Most inspiring weekend ever! | Into the ether | 16 Apr 2012 | Amnesty International UK

Most inspiring weekend ever!

This weekend the digital team were at Amnesty's AGM. Whether you were there and want to relive it, or missed out and want to catch up, this is the post for you.

[View the story "Amnesty UK AGM 2012" on Storify]Amnesty UK AGM 2012

Amnesty International's campaigns and priorities are set by our membership - and this weekend we're in Manchester for our Annual General Meeting to agree our work going forward. Follow this storify for updates from our speakers, activists and actions.

Storified by Amnesty UK · Tue, Apr 17 2012 13:51:59

Manchester, here I come :) #AmnestyAGM http://yfrog.com/kjnjfcojnadirairdianaArriving in Manchester for the #AmnestyAGM. Look out for updates from the weekend. Follow @Jamesfarndon and @amyeg13 for constant commentaryLeicester AmnestyThe Oxford group chose their own unique way of getting to Manchester, and raise vital funds for Amnesty: Brave Oxford triathlon team begin phase 1 of journey to Amnesty AGM in Manchester. Day 1:Canoeing! http://www.justgiving.com/AmnestyAlternativeTriathlon http://pic.twitter.com/KvC6DpuYKate Clayton-HathwayAwaiting the arrival of nearly 500 delegates, staff set up their stalls in the exhibition area. Then the fun begins.Lots of interesting questions at the Arms Trade Treaty campaign stall #armstreaty #AmnestyAGMverity coyleOur illustrious Balkans CC & flowers to the Turkish Ambassador to end imprisonment conscientious objectors http://instagr.am/p/JXok0nN77s/ #amnestyagmAIUK Europe TeamMounir Atassi rehearsing at @AmnestyUK AGM - live streaming from 7pm UK time #Revo4allSyrians http://pic.twitter.com/toVoFb6DKreaseChanMounir Atassi from the Syrian non-violence movement kicked off the event with a moving account of life in Homs, and the power of non-violent protest. Mounir Atassi from the Syrian non-violence movement is describing the situation in #Homs #AmnestyAGM http://pic.twitter.com/g1UbEIWJAmnestyUKHe not only spoke about his own experiences but we also heard directly from his contacts on the ground who had supplied video messages. And we recorded it all:Mounir Atassi - #Syrian non violence movement at @AmnestyUK AGM via @KreaseChanKreaseChan#AmnestyAGM highlights include the moving messages filmed and sent that day for us from Homs in #SyriaKaty FattuhiMounir Atassi: organisations need training from people like @amnestyuk & they need equipment. < Donate now: http://amn.st/HAxUzL #AmnestyAGMAmnesty UKDifficult question for male keynote speaker. When are the Arab regimes going to understand that females have equal rights #amnestyagmColum McAndrewThe answer turned out to be surprisingly simple..... "I hope very soon" #amnestyagmColum McAndrewMounir Atassi supports AmnestyamnestylondonFollowing Mounir's speech we heard from Maryam al-Khawaja who was unable to make it to the conference because her father - the Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja - was on his 65th of a hunger strike and thought to be close to death. Watch the message here: Maryam al-Khawaja addresses Amnesty's AGMAmnesty International We then stood together to call for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja's freedom, and for the freedom of all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain:Our message from the first night of #amnestyagm - take action at http://amn.st/Khawaja http://instagr.am/p/JX0aLTN7_9/Amnesty UKAfter an evening catching up with old friends and making new ones, delegates had an early start - but it was worth it. Dissident Azerbaijani blogger Emin Milli opened the main day of the AGM with a rousing speech about freedom of expression in Azerbaijan.#Azerbaijani writer + dissident @eminmilli = opening #AmnestyAGM on free speech http://bit.ly/HBDZvC #iranelection #humanrightsKhoshkeledocAzerbaijani writer and dissident @eminmilli is opening #AmnestyAGM with his experiences of using his free speech http://pic.twitter.com/4wnrN1U0Amnesty UKEmin was arrested along with a friend, Adnan Hajizade, in 2009 shortly after posting a satirical video critical of the Azerbaijani President. They were charged with 'hooliganism' and sentenced to prison terms of two and a half years and two years respectively. Amnesty campaigned for their release and both men were freed in late 2010. He wants to use his freedom to stand up for all political prisoners in Azerbaijan. We cannot wait for Azerbaijan to be dying before we take action #AmnestyAGMLeicester AmnestyWords can transform society and our world and we should stand behind them - @emilmilla at #amnestyagm Amen to that!Colum McAndrewUse your freedom of expression to call for the release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan http://amn.st/IRsFvG #AmnestyAGMEmilie RoseThe full speech is on Emin's blog. Recommended reading! My speech @AmnestyUK / I believe that words can change the world: http://eminmilli.posterous.com/for-liberation-of-human-spirit-mancheste… #humanrights #freedom #ESCEmin MilliWe caught up with him later and he explained why it is vital to take action right now to demand freedom of expression in Azerbaijan:.@eminmilli talking about how you can take action for Azerbaijan.An Audioboo by amnestyAnd you can read more about the arrests and violence towards protesters in Azerbaijan in our latest blog post, from campaigner Ruth Dawson:Running Scared: How Eurovision can end a human rights abuse in Azerbaijan | Blogs | Amnesty International UKUpdate, Tuesday 3 April Thank you - hundreds of you have tweeted and facebooked our messages, and it's prompted the European Broadcasting...Before the closed sessions, during which working parties look at the resolutions proposed this year by members, our Director Kate Allen gave an overview of our 50th year of campaigning.Got a wee tear of pride as @guamnesty's kites for woman's rights just got displayed at the #amnestyagmElena SoperPublicly owned RBS shamed into stopping investment in cluster bombs manufacture thanks to Amnesty #AmnestyAGMUNISON International#AmnestyAGM - Change is possible. http://instagr.am/p/JZOKn7ta5w/Jessica PerrinKate Allen speaking at #amnestyAGM about the importance for support of the Arms Trade Treaty in run up to July this year #armstradetreatyHannah PerryIt is difficult to remember that night but its important Troy Davis is never forgotten. And the same goes for his sister Martina #amnestyAGMUoB_AmnestyJenni Williams of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) made a surprise appearance and had the whole auditorium on their feet for a standing ovation.Inspirational surprise speech by Jenni Williams of WOZA at #AmnestyAGMAmnestyBrumStanding on the street with placards makes you a "criminal nuisance" in Zimbabwe. Jenni Williams at #amnestyagm #wozaColum McAndrewThe 2012 AGM has been titled 'The bulletproof conference' and with good reason. We've the chance of a lifetime this summer - to secure a robust Arms Trade Treaty that protects human rights and helps save thousands of lives. Missed all our updates on it so far? Here's why you should care in a nutshell:Support a bulletproof Arms Trade TreatyhumantvWith the closed sessions debating our work in the future over, what better than to hear about the key campaign of 2012 from the people at the heart of it? Defence Editor of the Times, Deborah Haynes, chaired a discussion between our Programme Director for arms Olly Sprague; Jo Adamson from the UK Government's negotiating team; and Nerina Cevra from Action on Armed Violence, who works with victims and survivors. On the arms trade treaty: 'It's about humans, not about paperwork', #AmnestyAGMJessica PerrinNerina Cevra: Ultimately the purpose of #ArmsTreaty is to reduce human suffering caused by the trade, not just to regulate it #amnestyagmAmnesty UK.@OllySprague: In less than 100 days negotiations begin. We will face mass opposition. We will not let them win. #amnestyagm #ArmsTreatyAmnesty UK"UK has some of the strongest arms trade controls in the world." What does that say about other countries then? #amnestyagmColum McAndrewAs some of us stayed in the warmth listening to this engaging discussion, our intrepid colleagues were in Manchester's Albert Square preparing it for Amnesty's invasion a little later on. Whilst the #ArmsTreaty panel continues at #AmnestyAGM we're setting up at the Town Hall for our public action http://pic.twitter.com/6PzwK5lPAmnesty UKBack to the warmth, the discussion continues and the panel get asked some tough questions. Listening to Ambassadors and Program Directors on the #ArmsTreaty Panel at #amnestyagm, second day of great discussions! Proud to be here!Robin Mydlak#ATT. Just been speaking at a panel about ATT at Amnesty AGM in Manchester. Great questions. Amb Jo Adamson.UK Mission GenevaJust chaired a panel on the Arms Trade Treaty at #amnestyagm. Positive comments from Jo Adamson on UK's desire for strong and universal pactDeborah HaynesThen off we went, into the bracing Manchester air to send a strong message to David Cameron: 'No arms for atrocities - commit to a robust Arms Trade Treaty'The #amnestyagm is about to invade Manchester city centre. Get your pens out, we're coming for your signatures!Elena SoperWe sang...Ain't gonna study war no moreAn Audioboo by amnestyCampaigning for a bullet proof Arms Trade Treaty in Manchester. #amnestyagm http://pic.twitter.com/jBLmFFMNLouise OrtonThe World needs an arms trade treaty #armstreatyamnestyukAnd we (kind of) danced...No arms for atrocitiesAmnesty InternationalAnd we demanded a bulletproof Arms Trade TreatyNo arms for atrocities - demand a bulletproof #armstreaty http://yfrog.com/h6vg8okj | Take action now http://amn.st/HHHW7L #AmnestyAGMAmnesty UKAfter the action, it was back to the University and time to begin voting on the resolutions proposed this year. #AmnestyAGM Resolutions today all carried. DRC, Guantanamo, Brazil's street children, prostitution. Wide range of HR issues. All important.UNISON InternationalHaving an amazing weekend @amnestyuk #amnestyAGM highlights so far inc arms trade treaty action and hearing from arms trade treaty panel.Katie McSherryAnd then onto Manchester Museum for some unusual evening entertainment.Now the votes and panels are done, it's time to entertain at #amnestyagm! http://instagr.am/p/JaV1OON761/Amnesty UKOn Sunday morning those capable of waking up on time finished off the voting, and all resolutions were passed. The weekend was capped off with campaigning workshops...Amazing workshop on gender (and other things). Lovely to discuss how amnesty can do BETTER rather than our existing goodness! #amnestyAGMUoB_Amnesty#Armstreaty training at #amnestyagm with @OllySprague http://pic.twitter.com/pBrNhEvbLucy WakeWonderfully poignant summary of what Amnesty is doing: "Defend one who defends many" Surrounded by amazing people in workshop at #amnestyagmRobin MydlakExcellent workshop on Gender in AIUK systems #AmnestyAGMLeicester Amnesty...And, of course, Dan Jones' Activist Award Ceremony@AmnestyUK Highlight of the #AmnestyAGM every year - so sad I am not there to see it! #DanJones #Hero #Onemanteam etc etcSteve HyndUniversity groups get recognition - York's radio station work and sleepovers by Manchester & Lancaster #AmnestyAGM http://yfrog.com/obq3suljAmnesty UKConference was rounded up with a great awards ceremony. Hopefully @amyeg13 can win one for us next year #AmnestyAGMLeicester AmnestyOur Secret Policeman's Ball has won an award at the #AmnestyAGM - very proud!GUAI Then all that was left was close of business and heading home.Byyyyeeee Manchester, met some beautiful people this weekend #AmnestyAGMNiamh Smith#AmnestyAGM nearly home, knackered, but still buzzing thanks to all @amnestyukAmnestyBrumBrilliant weekend at the @AmnestyUK. #AmnestyAGM. So well organised and we were so well looked after. Also met some brilliant people. Braw!Stacey WoodSome had a little further to go than others!Oxford alternative triathlon team home and dry! Thanks to all @AmnestyUK for a fantastic, inspiring weekend #AmnestyAGM http://www.justgiving.com/AmnestyAlternativeTriathlonKate Clayton-HathwayWaiting on my flight back to Paris after a truly inspiring weekend at #AmnestyAGM. Can't wait for Warwick next year!Eilidh DouglasThen it was back to work and memories of a fantastic weekend.#AmnestyAGM fellows, I salute you. May your dreams be filled with 40ft banners, mega-dinosaurs and karaoke gospel. #downbytheriversideLoretta FreemanBack to work after great weekend #AmnestyAGM . Think of Asylum Seekers not allowed to work.AmnestyBrumInspiring, encouraging, informative, fun! Huge thanks to the #AmnestyAGM organisational team!Amnesty Mayfair SohoGreat weekend at #AmnestyAGM - now looking forward to #AWIDBethan Cansfield

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