Report from our February meeting

24 Feb

Our meeting this month included our AGM. We reviewed what had been achieved in the last year: our I Welcome photographs were set up at Huish’s Sixth Form College; in the summer we had a stall (left) celebrating the Brave Campaign – a tribute to those brave people who have stood up for human rights in difficult situations. We had talks on India and Nepal, and on the difficult subject of the occupied Palestinian Territories and boycotting Israeli goods produced there.

Use of our Twitter page (@amnestytaunton) and among those who follow us on Facebook and our WordPress blog have all gone up. It was suggested that it would be good to try and reach out to other groups in the town who are beyond our usual circle – political parties and the various religious denominations were among those suggested.

We were urged to write to our MPs on the Families Together Action. The UK’s restrictive refugee family reunion rules are at the moment keeping families apart. Adult refugees can sponsor only their very closest relatives to join them – their partners and children under 18 years old – while child refugees in the UK are excluded from rules allowing for family reunion so cannot bring their parents to join them.  We are asking the Home Secretary to widen these categories in the Immigration Bill currently going through Parliament. You can sign a petition here.

The suggestion for  Book of the Month was “To Obama, with love, joy, hate and despair” by Jeanne Marie Laskas, based on the selection Obama read every day from among the thousands of letters he received.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House in Bath Place, Taunton.  We’re always delighted to meet newcomers to our meetings.

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