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
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 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!
10am – 7:30pm, 4 November 2023
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!
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!
At our Human Rights Action Centre and online
23 September, from 11am to 4pm
- A full day of panels and workshops
- Networking sessions
- Tea and coffee
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!
Further information from AIUK
Full details of AIUK's update for local groups can be viewed via this browser link.
Minutes and Updates from July 2023 Meeting
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.
Claire welcomed everyone to the meeting, including those attending our Group for the first time.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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