Petros Hassanakos, voluntary London region groups co-ordinator, gave details of forthcoming campaigns / actions at our February 2012 Meeting

 

For those who missed our last meeting, chairperson Gillian Horne introduced a busy programme of speakers.

Petros Hassanakos, member of Southwark Amnesty and voluntary London region groups co-ordinator, gave details of forthcoming campaigns / actions:

The Control Arms Campaign will be the main focus for the first half of 2012. http://www.amnesty.org/en/campaigns/control-arms

An aspect of this campaign will be craftivism - a combination of craftwork and activism designed to make a startling impact.

28 April 2012 will see a gathering of groups to make a London banner.

Activism is planned to take place end May/beginning June and it is hoped it will be visible from Parliament.

Currently, Southwark, Lambeth and Wandsworth groups are working together to organise a joint evening of comedy and performance at The Bedford in Balham on Friday 9 March, the day after International Women's Day. More details to come.

Gillian also described some inspiring presentations at Amnesty's London Conference on January 28 2012 including creative example of activism by members and artists:

One presentation involved Maajid Nawaz, a former fundamentalist imprisoned in Egypt. Buckinghamshire Amnesty member John Cornwall campaigned for his release and as a result Maajid now speaks out against fundamentalism.

Another exciting presentation was by Natalia Kaliada from Belarus Free Theatre who described using theatre against dictatorships.

Gillian hopes R&T members will be able to devise something equally creative for the May Fair in order to draw attention to the Control Arms Campaign!

Although not an Amnesty member, Kingston resident Paul Tippell, spoke to us about TRAKNAT, a network of local campaigners working to limit the sale of weapons to repressive regimes. Groups involved include R&T Green Party, R&T Greenpeace, Kingston Peace Council, Richmond and Kingston World Development Group and R&T Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Paul described this campaign and asked for support from Amnesty members.

A meeting to plan both local campaigning on the issues and a public meeting with Vince Cable and Zac Goldsmith will be held on Tuesday 28th February in Jim McCluskey’s house at 3 St Margaret's Road, East Twickenham, TW1 2LN at 7.30 p.m.  See map attached below.

Miranda Glen represents The Challenge Network, (www.the-challenge.org) a nationwide project working with 16 year olds to help them participate in voluntary work within their neighbourhoods. Miranda described the project and we heard that from Summer 2012 a group of young people will be visiting charities in our area and may be able to help with our Street Collection in October.

Finally, Gillian drew attention to an Urgent Action regarding grave health concerns for Turkmenistan citizen Geldy Kyarizov who was imprisoned during the time of former President Niyazov and then released.  He has been suffering from ill health since then, but due to recent travel restrictions in Turkmenistan, has not been permitted to seek treatment abroad, even though the necessary specialist care is not available in Turkmenistan.

 

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