Next Taunton Amnesty meeting Tuesday 14th March

7 Mar

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyJoin us for our next monthly meeting at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4EP (there is nearby parking behind Boots). The meeting will include updates on Amnesty campaigns we work on. New members always welcome.

We hope to see you there!

Report from our February meeting

20 Feb

Resettled Syrian family in NorwayChild refugees in the UK are alone in being denied the right to family reunion, something which provides a safe and legal route allowing those fleeing persecution to avoid dangerous journeys and people smugglers. How can it be that this is denied to unaccompanied refugee children who have already legally been through the asylum process and have suffered so much?

We wrote to ask the Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families and the Minister of State for Immigration to continue to work together on this, and to look again at this crucial issue.

235792_refugees_freezing_in_moria-468_0We wrote too to President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission asking for his intervention in the desperate plight of refugees stuck in freezing conditions on the Greek islands. You can also take action here.

We held our AGM this month, reviewing what has been achieved in the past year: Ben Grant organised a schools debate, held at Taunton School, on the Human Rights Act, and in December organised a donation of books on human rights to Taunton Public Library. Lorna Brown and Pat Jefferson organised a stall on Castle Green on the issue of FGM and early forced marriage; this provoked much interest. Our last event was our Write for Rights morning, hosted at the Coffee Morning at St Mary’s Church, Hammet Street.

Our next event will be a collection in aid of Amnesty International UK at the Tesco Superstore, Castle Street, Taunton on Sunday 19th March between 10am and 4pm. See you there!

We also heard reports on our various country campaigns and on the death penalty and other issues. Worrying reports are still reaching us about the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (Burma).  A group of Nobel Prize winners have written in protest about this to their fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the leaders in the Myanmar Government.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton. Do join us!

Next Taunton Amnesty Group meeting: 14th February

7 Feb

16401681618_d1940c57a4_bShare your love for human rights this Valentine’s Day and join us for our monthly meeting at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4EP (there is nearby parking behind Boots). The meeting will include our AGM, plus updates on Amnesty campaigns we work on. New members always welcome.

We hope to see you there!

Report from our January meeting

18 Jan

548x331solidarity_with_refugees_march_in_london_12_september_2015Taunton Welcomes Refugees! This message underpinned the talk given by Chris Waddilove of Citizens UK. He spoke about his organisation, and then went on to talk of refugees in Taunton. The town is currently hosting four Syrian Refugee families, helping them through a joint collaboration, funded by a UNHCR resettlement scheme.

The families have been settled in privately rented accommodation, and are helped on the same footing as the Troubled Families Project, backed up by local volunteers: EFL teachers, general language support work, and help with such day to day things as transport, DIY  and, most importantly, friendship.

We discussed our Write for Rights day, held on 10 December, Human Rights Day, in St Mary’s Church, Taunton. We were welcomed by the Vicar and Churchwardens at their Coffee Morning, and encouraged those passing through to sign cards for Prisoners of Conscience. On the same day we formally handed over a donation of books on Human Rights issues to the Public Library in Paul Street.

We heard reports from members working on the Death Penalty and on Women’s Human Rights – International Women’s Day is on 8 March. We wrote letters of support to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,  jailed for 5 years in Iran with no valid trial. We received worrying reports about the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma). A group of Nobel Prize winners have written in protest about this to their fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, a leader in the Myanmar Government.

Our next meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th February at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place. All are welcome!

Next Taunton Amnesty meeting Tuesday 10th January

4 Jan

Keep Calm and Support AmnestyHappy New Year to all our group members and supporters! Our next monthly meeting is on Tuesday 10th January at 7.30pm in the Taunton Quaker Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, TA1 4EP (there is nearby parking behind Boots).

Our guest speaker will be Chris Waddilove of Refugees Welcome.

Join us to hear about our campaigns, human rights and the work of Amnesty International. New members are always welcome.

We hope to see you there!

Human Rights Day 10th December

5 Dec
books

A selection of some of the books we are donating to Taunton Library.

To mark Human Rights Day on Saturday 10th December, the Taunton Amnesty Group is donating a range of books on human rights and related topics to Taunton Library. There will be a display of some of these books in the library from 10th December – do go along and borrow one of these thought-provoking titles to show that Taunton cares about human rights!

Also on Saturday 10th December we will be holding a Write for Rights event from 10am to 2pm in St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton. We’ll be writing greetings cards containing messages of support to prisoners of conscience across the world. Please come along and sign a card, which could help to change a life. Tea, coffee and refreshments available at the church coffee shop. We hope to see you there!

Please note: we are not holding our usual monthly meeting on Tuesday 13th December.

w4r-stamps-onlineaction2_final

Report from our November meeting

14 Nov

raft2The highlight of our November meeting was a talk by Federica Smith on the organisation she founded 18 months ago: RAFT – Refugee Aid From Taunton. By ingenuity, persistence and learning as they go, RAFT has sent aid to, among other needy places, Syria, Uganda (for Sudanese refugees), and the Ukraine. Their next shipment is to Lebanon.

So far they have dispatched 116 vanloads. Nothing they are given is wasted: if it’s unsuitable it will be sold and the money donated. Unusable clothes are sold for rags, some are swapped. They help the homeless in Taunton too, and local refugees. It is an admirable story. They’re based in the old Market House at Firepool (pictured). Find them on Facebook or visit their website at: www.refugeeaidfromtaunton.org.uk

Our Monthly Action was to write to Theresa May pleading for her to intervene for the children of Aleppo: ‘If you tolerate this, our children could be next. Every war crime we allow to go unpunished – by any party to this brutal conflict – makes the world more dangerous.’

Our Write for Rights Action this year will coincide with the Saturday Coffee Morning run at St Mary’s Church, Hammet Street, Taunton. We will be there on Saturday 10th December, Human Rights Day, from 10am until 2pm. We send cards, and letters, to those suffering human rights abuses around the world, and ask you to come and get involved: by sending a card or writing a letter, you can change a life.

On the same day we are donating a collection of books on human rights and related topics to Taunton Library in Paul Street.

Please note: there will be no monthly meeting in December, but our first meeting in 2017 will be on 10th January at 7.30 in the Quaker Meeting House, Bath Place. We’ll be delighted to welcome you there.

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