Blogging the AGM 2008 #1 (Preview)
OK, off to the airport in a minute to catch the flight that will take me to what will be the capital city of our human rights world for the next few days – yes, that's right, Nottingham!
Well, with its most famous son (not counting adopted favourite Brian Clough) being an early and unconventional advocate for economic rights, what with his stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, it was the natural choice for this year's AIUK national conference and AGM.
I hear that the event is fully booked, so we are in for another great weekend of discussion, debate, training and inspiration.
This is about my tenth AIUK AGM and I always find it an inspiration, however tired I am by Sunday evening.
One of the best things about the event is that, no matter how impassioned the debate, no matter how high the stakes, practically everyone speaks with the sort of civility and humanity that embodies the spirit of Amnesty.
We have had some tough policy debates in recent years – use of armed force, sexual and reproductive rights being the two biggies. The new policy on abortion, adopted since we last met a year ago, is likely to feature heavily in debate once again this year – on the conference platform and in the bars and lobbies.
But there promises to be a lot more than that to this weekend.
One of our top speakers for this year is feminist, activist and fair-trade kinky handcuff vendor, Sam Roddick. Her mum, Anita, was a great friend of Amnesty's and now, too, is Sam. Look forward to hearing what she has to say.
That's all for now. I really do have to run to Belfast airport.
I hope to grab a laptop from time to time to give some quick blogging impressions of how the conference is proceeding, so stay glued to your screen – and let me hear your thoughts or questions you might want asked by proxy at the AGM and I'll do my best to get back to you.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.