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 -

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.


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.

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.

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.


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): 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

  • 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


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