Minutes of Group Meeting July 6th 2015

Attending: Roisin, Elisabeth, Liz, Carolyn, Claudia, Grainne, Leo, Carmel, Paul, Paddy, Beatrice

Apologies: Heiko

Talk on work & structures of Amnesty: Paul introduced NI Regional Director Patrick Corrigan who spoke to the group about the origins, previous & current campaigns & the core strands of the work of Amnesty International. Patrick spoke of the new regional hubs & the approx. 80 sections around the world. He advised Amnesty’s research is a cornerstone of the movement. From the research campaigns are constructed. Lobbying, media work & campaigning at national & grass roots levels are a central  part of the work by staff & activists. Amnesty is independent because it is funded by its members & supporters & not governments.

The NI branch office was set up in 1997 doing local campaigning work eg on institutional child abuse, as well as working on global movements such as My Body, My Rights.

Leo asked how the group could best work with the office & Patrick advised if one member of the group could visit the office to be advised of upcoming work & how the group can be involved.

Minutes: Paul introduced the minutes from June meeting – there were no comments.

Fundraising Walk: Paul advised the fundraising walk would be Saturday 29th August 10-1pm along the Lagan towpath. More details to follow.

Election of new Chair: Leo nominated Carolyn, Paddy seconded Carolyn. There were no other nominations so Carolyn was unanimously elected new Chair.

Recent events:

Equality rally – group members commented on the great turnout & how positive the event was.

The Look of Silence documentary on human rights abuses in Indonesia.  Group members who attended advised it was powerful & moving.

 

Upcoming event: 28th July – Pride lecture  on Marriage Equality  at the Clayton Hotel, more details to follow

Pride Parade 1st August – more details to follow

July/August as part of the West Belfast festival an exhibition on “40 Year Struggle for Contraception”

3rd August – AI panel discussion on  marriage equality, more details to follow

Actions:

Yevgeniy Vitishko – the group signed a birthday card for the Russian POC  imprisoned for his environmental campaigning

Gaza - the group signed letters for Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond calling on the UK government to stop political interference & oppose punitive measures against Palestine for accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction

Eric Ohena Lembembe– the group sent letters to the High Commission of Cameroon in the UK  calling for an investigation into the death of Cameroonian LGBTI activist

AOB: As Paul stepped down as Chair of the group he was thanked for all his enthusiasm & hard work in the role.

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