal Immigration Bill)

AI is campaigning to stop the Illegal Immigration Bill.

As part of the campaign, all members are urged by AIUK to directly contact the Prime Minster about this - https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/stop-cruel-bill-email-rishi-now

Action – All members are encouraged to sign the online AI petition

Urgent Actions

Merle had provided Urgent Actions and Claire had brought a couple of copies to the meeting.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions

Action – All to consider responding to the Urgent Action appeals

Local Groups' Update

A summary of the latest Local Groups' Update news was circulated with the meeting notice

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 13th July 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12th January 2023

  • Thursday 9th February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

June 2023 Meeting + May Updates

Thank you to AMG for these updates. If you would prefer to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming June 2023 meeting;
  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups;
  • Minutes of our local group meeting held last month; and
  • A note of all our local Group's meeting dates for 2023.

June 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 8th June, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 8 June 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.

If the good weather continues, we are planning to meet at the church as usual, but walk 5mins to Kelvingrove Park to hold our meeting there.

Further details on Facebook: https://fb.me/e/24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there on Thursday!

Our activities for the June meeting include:

  • Our activities to support and highlight Refugee Week 19th-25 June (including Dungavel Solidarity Gathering on Sunday 25 June);

  • Discussing LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign. The aim of campaign is to overturn the ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AI.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

Refugee Week 2023

Refugee Week 2023 takes place on 19 – 25 June this year and the theme for 2023 is ‘Compassion'.

We know lots of you will be holding events and activities for Refugee Week, which is particularly poignant this year with the UK government's Immigration Bill. Now is a really important time to show support for refugee and migrant rights.

Immigration Bill updates

The government's latest immigration Bill has passed through the Commons and is currently being debated in the House of Lords. Despite widespread criticism, the government continues to push this cruel bill, using lies and sowing division in our communities.

Thanks to all the groups who wrote to their MPs, and to those who managed to secure a meeting. If you've had a response from your MP, please do let us know as it's important for us to keep track of how parliamentarians are responding to their constituents.

If you haven't already, please encourage your members to email Rishi Sunak directly calling him to stop this cruel bill.

Email Rishi Sunak now

Amnesty Summer Raffle

Enter the Amnesty Summer Raffle and grab your chance to feel like a winner! How would you spend £5,000? That's what's up for grabs when we draw the raffle in July.

Tickets cost just £2 and with every ticket you buy, you're speaking up for humanity.

Buy your raffle tickets online today for your chance to experience that winning feeling and you could help more people like unfairly imprisoned Yasaman Aryani & her mother Monireh Arabshahi walk free!

Protect the Protest Public Order Bill

After considerable opposition from Amnesty and many partners, the anti-protest Public Order Bill passed at the beginning of May – see our explainer blog about these new powers. The Public Order Act was quickly made law ahead of the Coronation, where these new powers were used by the police to arrest peaceful protesters. Our response was widely picked up across the media. After the weekend, Metropolitan Police expressed 'regret' over the arrest of anti-Monarchy group, Republic's CEO and five others before coronation.

You can read our analysis *here *for why the writing was on the wall for how these new powers would be used.

The police, members of the group Republic and Human Rights Barrister, Adam Wagner gave evidence to parliamentary enquiry about the arrests of protester. Here is a clip from the session, which highlights, amongst other things, the chilling effect of these new powers. 

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

Updates From May 2023 Meeting

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 11th May 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Kirstie, Fatma, Neil, Mal, Sabrine

Apologies tendered: Jim, Christine, Silvia, Merle, Amjad, Andrew

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially new member Fatma

Minutes of meeting held on 13 April 2023: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

Financial Update

  • Petty cash: it was agreed that each meeting, Kirstie will bring £30 in cash in a container with paper for recording expenses, e.g. stamps/stationery/travel passes (see below).

  • There was a late donation to our Comedy Fundraiser on PayPal - we have a “healthy balance” in the bank!

Social Media/Website

Silvia shared the Iftar follow-up event

Other Updates

  • May Day event: a small turnout, but good to go and have Amnesty's presence at the rally.

  • Freedom From Torture event (27.04.23) - noone went

  • AIUK Campaign ‘Stop the Cruel Bill (Illegal Immigration Bill) - no updates

  • Meeting of Church hall users (13.05.23) – no extra points for Silvia to raise

Making our group more accessible/more diverse – ideas?

  • Travel Expenses: It was agreed that the group will provide travel expenses to those who require it (self-decided). 

    • @Silvia to add this to the social media meeting graphic to advertise.
  • Logistics of this: Kirstie will take a photo of the travel pass (bus/train ticket) and reimburse immediately; upload picture (anonymous, named with meeting date) to Gdrive for our records

  • Any other ideas welcome! Please share.

Upcoming Events

1. Muslim engagement on human rights roundtable

14.05.23 2.30pm the Ark

Purpose: solidarity with Muslim groups in context of supporting human rights

Mal and Claire to attend. Low turnout expected because of limited engagement post-iftar with attendees/Muslim Council of Scotland. 

[Update 14.05.23: 2 members of the Muslim Council of Scotland attended, but the hall was locked and we agreed to postpone to a future time when more groups can attend. Claire agreed to share Amnesty meeting information with the Social Media Coordinator of MCS to encourage interested people to join.]

  • → @All to think of other ways to engage with more communities in Glasgow.

2. Erskine Anti-racist rally

21.05.23, at 11am at Muthu Hotel, Erskine, PA8 6AN

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1407074523401469/

Transport: via Eventbrite

More info: “Join anti-racists in a show of unity against the fascists who are trying to bring hatred into Erskine. The so-called Patriotic Alternative/Homeland is trying to capitalise on the climate of fear, the cost-of-living crisis and the failure to properly fund Erskine's services to scapegoat refugees fleeing war and oppression. It is the UK Government's inhumane policy on refugees and its brutal asylum dispersal scheme, not the refugees, which should be the target of our anger.”

→@Anyone wanting to go - book transport through the eventbrite link/contact Claire for support.

3. June 4th vigil to commemorate 1989 Tiananmen Square protests

  • Agreed to join the Edinburgh event, not to hold a separate one in Glasgow

  • Edinburgh event: East Prince Street Garden EH2 2DG; 6-7pm, Sunday 4th June.

  • Facebook Link

  • Hosted by The Hong Kong Scots CIC & Scottish Hongkongers. They expect ~50-100 attendees. There will be speeches by groups including Tibetan, Uyghur, Chinese human rights lawyers in the UK, June 4th survivors, former Hong Kong Councillors. They are looking for speakers from INGOs and local organisations or councillors to have a speech about the human rights issues in China, Hong Kong and around the world. Amnesty Edinburgh may do this.

    • → If Glasgow members would like to give a speech, please contact Claire.
  • →@Anyone wanting to go people can go independently & meet there/confirm on Signal to go together.

4. Dungavel Solidarity Gathering

Sunday June 25th (during Refugee Week) at 1-2pm in the main car park

Inaccessible by public transport. Structure: 2 minute silence in solidarity with individuals detained in Dungavel, some brief speeches, hand in biscuits/cakes/cards into the centre as a gesture of solidarity.

→ We need a driver/2! - It was agreed we would confirm at the June meeting who can drive (Neil?!).

Other

1. End Israeli Apartheid - Message from Arthur (Ayr AIUK group)

  • Arthur can't come to our meetings because of a time clash BUT another member of the Ayr group - Marion MacPherson was in Palestine last year as part of a delegation from Amos Trust and can give a talk about her visit. - We could ask Marion to speak in July/future meeting - @Claire to liaise to see her availability.

  • Gary Ettle is the AIUK Country Coordinator for Israel / Palestine. Bulletin attached with suggested actions. → If anyone would like to lead on an action, please say.

  • There were many interesting events by the group Scotland Supports Palestine May 8th-May 15th: www.scotlandsupportspalestine.org.uk - they hope to make it a yearly event.

    • Claire & Sabrine to attend the Saturday Kelvingrove park rally (13.05.23)

[Update 13.05.23: attended with the Amnesty banner. Good to represent. Dr Adrees from the Muslim Council of Scotland spoke & highlighted Amnesty's work & the End Israeli Apartheid report.]

  • Arthur is the Chair of Scottish Friends of Palestine, a trade union-based group campaigning for Peace and Justice for the Palestinian people. Arthur would be happy to have a Zoom call with us at a convenient time. He is also in Glasgow every week - happy to meet for coffee.

*→ @*All please contact Claire if you would like her to link you up.

2. LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign

Read the High Street Challenge booklet here.

The aim of campaign is to overturn ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered.

@Fatma will follow up with her contacts and report back on LtB's current work/contacts in Glasgow so we can work with them.

3. June Refugee Week plans

  • we'll have our June meeting in the park and make it a Refugee Week celebration picnic. We can also make a donation to Refuweegee/other (to vote in June) & share a list of local Refugee-activist/support organisations to raise their profile.

Urgent Appeals

Thanks to Merle for these

Local Group Updates

[Local Group Update available via link was included with meeting notice]

  • Tuesday 16 May 2023, 6pm-8pm online Activism Assembly: The first in a new series of Activism Assemblies will be taking place in May, bringing AIUK supporters and activists together to discuss and co-design AIUK projects and programs. The first of these will be exploring how we meet as a national movement, particularly looking at the future of the activism events programme and our national gatherings. → to gather your feedback and work together to build an exciting future for our national gatherings.

  • Ongoing:

Next meeting

Thurs 8th June - in Kelvingrove Park - Picnic for Refugee Week!

  • Meet at Tigress & Cub statue: https://goo.gl/maps/PERr73HLcD3aLxq2A 

  • Closest underground station: Kelvingrove

  • Suggested parking: Woodlands Terrace

  • Please bring snacks/juice for yourself and one other (suggested vegetarian!)

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2 Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12 January 2023

  • Thursday 9 February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS

Categories
minutes

May Meeting and April Updates

Thank you to AMG for these updates. If you would prefer to read them as a PDF, you can do so here.

We warmly invite you to attend the next meeting of the AI Glasgow West Group. Please come and join in our lively and friendly discussions and help us make a positive difference to supporting Human Rights around the world.

This email includes:

  • Details of our forthcoming May 2023 meeting

  • Excerpts from and a link to AIUK's most recent update for local AI groups

  • Minutes of our local group meeting held last month; and

  • A note of all our local Group's meeting dates for 2023

May 2023 Glasgow West AI Group Meeting

Thursday 11th May, Woodlands International Methodist Church, 7:30pm

The next Glasgow West Amnesty meeting takes place on Thursday 11th May 2023 at 7.30pm – 9pm in Woodlands International Church, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LW.

Further details on Facebook - https://fb.me/e24A3jSi3e

We would love to see you there on Thursday!

Our activities for the May meeting include:

  • Discussing LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign. The aim of campaign is to overturn the ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered

  • Planning for a meeting on 14th May as a follow up to our recent successful Iftar event, which highlighted various human rights issues affecting Muslim Groups; and

  • Undertaking letter writing in response to recent Urgent Actions alerts from AI.

Extract Of Local Groups' Updates From AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

This month's update from AIUK includes the following:

Stop the Cruel Bill

Rishi Sunak's government has voted to remove vital protections for those fleeing persecution and exploitation.

The cruel new immigration bill will turn its back on our responsibilities to protect the most vulnerable seeking safety, as well as many other disadvantaged people. Despite widespread criticism, the government continues to push this cruel bill, using lies and sowing division in our communities.

Call on the Prime Minister to stop the Cruel Bill now !

Here are five things you needto know about the Immigration Bill.

Celebrating 50 years of Urgent Actions!

Fifty years ago, we sent our first Urgent Action (UA).

This UA was issued on 19 March 1973 in response to the unlawful arrest in Brasília of Professor Luiz Basilio Rossi . Until that point, Amnesty's main campaigning tool had been campaigning for individuals as "Prisoners of Conscience" - defined as someone who was being subjected to a human rights violation, but "who has not used or advocated violence or hatred". However, in crisis situations it was not always possible to gather sufficient information or evidence required to meet the strict criteria of a "Prisoner of Conscience" and it was becoming clear that a more lithe technique was needed.

That initiative helped free a detained professor who opposed the military dictatorship in Brazil.

Over the past five decades, the Urgent Action Network has become one of our most effective campaign tools. Here's why:

  • More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide are standing by to help those facing imminent human rights violations.
  • They respond immediately with letters, emails, faxes, and social media posts.
  • These actions put pressure on authorities and let them know the world is watching.
  • We help protect people from torture, wrongful imprisonment, and abuse in prison.

When Urgent Actions succeed, the impact is life changing.

We thank you for all actions you've taken, and hope you will continue taking action with us.

All Urgent Actions here

Online Course Spotlight

This month our spotlight is on our People, Power and Politics course. Take this course to learn more about how to approach your political representatives and advocate for issues you care about.

We have a range of other free courses on human rights and issues that Amnesty campaigns on that you can take in your own time.

You can access them on the Amnesty Academy page here just by signing up.

You can also access the courses on Futurlearn by clicking the ‘Join with limited access' button after registering.

Further information from AIUK

Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.

April 2023 Updates

Amnesty International

Glasgow West Local Group

Meeting held on 13th April 2023

Present: Claire (Chair), Christine, Silvia, Mal, Neil and Andrew.

Apologies received: Kirstie, Sabrine, Merle, Jim, Sharon, Chakar and Amanda.

Welcome

Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Minutes of meeting held on 9th March 2023 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

Mal updated on his recent nomination to stand for election to the Board of AIUK. He was one of four individuals nominated for the two vacant seats on the Board. His understanding is that an election will take place of AI's individual membership to determine the successful candidates. This is likely to take place in the summer.

Finance Update

No update this month as Kirstie was unable to attend the meeting.

Social Media Update

Silvia indicated that she should have more time in the coming months to further develop the Groups' website and social media presence.

Update on Scottish AI Groups' Online meeting

Andrew provided an update on an online meeting held on 21/3/23, which was organised and facilitated by Thea Ioannou, who holds the post of ‘Community Organiser – Local Activism' at AIUK.

The note of the online meeting, together with a link to the recording, had previously been circulated by Andrew on our Group's Signal channel.

Eleven people attended the meeting, from seven Scottish AI groups. There were apologies submitted by two other groups. Groups summarised their main activities and active membership. A number of groups had a particular geographic focus for campaigning. Capacity issues and limited numbers of active members was a common challenge. Questions were raised about the role of AI's Scotland office (which didn't have a representative at the online meeting) and how local AI groups might better engage with and support the Scotland Office's work and vice versa. Thea undertook to email the Scotland office about these issues. Thea indicated that there was an ongoing search for a volunteer activism representative to pick up on the work previously undertaken by Mal. (Positive comments on the work of Mal, particularly during lockdown, were made by a couple of groups).

Attendees were generally positive about the attempt to better link up the local groups and to encourage cross-group collaboration on common issues.

Thea suggested further meetings on an approximately three monthly basis.

Discussion arising from the Online Meeting Update

It was suggested that we should contact the other West coast group (Ayrshire) and invite them to one of our meetings to discuss their geographic focused-work on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT) and explore the scope for collaboration on this issue. This could potentially coincide with some of the forthcoming anniversaries relating to IOPT, which Claire referenced. Action – Andrew to contact Arthur at Ayrshire Group re IOPT

Christine mentioned that the Ayrshire Group had undertaken work relating to supporting refugees in the Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre in South Lanarkshire. It was further suggested that the Ayrshire Group also be invited to discuss this issue with our group, again with a view to potential collaboration. Action - Andrew to contact Arthur at Ayrshire Group re Dungavel

It was noted that the other two Glasgow groups might also be interested in an invitation to such discussions, assuming the Ayrshire Group are happy to collaborate. Action – Andrew to contact Daytime and Univ Groups (following response from Ayrshire Group)

AIUK Campaign ‘Stop the Cruel Bill (Illegal Immigration Bill)

Thea from AIUK had circulated an action to the Scottish Groups relating to the above Bill. The UK Govt has stated the Bill only relates to reserved powers. Human Rights organisations are challenging this and asking the Scottish Government to lodge its own motion asking the Scottish Parliament to reject the Bill, on the grounds that it impacts on devolved matters.

Action – Andrew to consider the Group's response re potential contact with Scottish MPs / MSPs

Ukrainian Refugees Questionnaire

It was noted that a response had been sent, on behalf of the Group, to a post-grad student's request for input to a questionnaire relating to Ukrainian refugees. The draft response had been circulated on the Signal group.

May Day event

Mal provided an update on a May Day march, taking place on Saturday 29th April. Participants are asked to arrive at George Square, Glasgow for 11am, with a march to Queens Park, commencing at 11.30am. It was agreed that our Group should take one of the stalls at Queens Park.

https://www.facebook.com/events/s/may-day-march-rally-saturday-2/1222663511703130/

Following discussion of the online event for Scottish AI Groups, it was agreed to contact the other AI Groups and invite them to join us at the May Day event.

Action – Mal to confirm the AI Stall with the organisers.

Action – Claire & Mal to sort out materials for the stall and the banner.

Action – Andrew to contact other AI Groups.

Action – All Group members who can manage to attend the event on Saturday 29th April.

Iftar event

Claire provided feedback on the recent Iftar event, which had been attended by Amanda, Amjad, Kirstie, Sabrine and Claire from our Group.

The event was successful and aimed to encourage Muslim groups and individuals to work together on human rights. Alison Thewlis MP attended, as did local Councillor Alex Belic. AIUK's China Co-ordinator was also involved in the event.

There will be a follow-up event on 14th May at The Ark, Govanhill and volunteers from our group are requested to attend.

Action – Claire to co-ordinate our Group's input.

Action – Mal to speak at the 14th May event.

Action – Volunteers to contact Claire if they are able to attend.

End Israeli Apartheid

Claire highlighted a number of issues relating to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT), including a number of anniversary dates. (See details and links in the agenda that was circulated on the Signal group and at the meeting).

Action – As above, agreed to invite Ayrshire Group to share their IOPT activities with us.

Urgent Actions

Merle had provided Christine with Urgent Actions and circulated the links below. Colleagues took these away to complete at home. Others who couldn't attend the meeting are also invited to respond to these.

https://tinyurl.com/ua-afghanistan

https://tinyurl.com/ua-china

https://tinyurl.com/ua-drc

Action – All to consider responding to the Urgent Action appeals

Local Groups' Update

Claire highlighted some of the key items from AIUK's local groups' update. (Link to this previously circulated with the email for this meeting).

This included the following:

  • An Online Activism Assembly being held on Tuesday 16th May 2023, which is the first in a series.

  • Updates from the Europe Country Coordinators including campaign links & contacts

  • AIUK 2023 Priority Campaigns: Priority Campaigns from AI

  • Delivering human rights education: learn how to deliver participatory and effective human rights education by completing Amnesty UK's free short introductory course. & for more specific support Contact Amnesty UK's education team/visit page to find out more about Amnesty's education resources, training and projects.

AOB

Freedom From Torture (FFT) event

Christine referred to the undernoted FFT meeting:

  • When: 27th April 6pm - 8pm
  • Where: Venue: Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road Glasgow G5 0PQ
  • Register: via FFT's Eventbrite link

More info:

"Come along to hear first-hand accounts of the therapy offered in our Centre in Glasgow from survivors and those working with them. Fiona Crombie, Clinical Service Manager at the Centre will talk about the evolving programme of support that is offered at present as well as future plans for the centre.

Fiona will be joined by a previous service user in a Q&A session to discuss the impact Freedom from Torture has had on their life and how they have moved forward. We will also be showing videos made by survivors about their experience of beginning a new life in the UK."

Action – Group members are encouraged to attend

May meeting

– Silvia agreed to take the minutes, in Andrew's absence; Claire will organise the agenda.

Action – Silvia & Claire

Meeting of Church hall users

– Silvia agreed to attend the meeting on Saturday 13th May @ 9.30am.

Action - Silvia

At next meeting, we will discuss LiftTheBan's “High Street Challenge” campaign - new member Fatma can hopefully lead! (she presented it at England's NE Regional Conference, newly moved to Glasgow): https://lifttheban.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/LTB_HighStreetChallenge_A4_Booklet_TP_WEB_SINGLES.pdf Aim of campaign is to overturn ban on asylum seekers working whilst their claim is being considered.

Action – Claire to put this item on the agenda

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 11th May 2023, 7.30pm - 9pm @ Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW.

2023 Meeting Dates

New Members very welcome!

The Group meets every 2nd Thursday at 7.30pm - 9pm.

The meetings take place at Woodlands Methodist Church, 229 Woodlands Road, G3 6LW

For further information contact mail@glasgowwestamnesty.org.uk

  • Thursday 12th January 2023

  • Thursday 9th February 2023

  • Thursday 9th March 2023

  • Thursday 13th April 2023

  • Thursday 11th May 2023

  • Thursday 8th June 2023

  • Thursday 13th July 2023

  • Thursday 10th August 2023

  • Thursday 14th September 2023

  • Thursday 12th October 2023

  • Thursday 9th November 2023

  • Thursday 14th December 2023

BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN CURSE THE DARKNESS