Minutes. June Meeting
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting held on 10 June 2015
Present: Hetty Tye, Margaret George, Linnea Glynne-Rule, Karen Cooper, Wailim Wong, Chris Ramsey, Megan Bridgeland, Georgie Wong, Lucky Kaur, Chris Clarke, Rosy Bott, Shirley Sweeney.
Apologies : Robin Sellwood, Carys Hill.
Matters arising from the minutes of 13 May 2015:
Omitted from the minutes: apologies from Shirley Sweeney, and the fact that Lucky Kaur would be attending training on 'Our bodies, our rights' on 6 June.
Chris reported that he had heard no more yet about the 'off-curriculum' day at Truro School.
The street collection on 6 June raised £131.80, which was regarded as a good amount considering that it was Royal Cornwall day and also we had a small number of collectors. We also had letters to sign on the HRA on the stall, and several people came to discuss our work and showed interest in what we were doing. A guitarist (Mark Barnwell) who was playing nearby generously donated 10% of his takings that day to AI and gave us £7.
The June monthly action concerned Refugee Week (15-21 June) with ideas for groups to get involved in local activities. It was felt that a longer notice of when this would be happening would be useful in future. There was also action to be taken on defending the Human Rights Act. Chris had done a letter to Sarah Newton and said there is more action to take on the website. Shirley had met Sarah on another issue but had raised Amnesty with her too. She reported that Sarah said she is 'passionate about Amnesty'. It was agreed to invite her to the vigil on 4 July.
5. Individuals at Risk:
Georgie had a letter from Tilly and COFADEH are on Facebook. Karen will put a link on our Facebook page. In Mexico, following the murder of 2 human rights activists who were delivering food, the widower of one has been told hired assassins will kill him. There were 3 letters to sign on his behalf.
On N Africa, Walim and Linnea reported. Walim reported that the 7 men sentenced to death even though 3 were in custody when the 'crime' they were accused of was committed have all been executed. There was a letter to sign on behalf of Azza Suleyman who was arrested after witnessing a shooting and giving a witness statement. She was released but her acquittal is being appealed. Walim would be sending out a link to an online petition for Mahmood Hussain who was sentenced to 500 days in prison for wearing an anti-torture tee-shirt. In Morocco a journalist, H Mansouri, was sentenced to 6 months for 'adultery' though AI suspects it was because he was doing investigative journalism. There was a letter to sign for him.
Raif Badawi's court sentence of 1000 lashes had been upheld. There was a photo-action and online petition on his behalf.
Former Soviet Union: Margaret had brought letters to sign on 2 cases, one for activists in Kaliningrad and one for Human Rights activists in Chechnya.
Turkey: it was the second anniversary of the attack on activist Hakan Yaman. There was a photo action on his behalf.
6. Stop Torture campaign: our vigil will be outside the cathedral on 4 July at 2.30 and will last about 30 mins. It was agreed to put material on this topic in the cathedral on our table. Chris suggested we could put a 'Stop Torture' poster on the board there which gives info about our group. We will need to set up from about 2pm. Everyone to wear black. John Byrne from PZ group will be there with his drum. We will have leaflets to hand out. We need a photographer. Wailim will contact the media and do a press release. Shirley will contact Laurence Reed, Chris will contact Truro school, and Megan will contact Truro College students. Wailim confirmed that we have plenty of materials. Margaret will write to Sarah Newton.
7. My body my rights campaign: Lucky reported on the very sensitive issue of reproductive and sexual rights. The campaign launched on 9 June and is focusing on the situation in Ireland where women can only access abortion if there is a 'real and substantial risk' to the life of the mother. This in practice leads women and girls coming over to UK (in 2012, 12 per day). The My body my rights campaign is a very sensitive global issue. It was agreed that Lucky should pass on what she has learned in the training as a discussion topic for a future group meeting.
8. Israel and Occupied Palestinian territories: Chris reported that Kahlida Jara's case had been back to court and the judge asked for further evidence. Meanwhile, she is still in administrative detention. The Guardian had carried news of a boycott of an Israeli film festival.
9. Future events:
4 July we have our Mayor's Coffee Morning from 10-12, followed by our vigil on 'Stop Torture' at 2.30. Those who can help need to be there from 9.00am. We need to provide cakes to sell, plus plants and some books. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided by the Mayor. We will need publicity materials and our feather flag which can stand outside. Karen has acquired a heavy granite base for the flag (though it stood up well on a breezy day for the street collection). Chris gave apologies that he cannot be there on 4 July and Lucky will be away on AI training on Our bodies our rights. Georgie has ordered Amnestea materials. It was agreed to try to get this event announced on Radio Cornwall.
4 July also our vigil - see item 6
Margaret had contacted Giles Horne about a bookstall in Lemon St Market on 8 August and is awaiting an answer.
Chris is still negotiating with the Poly about showing Open Bethlehem.
10. Treasurer's report: Linnea reported that we have £1125.74 plus £138. She reported that Mark Barnwell (the guitarist who supported our street collection) is willing to do a benefit event. Linnea will contact him again to see if he has any ideas about a venue and maybe other musicians who would also support. The Kazbah was mentioned as a possibility after our last successful event there.
Karen is still thinking of organising a sponsored walk, possibly in Sept/Oct. It was agreed to put this on the agenda for July.
Robin had reported that the large candle which normally stands on our table in the cathedral had been stolen. He suggested that as a gesture of thanks for the cathedral's support we should send £30 towards the replacement. This was agreed.
Georgie reported that the stall at the Mayor's charity event on 5 Dec has been booked. She would try to book stalls for 28 Nov and 12 Dec. She will contact Claire about having a stall in Archie Brown's. It was agreed to try to have a street collection in Falmouth in early October.
12. Next meeting: this will be on 8 July.