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Minutes of Group Meeting 14th November 2016

Attending: Carolyn, Paddy, Brian, Stephen, Andrew, Paul, Fionnuala, Heiko, Beatrice, Carmel, Claudia

Apologies: Liz, Leo, Grainne

Welcome: Carolyn welcomed everyone to the meeting.

October minutes: No comments on October minutes

Good News:
Zeinab, an Iranian woman, sentenced to death after an unfair trial, for the murder of her abusive husband has received a stay of execution.

Tightening of EU laws on the trade in terror equipment.

Claudia updated the group on Jacqueline Montanez advising her sentence of life without parole has been overturned & her remaining sentence will be at the most 7 years.

Annual Conference: Carolyn advised the deadline for submitting a resolution is 8.01.17 so the group would need to decide soon if we wanted to put forward a resolution. Paul explained the resolution process. Carolyn also suggested we start thinking about who will attend.

Refugee Campaign: The group gave feedback on the recent Yvette Cooper talk. It was a well attended event. The general feeling in the group was that  the talk explained the crisis rather than offering resolutions & this was disappointing. Brian advised he asked Yvette what her position was  on destitute refugees & Heiko asked what refugee housing & Ms Cooper advised she did not have a position on these.
There will be a Refugee Conference 17.02.17 in London & a Skills Share event in York. More details to follow

Liaising with office: Paddy suggested we liaise with Belfast office more. There had been regular meetings for a time but these had ceased. The group agreed with this. Carolyn offered to set this up. Brian offered to also attend.

Forthcoming event:
Week long art exhibition at UU Belfast, using art to tackle racism. Opening at 6.30pm on 17th November at UU York Street.

Write for Rights: Saturday 10th December. Location is probably the Black Box but to be confirmed.

Edward Snowden documentary: Citizen Four, screening 10th December. Venue to be confirmed. Claudia advised the USA Country Coordinator, Lise Rossi, cannot attend.

NI Regional Rep: Fionnula advised she would be interested in this position. The Belfast group are very pleased to nominate her.

Action of the Month:
Petition signed calling on UK government to do more to protect  the children in Aleppo.

Card signed for Jacqueline Montanez.

Brian advised that the group does something next year to mark International  Disability Day. The group agreed this was a good idea. Brian advises NI laws mean disabled people here have less protection than disabled people in rest of UK. The group will discuss further how best to mark the day next year.

Paul advised group member, Mohammed, who was attacked in a racist assault in Belfast has sent his thanks to the group for their support.

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