15 January 2020

Minutes for January 2020

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 15 December 2019
In attendance: Barbara, Jeff

Welcome and Introductions

We welcomed a visitor, born in Albania but now a US citizen, who was referred by friends to AIUSA. In 1997, visitor and his family attempted to flee by ship to Italy with other Albanians to escape violence and chaos of civil war. An Italian ship is alleged to have intentionally crashed into the refugee ship in the Strait of Otranto, and many passengers perished, including visitor's wife and son. The case was litigated in the Italian courts and referred to international courts. However, survivors have yet to receive any compensation. (See: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/31/world/albania-envoy-accuses-italy-in-sinking-of-refugee-boat.html.) Visitor is seeking an attorney to continue pursuing his case. We referred him to the Nationalities Service Center and HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) PA in Philadelphia. 

New Business
Brief discussion about possible fundraising on behalf of refugees from Cameroon.

Actions

  • Communities in Boyaja, Choco (western Colombia) threatened by armed groups (Colombia): UA 169/19
  • Three journalists arbitrarily detained (Egypt): UA 175/19
  • Kurdish activist needs urgent medical care (Iran): UA 176/19
  • 2019 Write for Rights cards and letters (final batch)


Upcoming Events
  • Next group meeting: Wednesday, 19 February 2020, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

20 November 2019

Minutes for November 2019

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 20 November 2019
In attendance: Barbara, Bob, Jeff, Gina, Tilo, Struan, Marsha

Welcome and Introductions


Reports

  • Minutes (Marsha)
  • Treasurer (Tilo)
  • Social media director (Barbara)
  • Group 342 coordinator (Jeff): Update on the new Amnesty International Main Line Group
    • Planned for September launch, but Edwin didn't send out invitations to local AIUSA members, so decided to wait
    • October (launch meeting): 1300 invitations sent, 1 person showed up
    • November (second meeting): 2600 invitations sent, meeting was canceled but there was 1 walk-in

Special Report on AIUSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference (Bob and Barb)

  • Held in downtown Richmond, VA
  • Bob's report
    • Session on what to say (and not to say) when being interviewed as a representative of Amnesty International
    • Session called "Stop State-Sanctionoed Killing in the US"
    • PLAN method: proportionality, legality, accountability, necessity
    • several states considering legistration on what police can and can't do
    • Session on climate change
    • Local group caucus (Prachi has left AI; Angelina C is now our new area rep) 
    •  "What would Eleanor Roosevelt say? Are human rights universal?"
    • In July 2019 Secretary of State Pompeo started a new commission on human rights (to distinguish between the universal declaration and ad hoc right)
    • Human Rights First sent a letter to Pompeo on 23 July 2019 to express concern about the commission elevating religion and trying to redefine some "inalienable" right in the Declaration as ad hoc
  • Barb's report
    • Session on women's human rights activists in Saudi Arabia: ask the U.S. Senate to support S.Res.73 in support of them
    • Session on detainment of children in Homestead, Florida (AI wants to close that center)
New Business
Should we consider a new meeting site?

Actions
2019 Write for Rights cards and letters, part 1 (prepared by Bob and Barbara)

Upcoming Events

  • Fundraising committee meeting: Sunday, 24 November 2019, 9:30 a.m. Green Street Grill in Downingtown
  • Next group meeting: Wednesday, 18 December 2019, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

16 October 2019

Minutes for October 2019

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Welcome and Introductions


Announcements

Jeff reported on victories in Hungary and Myanmar!

Jeff reported on efforts to start a new Main Line AIUSA group:
  • Held at the Radnor Library
  • One of the attendees was a Presbyterian minister with a Ph.D. in liturgical studies
Jeff reported on Sunday meeting with the fundraising committee:
  • Ashley to make list of local festivals (blues, restaurants, etc.)
  • Edwin Gur to make suggestions
  • Dee to contact 10,000 Villages stores to see if willing to sponsor an event
  • Jeff to contact 10,000 Villages headquarters regarding local store fundraising

AIUSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference will be November 16 in Richmond, Virginia.


Next meeting: Wednesday, 20 November 2019, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

18 September 2019

Minutes for September 2019

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 18 September 2019
In attendance: Bob, Barbara, Dee, Ashley, Marsha


Welcome and Introductions


Victories!


Announcements

AIUSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference will be November 16 in Richmond, Virginia.
Kickoff of AI Main Line group postponed until October 9.

Actions
Case File
Cards with message of solidarity to Fomusoh Ivo Feh
Report of Jeff's meeting with Cameroonian immigrants on Sunday, August 25, at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Clementon, NJ

Case file update: Fomusoh Ivo Feh


Next meeting: Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

21 August 2019

Minutes for August 2019

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 21 August 2019
In attendance: Bob, Barbara, Brendan, Jeff, Gina, Dee (new), Ashley (new)


Welcome and Introductions


Welcomed new members Ashley Dunlop and her mother Dee Stephens!


Group Coordinator's Report

  • On Sunday, 25 August, Jeff will visit St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Clementon, NJ. He will speak with pastor and a group of church members from Cameroon about our case file on Fomusoh Ivo Feh.
  • Distributed copies of articles about the situation in Cameroon
  • First meeting of new AIUSA group on the Main Line will be on 11 September at 7:30 p.m, at Radnor Memorial Library, Wayne, PA.
  • AIUSA headquarters will send out e-mail invitations to dues-paying AIUSA members residing in Delaware County (1,000 members) and Montgomery County (1,200 members).
  • The new group will have regular meetings on the second Wednesday of each month.


Actions

  • Land defenders in Río Blanco still at risk (Honduras): UA 64.19
  • Young man at imminent risk of execution (Sudan): UA 103.19
  • Uyghur woman held incommunicado for two years (China): UA 222.17
  • Human rights defender sentenced to 12 years (China): UA 284.16
  • Cards with message of solidarity to Fomusoh Ivo Feh
  • Letters to officials in Cameroon on behalf of Fomusoh Ivo Fen and his two friends (case file) 


Next meeting: Wednesday, 18 September 2019, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

19 June 2019

Minutes for June 2018

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 19 June 2019
In attendance: Bob, Barbara, Tilo


Welcome and Introductions

Actions
  • Defamation charges for exposing labor abuse (Thailand): UA 73.19
  • Incommunicado detainee at risk of torture (United Arab Emirates): UA 75.19
  • Prisoner of conscience tortured to confess (Vietnam): UA 72.19
New Business

Recommended viewing/reading

  • “Can Amnesty International Fix Its Toxic Work Culture?” Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo interviewed by Al Jazeera English
  • Amnesty International Staff Well-Being Report by Konterra International
    • Recommendations (from the executive summary):
      • Work to repair ruptures and foster a sense of safety and trust among senior leadership, the organization, and staff.
      • Work to counter a culture of criticism and blame by fostering a development culture.
      • Implement a comprehensive and systematic approach to staff well-being.
      • Improve support for issues related to stress.
      • Enlist, equip, and better support managers to improve well-being.
      • Review and professionalize people and organizational development. 

Next meeting: Wednesday, 17 July 2019, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

15 May 2019

Minutes for May 2019

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 15 May 2019
In attendance: Bob, Barbara, Jeff, Tilo, Marsha


Welcome and Introductions


Victories: 2 journalists freed in Myanmar, Write for Rights, Nowruz

Treasurer's Report

Tilo reported that we have about $1000 in the bank and $200 in cash.

Social Media Director's Report

Barbara did a paid announcement on Patch for this meeting.

Social Media Director's Report

Jeff will be hosting the first three meetings of the new Delco AI group at Radnor Library. Edwin Gur will contact AI members in Delco zip codes.

Jeff's Agent of Change project at Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center is about refugees.

Actions
  • Tiananmen "Baiju" activist sentenced to jail (China): UA 138.16
  • Thousands in need of urgent protection (Colombia): UA 52.19
  • Stop harassment of human rights activist (Poland): UA 62.19
New Business

Case file update: Fomusoh Ivo Feh

Old Business

Possibility of changing our meeting place?

Next meeting: Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

Minutes for January 2020

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 15 December 2019 In attendance: Barbara, Jeff Welcome and Introductions We welcomed a visitor, born in Alb...