20 March 2013 Minutes
Chair: David Huband (DH)
Minutes: Debbie Campbell
Chair welcomed all to the group’s AGM meeting.
Sue Mill; Joanna Kinnaird
Minutes Of Last Meeting – Matters Arising
Tom Read and David Ford asked to raise.
Monthly Actions – Roz Cadwallader
Roz Cadwallader summarised action for appealing to the Japanese government to halt execution. Distributed information.
Turkmenistan – David Ford (DF)
David Ford gave summary of development over last ten months [see Report Of Turkmenistan Actions During 2012/13] and distributed template letter urging action for justice for one of the three who had died.
Shaker Aamer – Jim Massy
Jim Massy (JM) updated the group on latest developments, and distributed information sheet with details of who/where to write to appeal for justice.
The group’s stall on Saturday 23 March will be encouraging public to sign a letter for President Obama; JM distributed letter around the group.
Chair summarised the year’s work, focusing on (i) What had gone well and (ii) What had gone less well.
(i) Gone Well
- Regular campaigns: Monthly Action; Women’s Group; Arms Trade Treaty; Forced Evictions. All continuing except Forced Evictions which was no longer on AI UK’s agenda. Chair thanked all those who had led on campaigns.
- Regular Meetings: these had been well attended, particularly when there was a visiting speaker. Lower attendance when focus was on letter-writing.
- Fundraising: Street Collection; Christmas Cards; Quiz & Dips; Tea Party. Chair thanked Nicky Leach, Sue Mills, Debbie Campbell & Roz Cadwallader, and Lynn Holt respectively.
- Campaigns: Reggie Clemons; Turkmenistan, Write for Rights; Shaker Aamer. Chair thanked all those who had led and worked on campaigns.
(ii) Less Well
- Membership: high number of individuals on the database, but low turn-out to meetings in comparison. Disappointing as group makes efforts to communicate through, eg, newsletter and website.
- Young People: group has made efforts through schools but with no response from headteachers or teachers with specific (Amnesty-relevant) responsibilities. The exception was Norwich School which has been actively supportive (including fundraising).
- Committee: needs more members. Chair thanked Debbie Campbell and Gill Albert who had left the Committee, and welcomed Sue Mills who had joined during the last year.
- AI UK Management: Chair reported on letter received from the Chair of the AI UK Board showing ‘due contrition’ in recognition of poor communication between the board and membership. Chair hopes this will therefore improve; changes will happen at AIUK but group needs to continue with actions and activity. Chair added that he felt the Norwich group exercised a good balance between fundraising and campaigning.
- Speakers: group had had some celebrated speakers, but ‘preaching to the converted’, though recognised that the publicity from these speakers was helpful, and the group should continue to capitalise on successes.
- Street campaigning: this provides opportunity to reach people who are not part of the usual Amnesty profile – so need to communicate beyond our own members and kindred spirits.
Discussion followed on development – particularly around recruiting younger people and activating the membership.
Treasurer – David Ford
David Ford presented the accounts. Contribution to AIUK to be agreed.
Women’s Group – Roz Cadwallader
Roz Cadwallader gave summary of the year’s activities, which included: Women’s Reproductive Rights, Equal Opportunities in Education & Self determination, Women’s Rights in Afghanistan, North Africa (with special focus on Egypt); Guatemala, Ireland (Magdalen Laundries); India; Urgent Action (China).
The hope was expressed that rumours of AI’s reducing focus on work relating to Women do not materialise as abuses are significantly widespread.
Children – David Ford on behalf of Joanna Kinnaird
Concern that, once again, there has been no activity. The group’s members who would be at the national AGM will aim to make concerns known to David Maidment.
Arms Trade Treaty – David Yates
David Yates summarised an ‘up and down year’. Read out letter from Alastair Burt (leading delegation on behalf of the UK government), confirming UK commitment and emphasising determination not to compromise with a weak treaty and would hold to principles.
Newsletter – Tom Read
Chair congratulated Tom on very high quality newsletters.
Website – Carl Grint
Chair congratulated thanked Carl Grint for such a ‘tremendous’ website.
Carl Grint summarised website development: about 200 visitors per month since January 2013; majority of visitors from UK, followed by India and the Americas.
Stephanie Laimersummarised activity over last year, which included work on 6 specific cases. Forced Evictions coming off the AI agenda but there may still be related Urgent Action requests.
Election of Officers
The following were proposed and seconded:
- David Huband: Chair
- David Ford: Treasurer
- Sue Mills: Minutes Secretary
- Roz Cadwallader: Officer
- Joanna Kinnaird: Officer
- Carl Grint: Officer
- Tom Read: Officer
- Jonathan Cox: Officer
Norwich School – fundraising Performance
Chair reported that Norwich School will be putting on a variety show performance on Thursday 21 March at One venue as an AI fundraiser.
AI Stall – Saturday 23 March
Chair explained this will focus on Shaker Aamer, and to include petition to government to bring about Early Day Motion, and paper letters to sign to send to President Obama. More people needed to run the stall.
AI UK AGM – April
David Ford, Joanna Kinnaird, David Huband will be attending the forthcoming AGM in April. Chair explained that they will be entitled to cast a block vote on resolutions on behalf of the group. The suggestion from the three members was that they should do this if they all agreed on how to vote, but if not unanimous they would vote as individuals. Chair asked for vote, and group passed this suggestion as action to be taken.
Committee Meeting – 24 April
Chair reminded group that anyone was welcome to put forward suggestions for agenda items.
Tom Reed announced forthcoming wedding with Stephanie Laimer. Congratulations from the group.
- AI Magazine
David Ford distributed copies of the AI magazine which was now in smaller format and will be issued quarterly. Group invited to channel feedback through David Ford.
Close of Meeting: 9.30 pm
Wednesday 17 April at 7.30