Norwich Amnesty Group
Open Meeting – 19 December 2012
Chair: David Huband
Minutes: Sue Mills
Chair welcomed all to the meeting.
6.30: Briefing Meeting and discussion on situation at AIUK led by David Ford.
AIUK Emergency General Meeting:
David Ford spoke about the circumstances and events which have prompted AIUK to
convene an Extraordinary General Meeting on January 12th 2013 at Methodist Central Hall,
He described the situation both at the international level and at AIUK and explained the
inter-connectedness of these developments.
The consequences of policy decisions made by the International Executive Committee and
agreed to by all Sections have financial implications which must lead to some redundancies,
but it is the mishandling of this process, resulting in a breakdown of relations within the
international body, which has caused alarm and protests to the IEC from many AI Sections.
David emphasised that the Board and Director of AIUK are all committed to the change of
policy: it is its implementation and its effects on personnel and research at Head Office and
campaigning and fundraising in the Groups which has led members to call for an EGM.
The Resolutions to be debated at the EGM were discussed, as were the details of how to cast
a proxy vote (national members who wish to apply for a proxy vote, please visit
www.amnestyegm.com or telephone 020 7033 1777.) David Ford, David Huband and Joanna
Kinnaird will attend the EGM.
David was thanked and congratulated for giving a clear and thoughtful explanation of an
extremely complicated situation.
The Group Open Meeting:
Apologies: Received from Joanna Kinnaird, Nicky Leach, Carl Grint and Debbie Campbell.
Minutes from last meeting: Agreed
Sue Mills reported that 90% of the Christmas cards had been sold.
David Yates drew attention to Avaaz – a campaigning website concerning children in
detention in Palestine.
It was agreed to post two actions on forced evictions on the Group website.
Monthly Action: Roz Cadwallader.
This is to write a personal letter to our MPs to urge an increase in income support for
asylum seekers from 50% of the basic allowance (about £5 a day) to 70%, bearing in
mind that asylum seekers may not work and might have to wait for months for a
During the meeting Roz took photographs of members holding a notice for an action
supporting greater rights for women in Afghanistan.
Svetlana (rep at the IS) is delighted with the mass mailing to Turkmenistan in
Jim Massey distributed information sheets concerning Shaker Aamer and his
continuing detention asking members to write to MPs and to William Hague. And
also to send cards to Shaker Aamer.
Write for Rights
This was held on December 8th. A very successful event. David Yates praised the
venue and thanked Roz Cadwallader for arranging the use of Appleyard’s Cafe and
Bar as a venue and her son Joshua and business partner Daniel Swift for allowing
Amnesty the use of his café. Marcus Brigstock promoted the event and a total of 50
letters and 27 Christmas cards were sent. It is hoped that this can be a permanent
event in the Group’s campaigning.
The Conference included a very interesting debate about the Human Rights Act and a
British Bill of Rights.
Two speakers have been booked for future meetings, Gitti Dunham (Regional rep for
Central Asia – Turkmenistan) and Professor David Mead.
Street theatre/Poetry reading event discussed for next year
Vigil for Stop the War Campaign:
Three Amnesty members attended; a very chilly experience!
The AIUK Extraordinary General Meeting: 12th January 2013.
Quiz and Dips: St. Thomas’ Church Hall, Earlham Road 26th January 2013.
AIUK AGM: April 13th/14th 2013. To be held at the University of Warwick.
Write for Rights Members wrote cards and letters, fortified by mulled wine and mince pies.
Date of next meeting Wednesday January 16th.