17 January 2018

Meeting minutes for January 2018

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 17 January 2018
In attendance: Jeff, Barbara, Bob, Gina, Struan, Kara (via Skype), Brendan

Welcome and Introductions


Our annual Write for Rights event was held on 20 December 2017.

  • Our work included 8 appeals, 53 cards, 1 tweet (on behalf of Ni Yulan), and 1 post (freeistanbul10.tumblr.com).
  • Prachi Rao, our new field prganizer, was unable to attend this event but has promised to come to one of our monthly meetings.

AIUSA now allows local groups to submit their meeting information to the AIUSA events page at https://www.amnestyusa.org/take-action/events/. Barbara listed our January meeting (with photo) and will list us each month.

The AIUSA Annual General Meeting will be held 23–25 February 2018 in Bethesda, MD. 

  • Information is at https://www.amnestyusa.org/take-action/events/amnesty-internationals-2018-annual-general-meeting/
  • Jeff, Bob, and Barbara have registered to attend.


Urgent Action Victory! Missing Bangladeshi Academic Returned Home (Bangladesh: UA 252.17)


Death penalty news (Brendan): The new district attorney of Philadelphia, Larry Krasner, has pledged to end Philadelphia's use of the death penalty. 

“5-minute university”: At our February meeting Barbara will do a short presentation about some of the groups that AI has defended.

  • Indigenous Community Forcibly Evicted (Kenya, UA 6.18)
  • Attack against Indigenous Defender Patricia Gualinga (Ecuador, UA 8.18)
  • 529 Patients Are Still Awaiting Medical Evacuation in Eastern Ghouta (Syria, UA 275.17)

Next meeting: Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 7:30 p.m., Wegmans cafe in Malvern

20 December 2017

Meeting Minutes for December 2017

For our annual Write for Rights event, several members of Group 342 gathered at the home of one of our members, Tilo, to write letters to and on behalf of this year's highlighted cases!

(Our next meeting will be at our regular time and place: Wednesday, 17 January, 7:30 p.m., at the cafe in the Wegmans in Malvern.)


15 November 2017

Meeting Minutes for November 2017

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 15 November 2017
In attendance: Jeff, Barbara, Bob, Gina, Alex, Tilo

Welcome and Introductions

Treasurer's Report

  • Tilo is looking for another financial institution to hold our group’s funds, one without such a high minimum deposit.

Social Media Director's Report

  • Barbara is trying to increase our rate of “engagement” (likes, reactions, comments, inquiries) on our various social media outlets.
  • Press secretary of another organization recommended added our group to Main Line Neighbors (east edition and west edition). There is no cost to list non-profit organizations. Barbara will add to our social media accounts.


  • Jeff, Alex, Bob, and Barbara gave highlights of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference.

  • No Safe Options for Refugees After Camp "Closure" (Australia): UA 184/17
  • Stop Crackdown Against LGBTI Individuals (Egypt): UA 231/17
  • Nevada Execution Delayed But Still Pursued (USA): UA 250/17
New Business 

  • Our regular monthly meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, as before.
  • We will hold our annual Write for Rights event at our next meeting, 20 December 2017. 
    • Materials available at https://write.amnestyusa.org/
    • Barbara will invite Prachi Rao, our new field organizer.  
  • Still looking for members to do a “Ten Minute University” presentation on a topic of their choice. 

Next meeting: Wednesday, 20 December 2017, 7:30 p.m., Tilo's home (contact Tilo or Barb for address)

25 October 2017

Meeting minutes for October 2017

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 25 October 2017
In attendance: Jeff, Barbara, Bob, Kara (via Skype), Leslie

Welcome and Introductions

Greeted Leslie and acquainted her with Amnesty International's work and our group's upcoming events.


After discussion, we decided to reinstate third Wednesday of the month as our regular meeting day.

  • Activists indicted for peaceful assembly (Thailand): UA 290/16 
  • Lesotho soldiers at risk facing a fresh trial (Lesotho): UA 263/15
  • Man held in poor conditions, denied family visits (South Sudan): UA 240/17
  • Fifteen released, five still arbitrarily detained (South Sudan): UA 87/16

Upcoming Events
  • 2017 AIUSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
    • Saturday, 4 November, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    • Jeff, Marsha, Alex, Bob, and Barbara will be attending
  • Annual Write for Writes event: we will hold this at our regular December meeting (20 December)
Next meeting: Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 7:30 p.m., Wegman's Cafe in Malvern

20 September 2017

Meeting minutes for September 2017

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 20 September 2017
In attendance: Jeff, Barbara, Bob, Tilo, Ayisha, Leo, Marsha

Welcome and Introductions

Welcome newcomers Ayisha and Leo.


Coordinator's report [Jeff]: "Yay Us!"

Treasurer's report [Tilo]

Social media director's report [Barbara]


Malvern Harvest Oktoberfest was a success! Met lots of people, many signed up for e-mail. Thank-you card to the event director, Lisa, thanking her for giving us free booth space.

  • "The Malvern Three" [Marsha]
  • Death penalty in Iran [Brendan]

  • Russian human rights defender Valentina Cheravatenko [Barbara]
  • "I Want Those Addresses" [Jeff]
  • Free the Berks kids [Jeff]

Old Business

New location for our Write for Rights event [Barbara]
  • Ayisha suggested a movie fundraiser (via Gathr) in King of Prussia
  • Marsha suggested Barnes & Noble in Exton, will send into to Barbara

Five-Minute University

Bob: "Tech Tools for Activism, or How to be a Snowden" (information from network23.org/ttfa)
  • e-mail (privacy, encryption, anonymity)
  • safe/anonymous blogging and microblogging (e.g., Twitter)
  • browsing the Internet safely (e.g., don't expose IP address, use TOR network)
  • mobile phone security important but not covered in this presentation

New Business
  • Could we get a table at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in October?
  • Should we change our meeting date to something other than the third Wednesday of the month?
  • Marsha will mock up t-shirt designs and send them to the group
  • Next month Ayisha will give a five-minute university on marketing and getting e-mail addresses.

Upcoming Events
Next meeting: Wednesday, 25 October 2017, 7:30 p.m., Wegman's Cafe in Malvern

19 September 2017

Tabling at the Malvern Harvest Oktoberfest

On Sunday, 9 September, Amnesty International Group 342 had a table at the annual Malvern Harvest Oktoberfest. For five hours we chatted with passerby about Amnesty International and our group, handed out fliers, and invited people to join us. Our intrepid organizer, Jeff, also wowed audiences with his amazing double-nose-flute technique and did some juggling with U.S. Representative Ryan Costello (PA-6). Great outreach, beautiful weather, and lots of fun—all in all, this event was a successful one for us!

16 August 2017

Meeting minutes for August 2017

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 16 August 2017
In attendance: Jeff, Struan, Barbara, Bob, Kara (via Skype), Alex

Welcome and Introductions


Organizer's report [Jeff]: 
  • AIUSA success stories: update on recently liberated prisoners of conscious for whom Amnesty International has advocated in North Korea, Russia, and Sri Lanka
  • Review of three films recently viewed  
  • Requiem for the American Dream (featuring Noam Chomsky)
  • Inconvenient Sequel (by Al Gore)
  • Whose Streets? (consists largely of cell-phone videos of police interaction with unarmed citizens of color)
  • Sent letter to AIUSA governance signed by attenders at July meeting. Still hoping to obtain mailing addresses of local AIUSA supporters so that he can send a personal invitation to our meetings.
  • Report of her conversation with the manager of Ten Thousand Villages in Media regarding community shopping events
    • Community shopping events are intended to be mutually advantageous to the store (by bringing in additional shoppers) and to the nonprofit holding the event (by raising funds).
    • Nonprofit organization holding the event is responsible for publicizing the event among its supporters.
    • Nonprofit will receive a portion of the sales proceeds if shoppers mention the organization’s name when making purchases.
    • Community shopping event can last as long as a week, and the nonprofit can hold a kick-off event.
    • We can further discuss if we would like to hold a CSA and if we think that we have enough supporters who will make purchases in Media and mention us. If so, Barbara will contact the manager again to set up the event.
  • Are there other possible venues where we’d like to hold a Write for Rights event (independent of a fundraising effort)? K of P mall, perhaps? Exton Library?
  • Update on efforts to end forced organ harvesting in China: go to www.stoporganharvesting.org/ to ask senators to support S.Res.220: A resolution expressing solidarity with Falun Gong practitioners and condemning the practice of non-consenting organ harvesting, and for other purposes. (see resolution text here)
  • Book recommendation: An Unprecedented Evil Persecution, edited by Torsten Trey, Theresa Chu, and Yang Senhong (Clear Insight Publishing, 2016), an anthology of essays on Chinese government persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and others speaking up for democratic rights.  

Updates and Actions
  • Falun Gong practitioner being held indefinitely, tortured (China): UA 216/16
  • Two men sentenced to death (Belarus): UA 195/17
  • Human rights defender held and in danger of torture (Pakistan): UA 192/17

Upcoming Events

  • Malvern Harvest Festival (tabling event)
  • Sunday, 10 September 2017, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Marsha will send out details and schedule 
  • “Give a Home” concerts, organized by Sofar Sounds in conjunction with AIUSA
  • Small concerts held in private homes around the world on or around 20 September to call attention to plight of immigrants
  • Several in Philadelphia area.   
  • Limited number of tickets available at www.sofarsounds.com/philadelphia
  • AIUSA  Group 112 (Philadelphia) events
    • 19 September: "Global Migration Crises—Local Solutions" conference with various speakers. Organized with the City of Philadelphia Refugee Department and the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia
    • 21 September: Peace One Day Celebration and concert  
  • 2017 AIUSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
    • Saturday, 4 November, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    • Early-bird rate available through 1 October
Next meeting: Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 7:30 p.m., Wegman's Cafe in Malvern

Meeting minutes for January 2018

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 17 January 2018 In attendance: Jeff, Barbara, Bob, Gina, Struan, Kara (via Skype), Brendan Welcome and Intro...