March 2014 Minutes

Mid-Warwickshire Amnesty Group 156 

Minutes of the Meeting of 6th March 2014  


PresentWill Roberts (Chair), Roger Frost, James Kennedy, Chrissie Presley, Hilary Holland, Malcolm Hancock, Marta Pitarello, Jo Hobbs. James Lovatt, Maureen Hirsch, Nadia Savage, Lisa Rawlings. Simon HorrocksArianna Iovine, Tim Bradley, Fiona Clayton. 

Apologies: John Payton, Denise Fowler, Simon Lieberman, Ella Holland, Yasmin Choudry, Andy Walker-Smith, Deb Almquist and Helen Lord.


Discussion. James Lovatt, AIUK China country co-ordinator, spoke about the current situation in China as regards human rights: the only cosmetic changes to the  ‘black jails’ (labour camps in disused hotels etc), the myriad of political prisoners, one-child policy, the crack down on practitioners of Falun Gong, the press and internet censorship, and the persecution of ethnic minorities in western China. He touched on the few signs of relaxation; the widespread development of the ‘new citizens’ movement ( discussion groups), signs of a small lifting in censorship, the New Tan TV Company which beams to the whole of China from Hong Kong. He concluded by explaining that AI intends to run an intensive 10-week campaign on China (details will come later). Two films were recommended ‘Transcending Fear’, and ‘Free China’. 

After many questions from the group, James was thanked for his interesting and enlightening talk. 


  1. Liu Xia. Those present signed a birthday card for Liu Xia. 


  1. The Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted. 


  1. Inter-School networks. Nadia reported that the first meeting had been hosted by Campion School and had been a great success. Her pupils had loved it. The next meeting will be held in mid-May and hosted by Kingsley School. On the 20th March, Nadia is holding at the school an Amnesty tea-party 4.15-5.30 pm. The email address is for anyone who may be interested in becoming involved in the network. 

  1. Treasurer’s Report. James reported that the auditor had now signed off the Accounts for 2013. The balance at the end of the year was £1351.00, the excess of income over expenditure for the period as £376.12. £2272 had been donated to AIUK I 2013.  


  1.  Letter-Writing Evening. The next one will be held on25th March at the Oken Tea-Rooms, Warwick, at 8.oopm. Marta and Helen will coordinate. Appeals will be sent on behalf of our Chinese PoCs. 


  1. Monthly Action. Those present signed two letters about human rights in Syria. 


  1. Ice and Fire Monologues. These concern people’s experiences of seeking asylum. Tuesday 11th March 7.00 pm at the Grand Union Pub, L/Spa. 


  1. FaceBook. We are now on FaceBook as Mid Warwickshire Amnesty, so please add as a friend if you are on FaceBook 


  1. Next meeting will be on Thursday 3rd April at Jo’s at 8.00pm. Entrance by wrought iron gate in Wharfe Street, Warwick, by railway bridge opposite car dealer.

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