16 November 2016

Meeting minutes for November 2016

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 16 November 2016

In attendance: Barbara, Bob, Gina, Struan, Marsha

Welcome and Introductions

Announcements
  • 2017 Write for Rights
    • Barb attended a phone briefing conducted by Zeke Johnson and Emily Walsh from the DAPL site
    • Discussion about which is most effective: petitions, printed letters, handwritten letters
New Business
  • Movie night at Tilo's house
    • Possible films to watch: Thirteen (about the 13th amendment), The House I Live In (about the war on drugs), Bitter Lake (about how Saudi Arabia exported Wahhibism)
    • Date set for Wednesday, 15 February (instead of our usual chapter meeting)
  • Madaya Mom
    • Free comic (joint production of Marvel and ABC News) that was distributed at NY Comic Con last month
    • Marsha brought a copy and passed it around for everyone to see
    • Based on interviews with a real Syrian family in January 2016
    • The comic can be read for free here
Actions
  • Good News!: Prisoner of Conscience Received Medical Care (Venezuela, UA 20/16)
  • Protect Human Rights at Standing Rock (Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline)
  • Massive Crackdown On Media After July Coup Attempt (Turkey: UA 253/16)
  • Four Young Men Arrested After Publishing Video (Venezuela, UA 242/16)
  • Disclose whereabouts of 10 doctors (Sudan. UA 251/16)
  • Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (Iran, Group 342 Case File)
More New Business
  • Discussion about the lack of response from Savannah and the AIUSA office
    • The last check we sent hasn't even been cashed, much less acknowledged
    • Lack of communication is frustrating, especially since Savannah promised to take steps to improve it
  • Doctors without Borders exhibit about the refugee crisis: Forced from Home
    • Barb and Bob attended this
    • Barb's description (shared via e-mail with Group 342): 
      • The tour began with a film introducing us to various refugee camps throughout the world and explaining the "push factors" -- the various circumstances that force people to leave their homes. Each of us adopted the identity of a refugee or internally displaced person (the latter have an even harder time finding a safe haven) from one of the war torn countries of the world. Sara, an MSF aid worker from France, was our guide as we fled for our lives. We were forced to discard or trade away the few precious possessions we had hastily gathered as we left. We crowded into an inflatable raft (and didn't drown), found our way to a camp, and were treated for cholera in a field hospital.    
      • According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are over 60,000,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the world today, the highest number ever recorded. The simulation gives visitors just an inkling of the hardships refugees endure as they seek safety and a new life. A very moving experience. 

Upcoming Events
  • Write for Rights event: Saturday, 17 December, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Ten Thousand Villages in Exton
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, 21 December, 7:30 p..m, Wegmans in Malvern, PA

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