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Minutes of Group Meeting 13th February 2017

Attending: Grainne, Fionnula, Stephen, Paul, Claudia, Carolyn, Paul, Paddy, Beatrice, Brian

Apologies: Liz, Pearse, Sandra, Renas

Welcome: Carolyn welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Minutes: No comments on January minutes.

Group Elections:
Chair: Beatrice nominated Carolyn, seconded by Brian.
Treasurer: Paul nominated Pearse, seconded by Brian
Secretary: Carolyn nominated Beatrice, seconded by Grainne.
Vice-Chair: Brian nominated himself, seconded by Fionnula.
No one else nominated themselves or were nominated by others for the posts & the 4 above were elected.

Chair’s Report: Carolyn advised the average attendance at meetings was 13 people.
Carolyn advised on the work the group has been doing. The group has worked on US prisoner Jacqueline Montanez. There was good news on the case last year when Jackie’s sentence was reduced from life without parole to being able to apply for parole in 7 years. The group also worked on the cases of Chelsea Manning, Johan Teterissa & did quarterly West Africa actions. The group did 21 actions from 16 countries. The group did work on My Body, My Rights & refugees. Claudia was thanked for her work coordinating the groups work on North America.
Carolyn advised the group has been proactive, taking part in parades & demos such as May Day, Pride, Trump, Refugees Welcome. The group has also had a number of guest speakers attend the meeting & talk to the group.

Secretary’s Report: Beatrice advised Carolyn had covered most areas & added that there were 270 people on the mailing list.

Write for Rights 2016: 112 cards  & 21 letters were written

Treasurer’s Report: Pearse sent an update. £1792.06 was lodged, mostly raised from the rent from Carmel’s cottage. The group sent £1000 to AIUK & £250 to the Burkina Faso end early marriage & stop FGM campaign. Final balance on account is £3257.75

Recent Events:
Refugee Event: Those attending the refugee event at Stormont advised it was a well attended event with good speakers & received a lot of media attention.
Anti Trump Rally: This was also well attended with good speakers.

Good News: Chelsea Manning will be released May 2017, rather than original date of 2045 after her sentence was commuted by outgoing President Obama.
Amnesty released a major report on Syria which received a lot of media attention. Boris Johnston said that the findings in the report meant that President Assad should have no future as leader of the country.

Actions: The group signed 2 petitions. One calling on the UK government to allow child refugees be joined in the UK by their families  & the other urging more is done to help Syrians stuck in Greece & enduring major hardship.

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