20 September 2012

Minutes from the September 2012 meeting

Amnesty International Group 342
Meeting minutes for 19 September 2012

In attendance: Jeff Singleton, Bill Schomp, Tilo Stahl, Nancy Geist, Kristy Byrne, Marsha Brofka-Berends, Colin Evans, Barbara Quintiliano, Bob Rondini



Minutes for the August 2012 meeting are not yet available.

Treasurer's report

Nothing to report.

Group 342 coordinator's report

Jeff reminded everyone about the migrants' rights forum on 6 October. He also mentioned that he would be meeting with students at Downingtown West tomorrow (and several subsequent) mornings to discuss starting an Amnesty group there.

Area coordinator's report

No report available.


Siti Zainab Binti Rupa case file 

No report available.

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand case file

Bill Schomp presented a brief update: Kabudvand recently ended a 60 day hunger strike he undertook to pressure officials to grant him a furlough to visit his son, who has cancer. After he ended the hunger strike, however, the officials reneged on their promise. He is now considering a new hunger strike.


Kristy participated in the NRCAT phone conference on Wednesday, 12 September. Most of the discussion centered on upcoming events, including: ACLU-sponsored event in NYC the first weekend of October, 9 November event in Chicago on solitary confinement, and 7-9 December events to commemorate International Human Rights Day (10 December).

New actions/letters

We discussed the Terrance Williams case and the recent decision by the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons to reject his appeal for commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment. He is currently scheduled to be executed on 3 October 2012. We signed a letter to governor of Pennsylvania requesting that he commute Williams' sentence.

We also signed a letter on behalf of Reggie Clemons, another U.S. death-penalty case. The letter asks the state of Missouri to reevaluate his conviction and sentence.

Jeff reminded us that at our September meeting last year, we were following last-minute developments in the Troy Davis case. Sadly, he was executed later that same evening, 21 September 2011.


Migrants' rights forum in Philadelphia on 6 October 2012

Barb presented more details about this event. It takes place on a Saturday, with registration (which is free) starting at 12:30 p.m. Snacks will be available, and four panelists will speak, followed by time for questions from the audience. The event will end around 3:30 p.m. Organizers are hoping to find a  local "world music" band to perform (for a fee) between 12:30 and 1:30, so anyone who knows of any possibilities should contact Barb.

Downingtown West High School AI group

For a few days starting 20 September, Jeff will be at DWHS before the start of the school day to drum up interest in a meeting there on Wednesday, 26 September, to start an AI group at the school.

Group 342 members brainstormed and collaboratively developed a rough outline for the 26 September meeting. Jeff promised not to put any pickles in the donuts. Marsha will write up first-person "scripts" (based on case files) for the students to read.


Bill offered his copy of Human Rights in the Global Political Economy: Critical Processes, by Tony Evans, to anyone who wants to read it. Tilo took it home with him.

The memorial service for Bernie Friel, a longtime Group 342 member who recently passed away, is scheduled for Saturday, 22 September, at 11 a.m. at the Downingtown Friends Meetings.

Marsha asked Jeff if there was an update on bringing Andrew Berends (a documentary filmmaker) to the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville for a showing of his films and a Q&A session. Jeff says the Colonial Theater people want our group to "sponsor" this event for $300, which we are unable to do.

We discussed doing our annual card-signing event at Ten Thousand Villages in Exton on Saturday, 8 December. Jeff reminded us that Ten Thousand Villages will give us a percentage of all sales that day if we fill out the proper paperwork in advance. Marsha will contact Paul, the store manager, to ask about scheduling this.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, 17 October 2012, at 7:30 p.m. 

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