Minutes. March 2014 meeting
Truro and Falmouth Amnesty International Group
Minutes of Meeting held on 12 March 2014
Chris Ramsey, Margaret George, Georgie Wong, , Karen Cooper, Lucky Kaur, Linnea Glynne-Rule, Shirl Sweeney. Chris chaired the meeting in the absence of Hetty.
Wailim Wong, Rosy Bott, Hetty Tye.
Matters arising from the minutes of 12 Feb 2014:
Georgie had checked whether we could combine our Truro Street Collection on 24 May with a Mayor's Coffee Morning. This would not be possible, but Georgie had a list of possible dates for the Mayor's Coffee Morning which she agreed to circulate to those present for comment on their suitability.
The 'Messy Church' event at Truro Methodist church went well. Several adults signed cards to WOZA and children made flowers to go on a 'tree' for International Women's Day. There is a minister connected with the church who has had to leave Zimbabwe, and it was suggested that she may be a useful contact (she is away at present). One of the leaders at the church said that they would be happy to do cards in the Xmas Write for Rights campaign.
Chris reported that he had attended a successful event at Truro College with about 70 students.
After contacting Farshid at HQ Margaret had been put back on the mailing list for Monthly Actions. The message to all supporters here is that if they go onto the Amnesty website to do an Action, they must make sure the box for 'future contact' is ticked, otherwise all communication from HQ will cease.
The Pussy Riot event at Tremough had gone well, with an excellent link-up by skype with Katya, one of the 3 who were arrested. She answered lots of questions via an interpreter and discussed the 'split' in the group shown by the fact that the other 2 women have become public figures, whereas the original activists had always works anonymously (with faces covered) and without alerting the authorities in advance.
4. Secretary's report:
The March monthly action concerned Afghan Women and Syria. For Afghan Women there was a number of suggested actions, including a photo action with members holding up placards. We did this with members of the group. For Syria, there was a letter to the pro- and anti-government representatives calling for protection for civilians. The letter to the pro-government representative was signed at the meeting. The one to the anti-government rep had to be emailed, which Margaret had done. There were also copies of the Spring Groups News plus extra copies of the letter-writing cases included in the News.
An Amnesty Annual report 2013 had been received. Also letters from Sarah Newton MP and Ashley Fox MEP.
5. SW Regional meeting 22 March, Exeter:
Chris reported on arrangements. He will be travelling up the day before. Other members will travel together by car or on the train. Truro group members will be helping out with the admin on the day.
6. AI UK Annual Conference Motions:
The first 3 motions concern the proposed Global position to be adopted on Sex Work. This is also at present up for consultation of individual members and groups. There was a thorough discussion of this topic, the outcome being that most of the group felt that Amnesty should not take up a position globally on this matter. Opinions were voiced as to the possibility/impossibility of getting a policy that would command support around the world, and concern was felt that the Annual Conference had this as the very first item when other things (eg Human Rights, which also of course includes women's rights) are more important.
The group has 10 Proxy Votes for the Annual Conference. Our attitude to the motions was as follows:
Motion A3 (Global Sex Work policy) - support. This means that we do not support motions A1 and A2.
Motions B1 - B6 (Human Right Act, Garment workers in Asian countries, Guantanamo, Guatemala, Sri Lanka Human Rights, Sri Lanka and the UN) - support
Motions C1 - C4 (governance issues) and C5 (location of annual meetings) - support
Motion D1 ( Secret Policeman's Ball), Motion D3 (Linking Members with Local Groups), MotionD5 (Strategic Goals consultation) - support
Motion D2 (Secretary General's Global Council), Motion D4 (Scottish Independence), and D6(Global Transition Programme) - abstain
7. Individuals at Risk:
Georgie had circulated the Central America newsletter. She brought letters to sign re cases in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala
7. Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories:
21st April marks the anniversary of Mordechai Vanunu's release into very restricted freedom. Chris had brought an action consisting of a sign 'reserving' a place for Mordechai, for when he is free, which can be photographed at suitable places (dinner tables, cinema seats etc). Chris agreed to circulate the poster to those present.
8. Future events:
Showing of the film 'Echo the pain of many'. Georgie had heard from Georgia Booth that the autumn will suit her better. If we want to have it at Tremough and involve students, Oct would be good. Chris will contact Tremough. Lucky has contact with Keith Sparrow at Source FM who may be able to publicise the event.
The monthly action on Afghan Women also includes the transcript of a play-reading by Ice and Fire. Chris will also raise this as a possible event with students at Tremough.
24 May - we have a street collection in Truro. For this we need as much help (for however short a time) as possible.
10. Treasurer's report:
Linnea reported that we have £930.93. Not everyone has paid their subs for 2014 - at the new rate of £7.50 for the year.
Linnea had received a reply to a letter she sent to the Russian Authorities.
12. Next meeting: this will be on Wed 9 April.