First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the three new members of our committee. Upon joining our society as new members, they decided to make an even bigger commitment to the group, and are proving to be invaluable sources of new ideas and ways to innovate our society.
I can’t believe that it’s already week 6. Time is truly flying by, and the Amnesty International Society has been making the most of the scarce time by going full steam ahead with the two campaigns that we have taken on for this term; Refugees Welcome and Save the Act.
We are already well on the way with planning our Jamnesty for Refugees event (join the facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/151929855161628/) and are very excited to bring to you some of the best talent on the York student music scene, including the resident DJ of Breakz, who will be providing you with musical entertainment between different band sets. Most importantly, the money that we will be raising will be going to two very important causes. Half of the money raised will be donated to Amnesty International UK, funding work that is protecting people worldwide from being subject to circumstances that erode their fundamental human rights. The other half will be going to Refugee Action York, a fantastic local charity that is really pushing for change for refugees assimilating into a life in York. Fundamentally, we as a society are really trying to make a difference where we can. The refugee crisis is a stark reality, and whilst it’s very easy for us to shut the front door of our nice term-time accommodation and bypass what is going on, refugees are risking their lives to put a safe roof over their heads.
Keep looking out for us on campus; we will be around every Tuesday and Thursday until week 10, bringing you petitions and immediate action activities outside the library (think photos and twitter posts). Also, we have our Save the Act event on the 17th November which will stage a panel debating on the fragility of the Human Rights Act’s status in the UK, and whether this is something that we should be worried about, (we should, and see why here: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/Human-Rights-Act).
Finally, I would like to mention that this weekend (7th/8th) is the Student Action Network Conference in London, and 8 of our members, including myself, will be attending. I will be putting forward a motion, which is extremely nerve-wracking, but watch this space for feedback on how that goes.
As always, look out for us around campus, or even intentionally come and join us at 6.30pm in D/L/036. We’d love to see you there.
Isabel Pearson is the Chair of University of York Amnesty International.