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Blogging the AGM 2008 #13 (Sunday round-up)

7:00am  Up with the larks. Just enough time for a quick four-mile run around this parkland campus, before a healthy breakfast of bananas and organic stuff. Or something like that.

9:25am  Milobal Cristobal of AI Hong Kong, Ville Forsman of AI Turkey and Rune Arctander of AI Norway reflect on the differences and parallels between Amnesty activism and organisation in very different political and social contexts. Each face their own challenges, particularly a hostile government in China and a deteriorating security situation in Turkey.

I have to fix a technical problem, so I can only catch part of the discussion. I can't tell you much more – find out the rest from someone who was there! Stop reading so many blogs! Get a life!

11:00am  Disappointed to discover that the Amnesty shop hasn't extended its normal product range to include a Coco de Mer (I'd include a link here, but I fear I might find myself  in breach of our blogging house rules! well, webmaster / mistress, would I? who gets to decide what's offensive around here?) line, after our visit from Sam Roddick. But then I hear that not everyone was too impressed with Sam's presentation …

11:05am  Lara W, Amnesty's wheeler-dealer market trader, has a slightly deranged glint in her eyes. Others assure me this is normal and not to be afraid. Later, I find out the reason – the shop is only twenty-five quid short of four  thousand in takings, a record. Now, if only she'd stocked Sam's fair-trade hand-cuffs…

11:10am  Resolutions from Working Party A are up for debate and voting. Most other resolutions were voted on last evening. Again, no voting results to be found on this blog – I don't deem it the appropriate place for that. AIUK will publish resolution outcomes and election results after the AGM.

What I will say is that, once again, the standard of debate – on all sides of the argument – is high, the tone is civil and respectful. All members present deserve commendation for this, especially around an issue as emotive and potentially divisive as abortion.

12:44pm  Resolutions debate draws to a rapid conclusion, with a quick run-through of other remaining motions.

12:47pm  The Glittering Awards for outstanding activism. Presented, Oscar-style, by a gushing Dan Jones.

First up is the James Gillespie High School AI Group. Then its Cartmel and Grange AI Group which has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Next up is the energetic Bath Group, followed swiftly by their counterparts from Manchester Group, who have been active on the 'still human still here' campaign, among others.

Next to collect were the students of Cambridge and Oxford Uni Groups (ahem, no rivalry there). Cambridge also picked up the student fundraiser award. Other big fundraisers were the Greenwich and Blackheath Amnesty Group, which raised £12k over the last year – fair play, that is phen-om-en-al! The Prince Henry Grammar School from Otley in Yorkshire followed them to the podium.

There was a final, special award to the International Transport Workers' Federation for their fortitude in the face of oppression (and to all who took action on their behalf).

1:00pm  A final campaign action, led by Bruce Wylie, dedicated to WOZA and the people of Zimbabwe (see pic above).

1:35pm  Okay, no time for any more posts. It's been fun. Hope you enjoyed reading about the conference. All and any comments welcome.

Tributes to Aikta and Alex for running and chairing a great conference (again) and personally to Sara and Vero from the web team and Kamesh and Stuart from IT for keeping me online and Marie-Anne for lots of AGM action pics. 

Over and out.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
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.
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