Amnesty London Region Meeting September 2013

These are the minutes for the Amnesty International UK London Region Meeting from 4th September 2013:

Chair:

  • Roger Bruneau (London Region Rep)

Present:

  • Amy Cadle – Mayfair & Soho
  • Alexis Hatto – Kingston; Richmond & Twickenham
  • Paul Little – Hornsey & Wood Green
  • Keith Meredith – Islington & Hackney
  • Petros Hassanakos – Southwark
  • Emily Embleton – Hampstead & Belsize Park
  • Ailene Helleus – Enfield & Barnet
  • Rebecca Warren – Mayfair & Soho
  • Dali Kaur – City & Tower Hamlets
  • Jeni Dixon – Southwark
  • Simon Nash – Bromley & Orpington

Apologies:

  • Ros Davidson – Wandsworth
  • Kathryn Grant – Islington & Hackney
  • Katy Fattuhi – Hornsey & Wood Green
  • Martin Lunnon – Islington & Hackney
  • Zora Quadir – Islington & Hackney

Welcome & Introduction:

Roger introduced himself as the new London Rep giving a brief background on his work on Human Rights in both South Africa and UK.

Group Activities:

Past:

Islington & Hackney held a successful Summer Fayre in Islington Green in July. They raised a considerable amount of funds from the raffle, homemade cakes, book stall, children’s area, live music and more. There was great feedback from Amnesty members.

The Mayfair & Soho fundraising walks on London’s human rights history was a great success, raising approximately £800 in funds over four walks. The group hope to hold similar walks next year.

London Region Groups could not attend the Thames Festival this year as there was a reduced number of stalls and reservations were very limited.

Future:

Kingston will have a stall at the Korean Festival to raise awareness and give details on Women’s Human Rights in Afghanistan, and for Syria and to take donations.

Enfield & Barnet will have a stall at the Palmer’s Green Festival.

Bromley & Orpington will be at their local church fayre. On the 22nd November, they will have a film night. The film is still to be confirmed.

Mayfair & Soho are hosting another of their Soul Nights on the 22nd November at a new venue in Brixton – The Market House. They will be asking for £5 donations on the door.

Hampstead & Belsize Park are hosting a Roma event at the HRAC on the 9th October. Then at 6pm on the 24th October, they are holding a vigil for Syria in Parliament Square. This will be for Anas Al-Shogre who is an ‘Individual at Risk’ who disappeared in Syria. On the 5th December they will be holding a Write for Rights event at the Old Red Lion pub.

Waltham Forest and Islington & Hackney will be holding their annual Amnesty International 1920s party on the 20th September in Walthamstow.

City & Tower Hamlets will be having a meeting in a coffee shop in Brick Lane, where the public will be able to join the group discussions. There was one held a little while ago which was popular.

South and Wandsworth will be holding their annual ‘Stand up for Women’s Human Rights’ Comedy Night in March 2014. Volunteers are needed to help organise this and to work on the night of the event. Please contact Jeni Dixon.

London Region Conference:

To be held on the 1st February 2014 at the HRAC.

The subject matter will concern, women’s human rights and gender equality, HIV/AIDS and Maternal/Reproductive rights, and LGBTI human rights and sexual identity.

Roger is organising an Amnesty Arts Exhibition which will use the same topics as the inspiration for the art works to be exhibited. It will run from the 22nd January 2014 – 1st February 2014 at the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation in Shoreditch, in conjunction with the conference. Logistics need to be examined as to whether a visit to the exhibition can become part of the agenda of the conference, or whether it would be better to hold an evening event straight after the conference at Rich Mix during which it will be possible to meet and speak to the participating artists. Roger is looking into the possibility of having Annie Lennox as a guest speaker at the exhibition on this day or evening.

London Street Collection:

To be held on the 12th October.

Southwark will not be having a street collection in their area this year, but their volunteers would be happy to help at other groups’ collections.

City & Tower Hamlets are going to do their street collection in fancy dress.

Mayfair & Soho will be having a stall to raise awareness for Amnesty in conjunction with their street collection and it was thought that this might be an idea for other groups to adopt. It would be an incentive for those volunteers who are not keen to rattle a tin but would be happy to stand at a stall where collection tins and campaign material were present. There was a discussion on the ‘dos and don’ts’ of street collecting.

London Region Skill Share:

To be held on the 23rd November (postscript, alteration on date, now to be held on the 30th November). The subject will be on Social Media and how to access it and use it effectively for your Amnesty group. Dali, Alexi and possibly Petros will be holding tutorials on the various media.

Amplify Amnesty:

This was introduced by Petros and Ros to aid in groups more effectively campaigning by joining forces with neighbouring Amnesty local groups in organising events.

A fine example of this, though there are others too, is that of Wandsworth and Southwark groups joining forces to organise and run the Comedy Night for Women’s Human Rights in March each year.

Good News:

The Death Penalty has been abolished in Maryland, USA!

It was read in a newspaper by one member, that stoning had been banned in Iran. (postscript, after researching this, alas, it was found not to be the case after all).

AOB:

Roger went to the viewing of a film on Guatemala at the HRAC. An action for groups came out of it – to hold a sign up with group members, in front of a recognisable London tourist landmark and have a photograph taken and sent to the film maker’s email for distribution to the Guatemalan authorities regarding disappeared people. Details are on the website.

Somebody has been posting non-Amnesty articles on the Amnesty London Google Group. After repeated prompts from Roger and other Amnesty staff, the perpetrator continued to post these articles, so it was felt necessary to bar them from the group. They were kindly asked to contact the Supporter Care Team in future if they wanted Amnesty’s attention.

The next London Region meeting is to be held on the second Wednesday in November, the 8th.

Everybody was thanked for attending tonight’s meeting.

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