Last week was such an exciting week for UYAI! Some of you may have seen us outside the library, forcing you to take your headphones out to have a chat with us about what you think about the current Refugee Crisis, offering you the opportunity to sign the petition and have your photo taken with our #refugeeswelcome signs. Thank you to those of you who signed our petition and had your photo taken for the Facebook campaign! Check out our Facebook page to see if you can spot your friends! https://www.facebook.com/UYAmnesty/?pnref=story. We will be outside the library (again) this Thursday, campaigning for the Human Rights Act, so come along to have a chat with one of our members and sign our petition!
Last weekend, myself and 7 other members made our way down to Amnesty HQ in London to attend the annual Student Action Network Conference which is a two day event with student activists from all over the country! We attended some fantastic workshops ranging from campaign creativity to Stop Torture. We also saw some fantastic panel debates on issues from Trade Union rights to Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland. On the Saturday night we had a fantastic evening out in Shoreditch, taking a well-earned rest in the local area!
What I like the most about these conference is the sense of community when you are surrounded by so many like-minded people who are all working in different areas of the country towards the same goals. Part of the weekend is dedicated to the Amnesty Student Activists Annual General Meeting, where we saw two motions put forward, one of which was my own, which both passed! This was not without much debate and attempted amendments. It was a real eye opener in the policy processes of Amnesty UK – it was an unforgettable experience!
We are still well on the way with our two campaigns, Refugees Welcome and Keep the Act! Look out for our campaigns round campus, especially our Jamnesty Event on the 23rd (see last weeks blog for the full information http://www.nouse.co.uk/2015/11/03/amneswrite-hitting-the-ground-running/) and our Keep the Act panel debate on the 19th that we are so excited about! Click attending here https://www.facebook.com/events/1704060399807358/.
Finally, I would like to leave you with an encouragement that we have an open door policy on our meetings, and we would love to see some new faces. It’s never too late to join! Look out for information on our Write for Rights X AmnesTea event at the end of term. Think mince pies and festive teas with some letter writing for inspirational human rights defenders around the world.
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.