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
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!
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.
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.
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.
November 2023 Updates
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.
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.
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
Merle circulated information relating to the undernoted Urgent Actions and members were invited to respond to them following the meeting:
Rocky Myers, USA - https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/JusticeforRocky
Gaza Hospitals, IOPT - https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/rescind-evacuation-order-against-gaza-hospitals
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 email@example.com
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