15 April 2015

Meeting minutes for April 2015

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 15 April 2015

In attendance: Barbara, Bob, Nancy, Tilo, Struan, Marsha, Kara, and Bill



After some initial technical difficulties, Barb manage to set up a conference Skype call with Kara and Bill so they could join in on the meeting.

Bill attended the 2015 AIUSA Annual General Meeting. He wrote up some notes (which were posted here), and this evening he elaborated on them a bit. A few of the points we all discussed:

  • Bill said that AIUSA said that all 13 of this year's resolutions were posted online, but he hasn't been able to find them.
  • He mentioned that the Saturday night voting session "got nasty" and was surprised to see such negativity at this meeting.
  • We discussed how during the closing plenary, protestors/participants made certain demands about how AIUSA addressed issues involving African Americans. Struan reminded us of the "home rule" policy that Amnesty International had in years past (i.e., an AI group did not address issues in its own country) but that AIUSA seems to have abandoned completely.


Barb has been trying (without much success) to make contact with someone at AIUSA who can make sure our group is listed in the "Find a group" section of the website. She will continue to work on this.


Marsha communicated with Jeff about the status of the old Group 342 Meetup group he ran a few years ago. He says it looks like it's been wiped from the Meetup site. So we are going to start a new one. Marsha will manage the group and Group 342 funds will pay the fees.

Actions and Updates 

We took a moment to remember Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa, the Indonesian national who was our long-time case file and who was executed by the Saudi Arabian government yesterday.

Letter on behalf of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar, a prisoner of conscience in Israeli custody. (Action and info on the AIUSA website) [Barb]

Letter on behalf of Mexican human rights attorney Rodrigo Higuera Zogaib. (Action and info on the AIUSA website) [Barb]

New Business


Barb put together a lengthy and varied list of possible books and films for us to discuss together. (She distributed the list via e-mail, so contact her if you want to see it.) More contributions are welcome, if you have any ideas!

The list is pretty long, so the plan is that between today and our next meeting, we should each pick the one or two books (and one film) that most interests each of us. That way we can narrow things down a bit before sitting down together to discuss them.


Marsha mentioned her brother-in-law's new documentary film on Sudan, Madina's Dream, which competed in the Documentary Feature competition at the SXSW Festival last month and is currently making the film festival circuit. She will send to the group some info about it. Maybe at some point we can do a screening of it locally, perhaps at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville (if Jeff still has a contact there).


Last month we discussed the possibility of traveling as a group to Washington, D.C., for events marking the International Day of Support for Survivors of Torture (June 26). Barbara says the info on this year's event hasn't been released yet, but she will let us know what she finds out anything.


Bill is going to check with AIUSA about post-meeting notes or other information about this year's AGM.

Upcoming Events

Meeting on Wednesday, 20 April, 7:30 p.m., Wegman's cafe in Malvern

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