Banging Tunes for Human Rights

19_Jamnesty

It has long been a tradition for Amnesty student groups to hold ‘Jamnesty’ fundraisers in support of the work of AIUK. They offer a key opportunity to combine fundraising and human rights activism with music and all round good times. We can think of nothing more appealing.

On the 20th February (ie THIS FRIDAY), the Uni of Bath Amnesty Society will be holding our very own Jamnesty. We did it last year and it was a big success, raising over £300 to provide support for victims of trafficking. This year, we plan on doing even more.

The venue, as before, will be Molloy’s pub on Barton Street. There will be four live bands playing: including MusicSoc favourites Acid Test, The Reprobators and the brilliantly named ‘Laz and the Gifted Catfish Playboys’. As well as this, flying all the way from exotic Northern Ireland, there will be Mark Hegan of ‘In An Instant’ – an up and coming electro-pop band who have received sterling reviews  for their live performances and recent debut EP ‘Light You Know and Love’. It is on iTunes and is definitely worth a listen (or ten).

In An Instant’s recent single: Something Right and Something Real

Of course, every penny raised will be for an amazing cause. This year we are supporting Women for Refugee Women – who provide a vital support network for women refugees, too often ignored and marginalised by British society. They are campaigning to bring an end to the reprehensible practices committed at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedford. The family of one of our most active members is involved in the work of this organisation, so it is a cause close to our heart. You can find out more about their work here.

Not only will we be fundraising with tickets however, we will also be running a raffle. There are some cracker prizes to be won, including:

– Some luxury Willie’s cacao chocolates
– 2 tickets to Bristol Jazz Festival
– 2 tickets to a showing at The Little Theatre Cinema
– An Aeropress coffee maker along with 250 grams of coffee beans – from specialist cafe Colonna & Smalls
– 4 free tickets to a Krater Comedy Club between March and May – from Komedia
– A Hardback copy of “Art as Therapy” by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong – from Mr B’s Emporium Of Reading Delights
– 5 vouchers for Mokoko cafe in Bath

Molloy's - Bath
Molloy’s – Where the party’s at!

We will be selling tickets for both the raffle and the concert tomorrow, Thursday and Friday outside the library on campus.

Concert tickets are £5 each and are available in person or on Bathstudent. http://www.bathstudent.com/socs/societies/amnesty/products/

Raffle tickets are £1 each or 6 for £5. DO NOT MISS OUT!

Doors to the upstairs of Molloy’s at 8pm.

Happy New Year!

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Big news. The University of Bath Amnesty society has decided to start a blog. Woohoo! All our members and supporters will be welcome to contribute, giving us a new forum to discuss and promote human rights.

What you are reading now is the first post: a wee update on what we’ve been doing the past few months. The first semester has been a busy one for the society, with a huge number of successful events!

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Freshers’ Week!

We got off to a great start during Freshers’ Week. As part of the student union’s ‘Campus Challenge’, our wonderful secretary Alice led out a human rights obstacle course. We also set up stalls at the freshers’ fair to raise awareness of our society and the upcoming Stop Torture campaign. Initial uptake was solid with well over thirty attendees at our first meeting!

As first year livers reached maximum operating capacity and coursework began, so too did our campaign preparation. 30 years ago 80 countries signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Amnesty wants to see its obligations met in practice, and considering the recent release of certain infamous CIA files, this campaign could not have been more appropriately timed. We made signs, donned masks and petitioned in the SU. We collected over 150 signatures to end the trade of torture instruments through the EU in just an hour and a half.

A performance of 'Even If We Lose Our Lives', documenting the struggles of human rights defenders in Afganistan, kindly put on by BUST for our members.
A performance of ‘Even If We Lose Our Lives’, documenting the struggles of human rights defenders in Afganistan, kindly put on by BUST for our members.

Around the same time, a few of our members attended the student conference in London, participating in an even bigger Stop Torture campaign on the streets of our great capital. We were treated to workshops on subjects as varied as the Human Rights Act, the situation in Syria and the conflict in Palestine. The conference was also a particular highlight because one of our members, Ella, brought a motion forward to protect the rights of women refugees through the reform of detainment practices at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal centre in Bedfordshire . After a sterling speech from Ella, the motion was passed and will now be debated at Amnesty UK’s AGM this April – the highest decision making platform in the national organisation!

Ella speaks!
Ella speaks!
Our AmnesTEA letters
Our AmnesTEA letters

The semester went on, and as Christmas approached, our final weeks were filled with even more activity, including an AmnesTEA party, wherein we wrote letters for political prisoners and their families around the world. In our final week, we completed a fundraiser for the Abortion Support Network – an organisation which helps vulnerable women in Ireland and Northern Ireland suffering under deeply regressive reproductive rights legislation. On a bitingly cold December morning, we collected £90, which will be used to ensure women from Ireland have the resources and information necessary to seek a safe abortion in England.

As we start again this year we have much to look forward to. During our refresh week we plan to continue fundraising for ASN, and in February we plan to host a ‘Jamnesty’ fundraiser. There will be quality live music and merriment at Molloy’s pub in Bath – watch this space for further details.

Our meetings will resume as normal after the inter-semester break.

Happy new year and best of luck in your exams from the Amnesty committee!