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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL EAST DEVON

GROUP MEETING

  Oct 19th 2017  Twyford House, Sidmouth  7.30

 

Present: Tony McFarlane  Maureen Sinha, Barbara Dustan-Smith (mins), Angela Lambert, Martin McDonagh (chair), Rosemary McFarlane,  David Evan and daughter Jackie, Tina Lunt, Kate Stanley, Trish Sulaimani, Jill O’Hara, Jill Grey.

 

Apologies:Yvonne Taylor, Joan and Mike Edgecombe, Liz Charles, Maureen Thurlow, Linda Mills.

 

The main part of the evening was devoted to our speaker Annie Pfingst talking about Palestine. Annie is Australian, but has spent 20 years travelling, photographing and researching in the region. She presented a grim assessment of the plight of the Palestinian people, well illustrated, especially showing the enormous impact of the Israeli Wall. The Wall separates Palestinians from their land and work, and facilitates more occupation by Israel of Palestinian areas. More Israeli settlements are being built, and in Hebron in particular Palestinians are being forced out and their shops and businesses are closing down. Annie described the continuous demolitions carried out by the Israelis, especially of Bedouin settlements and encampments, with the Bedouin being pushed further and further out. Often, Bedouin and Palestinians simply rebuild their homes again in the same spot after Israeli destruction, and some she knew had rebuilt their homes several times. There was a long question and answer session, where Annie said she did not believe a 2 state solution was possible now. Other issues discussed were the latest Hamas/Fatah reconciliation, the new Palestinian town Rawabi, and how to support Palestinian economy by buying Palestinian goods and boycotting Israeli goods. (BSD ‘Ban Settlement Goods’ – see article in Amnesty Magazine Autumn 2017 p13 on).

NB PLEASE read this article, so that we may discuss it more fully at November meeting and decide on any suitable action. Jill Grey will investigate if any Exeter area groups are participating in this.

 

A brief business meeting followed Annie’s talk:

Letters re individuals at risk:  Egypt re homophobic persecution (Tony Mcf) Ukraine re Narzullo Akhunshonov (Angela)  China re Ilham Tohti (Kate) Cambodia re Tep Vanny (Angela & Barbara)

Programme 2018 : Dates booked at Twyford, Kate to enquire re letter writing , Martin contacting York University re human rights defenders speaker. Angela or Martin will check a possible DVD on Syria for January meeting.

Write For Rights Dec 7thMaureen Thurlow is organising, doing invitations and posters. Help for doing refreshments is still needed – and any suitable cards at 10grams and under are needed. Phone Maureen on 01395 513171.

Fund Raising McSmiths Concert:  Saturday 18th November 2017, from 7pm
St Theresa’s Hall ,Connaught Rd, Sidmouth. Local band The McSmiths are performing a gig for us. Martin has asked HQ to circulate all national members to support this event.

Spring Musical Evening    Angela reported that Sidholme is not available, and members agreed that Branscombe Village Hall would be a suitable venue. (Angela has now booked the hall for 19th May for our concert “dissent extravaganza and delicious desserts”). Jill Grey will ask Robert Crick to be MC.

AOB:  David Evans and Martin McDonagh reported that they had received no answers to their letters from East Devon Schools re setting up school Amnesty Groups. Efforts will continue.

Meeting closed 9.30

 

NEXT MEETING: NOVEMBER 16TH

Tony Mcf will chair the meeting in Martin’s absence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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