Weekly Action and News 01/07/2022
Manchester Amnesty Weekly Actions and News
Please do these actions and make a difference
Action 1. Stop the forceful eviction of Maasai people!
4th July is World Indigenous People’s day. This page on Amnesty International’s website explains what is meant by the term “indigenous people” and summarises the discrimination, marginalisation and denial of human rights that indigenous peoples are so often subjected to. Amnesty Canada have taken a lead on this issue and also have a lot of material on their website that is well worth reading. This week’s action relates to the forceful and violent eviction of 70,000 Maasai people from their ancestral grazing lands to make way for tourism development. See AIUK’s press release here for more information about recent brutal actions against these people. Then watch this video made by the campaigning organization Avaaz and share it widely as you see fit. *** WARNING – the video contains violent scenes and is distressing. *** You can also add your name to this petition .
Action 2. Abortion rights
Our second action this week addresses the appalling assault on abortion rights that has recently taken place in the US with the overturning of Roe v Wade. Access to abortion is a human right. Under international human rights law, everyone has a right to life, a right to health, and a right to be free from violence, discrimination, and torture or other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will — for whatever reason — is a violation of those rights. Abortion must be legal, safe and accessible for all. Amnesty are calling on US State Governors to protect rights to safe abortion and reproductive health care.
Forthcoming campaigning events over the summer!
1. Saturday 16th July twitter storm. We are holding a joint Twitter storm with several other UK Amnesty groups to call for the release of Mohammed al-Roken on 17th July. Sample tweets and guidance will be sent out the week before
2. Arab Arts Festival Family day 12-5pm Sefton Park Liverpool Sun 17th July We have a joint stall with Liverpool and Wirral Amnesty groups to campaign for the release of Mohammed al-Roken whose sentence should end on 17th July 2022. We have plenty of people to staff the stall but it should be a fun day out so please join us if you can. https://www.arabartsfestival.com
Israel’s apartheid against Palestine
We will have an Amnesty Stall on Israel-Palestine on Sat 30 July from 7pm, at The Klondyke, Levenshulme, M19 2HQ. This is at the Big Gig event for the Big Ride for Palestine (see previous newsletters), which culminates this year in Manchester. Please come and help for an hour on the stall, meet others who share our concerns, and have a fun night with music, drinks, food and more.
We have applied to join the Manchester Pride parade on 27th August at a discounted rate, and will let you know if our application is successful. Please note the date. The theme this year is peace. Steve Lindsay has kindly agreed to coordinate our contribution on the day email@example.com
Our next letter-writing drop in will take place on Saturday 23rd July, 2-4pm, Manchester Central Library. All are welcome so please do save the date! More details to follow.
A free music event by DeRanged Nights, 6th August at Overdraught MCR in Levenshulme from 8pm until late. In support of freedom of speech, free press and whistleblowers’ protection, highlighting the cases of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and other persecuted journalists. More details available from Lima Al-iskalachi firstname.lastname@example.org
Acoustic Amnesty is back! Friday Nov 18 7.30pm to 1am 53Two, Arch 19, Watson St, Manchester M3 4LP. Acoustic Amnesty is going electric and having a party. There will be many singers, bands, poets and there will be a DJ spinning dance tunes. 100% of ticket sales will go to good causes including Amnesty Manchester. Just donate at least £10 per person here for all this loveliness – tickets at www.paypal.com/pools/c/8KVmcbGC1T
Recent group activities
Refugee subgroup – actions during Refugee Week (19-26/6)
See pictures of the orange hearts bearing our messages about refugees (via a QR code) that were put up in many places around Didsbury on 19th June, and of our banner that was displayed at Chorlton Creative Recycling in Chorlton on 26th June, together with more hearts, as part of the Chorlton Open Gardens event. The open gardens event, in aid of Freedom from Torture, was very successful this year and many people will have seen our hearts. More hearts will be going up on the meadows in Chorlton tomorrow, 2nd July, and our final event will be in Manchester City centre on 14th August. Heartfelt thanks to all involved!
Anti-racism subgroup – guilt by association campaign.
Update on sentencing date. As reported last week, Manchester Amnesty is supporting a campaign of support and solidarity, coordinated by Kids of Colour, for ten young people of colour who have been found guilty by association of conspiracy to murder and/or GBH and who are probably facing long prison sentences. We were expecting the sentencing date to be 27th/28th July at Manchester Crown Court, but two days ago that was changed to yesterday and today, 1st July, at Preston Crown Court. There were many supporters in court yesterday. Kids of Colour have coordinated a fantastic Community Document about the young people, to which Manchester Amnesty, about 40 other organisations, and 477 individuals contributed. They hope that this document will be considered by the judge. Whatever happens, these young people and their families will need continued support, advocacy and encouragement. If you would like further information or to get involved, please contact: email@example.com. We will update you when we have further information.
Two of our members, Mike Reed and Anne Walker, attended a North-West regional meeting on 22nd June, where 18 people represented 13 group, and there were useful discussions about problems faced by groups and how to make our local group work even more effective. A list of the campaigns on which Amnesty will focus in the rest of 2022 was circulated.
Hazel Errey and Anne Walker attended the AIUK Annual General Meeting on 25th June. Minutes of the AGM will be posted on the AIUK website in due course, but in the meantime if you want to know anything about it please contact Hazel firstname.lastname@example.org or Anne email@example.com
You will probably have heard that, after acting as Interim Chief Executive Officer of AIUK since May 2021, Sacha Deshmukh has been appointed to the post of CEO.
Manchester Amnesty Subgroups and other work
If you would like to join any of our subgroups, please contact the current convenors for joining details.
UAE – Kathryn Fletcher, firstname.lastname@example.org. next meeting TBA, Zoom
Anti-racism – Hazel Errey, email@example.com, next meeting Monday 27th June, 6.30pm, Zoom
Refugees – Alison Wearden, firstname.lastname@example.org, next meeting Monday 25th July, 7pm, Zoom
HR in UK – Matthew Sherwood, email@example.com, next meeting TBA, Zoom
Craftivism - Kathryn Fletcher firstname.lastname@example.org. next meeting TBA
Other areas of work are led by:
Crisis and Tactical Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen Rebecca Shaw, email@example.com
Europe/ Turkey, Fatih Segmen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Israel's Apartheid Against Palestinians Mike Reed email@example.com
Individuals at Risk (quarterly letter writing) Anne Walker firstname.lastname@example.org
On 20 June 2022, the Ukraine Parliament ratified the Istanbul Convention, the very important international treaty on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
On 24 June 2022, Murtaja Qureiris, the state’s youngest political prisoner, was released. Arrested in 2014 when he was 13 years old, he was beaten whilst being held in solitary confinement, and for a time risked execution for allegations relating to events that happened when he was 10 years old.
On 21 June 2022, the Ravenna court ruled in favour of an employee of Lidl who had been the victim of homophobic abuse, forced for years to undertake excessive shifts, eventually falling ill, resulting in dismissal. Naming the company as a civil offender, the judge sentenced the supermarket foreman to three months in prison and fined three executives EUR 500. The worker was awarded a provisional sum of 30,000 euros.
Amnesty International Manchester Group
Please email me with items for the weekly action/newsletter, or with ideas for longer articles for the quarterly bulletin.