Minutes. February 2014 Meeting
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting held on 12 Feb 2014
Chris Ramsey, Margaret George, Georgie Wong, Hetty Tye, Karen Cooper, Linnea Glynne-Rule, Shirl Sweeney, Geneva Tatley, Pip Catnach, Jack Rumkee .
Wailim Wong, Robin Sellwood, Rosy Bott, Lucky Kaur.
Matters arising from the minutes of 8 Jan 2014:
Chris had received no feedback from his letter re the Panorama programme.
The day at Penair School, when Amnesty had an input with year 10 pupils, had gone well.
Linnea would not be available to go to the AI AGM.
4. Secretary's report:
The Feb monthly action concerned the case of Darius Evangelista in the Philippines. He was arrested and has not been seen since, but the TV broadcast a video of a police officer beating a man whom Darius's wife Margie recognised as Darius. Subsequently, police found responsible were dismissed from the force. Margie Evangelista does not accept that this was punishment enough. A letter was signed calling for justice for the Evangelista family. We shall also send a card to the family, as suggested in the action information. In May 2014 Amnesty will be launching a global campaign to Stop Torture; the Philippines will be one of the countries featured in the campaign.
Hetty pointed out that Jan from the Penzance Group sends out news to her mailing list each month. Margaret agreed to contact Jan to be put on the list and to investigate what it is she is sending out as it may be useful to our contacts
5. Individuals at Risk Casework:
Linnea had brought letters to sign re the remaining Turkmenistan case. We send a letter every month to try to get clarity about the death in custody of the prisoner we were acting for.
Georgie had no news on the cases of Norma Cruz (Guatemala) and the Honduran Human Rights Defenders Group (COFADEH). We wondered if they had received the paper doves we sent.
Georgie had also brought a letter to sign on behalf of a young Chinese man who has disappeared
6. Regional Conference:
Chris reported on the programme for the Regional Conference in Exeter on 22 March. Margaret would be sending out the programme and enrolment form via email to our list. The cost (for lunch) is £5 and £3 for students.
Several members agreed to help out with admin tasks on the day. Chris said it may be possible for people to travel together in his vehicle.
Chris also mentioned that training may be available for those who would like to do work in schools. He will follow this up.
7. Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories:
Chris reported. Mordechai Vanunu has again had the restrictions on him renewed. The Bedouin village of Hadija continues to have houses demolished . Chris had a letter to sign on this. He also raised the case of a Druze conscientious objector who is repeatedly being imprisoned because he refuses to do military service. Chris also remarked that the 'peace process' being led by John Kerry seems to be getting nowhere.
8. Amnesty Global Consultation on Sex Work:
Amnesty internationally is consulting on what should be the attitude towards sex workers. Chris explained the background to this and the difficulty of reaching a consensus when different nations' attitudes and laws are widely differing. A lengthy consultation document has been prepared. It was agreed that this should be sent out to email contacts so that those who want to can read it, and at the next meeting we can have an informed discussion. We then need to send back a feedback form to give the group's views.
9. Future events:
27 Feb - 5.30 to 7.30 the event at Tremough campus around the book 'Let's start a pussy riot'. Several members agreed to help.
Later in the year - the film on Guatemala, 'Echo the pain of many'. There was discussion on when this could be held, as the Central America coordinator, Georgia Booth, can only make weekends. It was suggested that the film-maker could possibly come. Georgie will enquire about this. Hetty has access to a projector and laptop. Chris will contact the Tremough people to see if it could be combined with an event there.
24 May - we have a street collection booked in Truro. It was discussed whether we should try to have a Mayor's Coffee morning on the same date and/or have a stall selling books. Georgie will enquire re the Mayor's coffee morning. It was suggested that whenever we sell books we should check through them and sell any more valuable ones on Ebay. Pip had had experience of this when working with another group.
10. Treasurer's report:
Linnea had prepared the annual financial report to go to HQ. She pointed out that this year we have spent more that we collected, with a deficit of £136.67 (though we still have a balance of £933.45). Increased subscriptions should help a little, and we need to think about other ways of raising money.
On 1st March Truro Methodist church is holding a 'messy church' event and invited us to participate. Several members agreed to go along. It is from 3.30 to 5.15.
Chris mentioned that he had addressed the Probus organisation last year and this may be happening again in October.
12. Next meeting: this will be on Wed 12 March.