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You are warmly invited to our March Meeting where the focus will be:

Being Part of a Bigger Movement

Thursday 14th March 2018 at 7:30pm

at Peace Hub, 41 Bull St, Birmingham, B4 6AF

It’s that time of year when we reflect on our place as part of a bigger movement of human rights campaigners across the country. With the Amnesty UK AGM coming up next month, this is our chance to look at resolutions being put forward which could shape Amnesty’s campaigning focus in the next few years. We’ll also be learning about the whole Amnesty national and international structure and how we fit into it.

It won’t all be inward looking though! In the month of International Women’s Day, we’ll be also thinking about actions we can take as a group to campaign for women human rights defenders across the world.

Everyone is welcome to join us – if you’re interested in help to organise actions and events, or are just curious as to what it’s all about, we’d love to see you.

If it’s you first time, why not drop us an email at amnestybrum@gmail.com so that we know to look out for you and to be extra friendly!  If you’d  like to join us for a friendly chat beforehand we’ll be having  a pre-meeting from 7:00 on the ground floor of the Peace Hub, before heading up to the meeting room.

Please note that there are stairs up to the meeting room.  If you have any accessibility needs, please let us know at amnestybrum@gmail.com and we will make sure we can meet your needs.

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Today (8th March) is International Women’s Day, a great chance to reflect on the contributions women have made throughout history, and to support those standing up for women’s human rights today.

As a group, we will be looking at actions we can take to support women’s human rights as part of our planning meeting next Thursday (14th March) but in the meantime here are some actions and events you can take part in today:

On the Amnesty UK website, you can take action for:

You can also read about the campaign for abortion rights in Northern Ireland, where Amnesty and other campaigning organisations recently handed in a petition with over 62,000 signatures.

There are also lots of non-Amnesty events happening today & over the weekend. In Birmingham, there is a Reclaim the Night march this evening, starting at 7pm in Victoria Square.

Cultural events are happening at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Hippodrome, Symphony Hall, and many other locations across the city.


14th Feb 2019, Priory Rooms.

Pete, chairing the meeting, summed up the evening as about people and their stories.

So this is a short round-up about some of the people affected.

Elena Remigi, through the In Limbo project, gives those sidelined but at the centre of it all, a voice.  She spoke of the French colleague of dual heritage, verbally abused and threatened in a hate crime on a train with her young son.  The Polish family with a child bullied at school after the referendum, afraid to complain in case this affects their right to remain. The elder Italians, like those reported by the BBC in Yorkshire, not understanding that they have to apply for “Settled Status”, despite decades, children,  grandchildren in Britain.  The British in EU27 countries, abandoned by the UK.  And the UK citizens – ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ – in Britain, losing rights to live, work, settle in the EU.

Nando Sigona, likewise an Italian national, leads a research project on EU families in the UK.  Since 2016 they face confusion and uncertainty over status, with mixed backgrounds and nationalities often in the same family.  As EU citizens in the EU, it didn’t matter, now it does.  Roma families in a trial group tried to apply for settled status, but only 3% managed the process without help.  The Roma don’t complain, Brexit fallout’s just the latest indignity to be visited upon them.

Sibyl Ruth read an understated, moving story of Jewish emigres from Nazi Germany, shifting times between departure of a child and parents from a cursed land in the 1930s, to the narrator of today going from the Midlands to the German Embassy in London, to have her German citizenship restored as the granddaughter and daughter of that family.  This is not an isolated case.

David Forbes reflected on his personal history of heritages, identities, perceptions, a life in and out of the UK, and his taking of Irish citizenship.  In retirement he helps people struggling with the Hostile Environment: exorbitant immigration charges to make up for UK cutbacks; loss of home, finance,  health care if regarded as ‘illegal’, and the real threats of detention and deportation.  Fearful in a country where the vulnerable should be safe.

Tim Gee reminded us the Human Rights Act is 20 years old this year.  There to protect all our rights, enshrine the European Convention of Human Rights (not an EU matter) in UK Law, but challenged by our very leaders and under real threat in a Britain outside the EU.  A British Bill of Rights … or fewer rights, for fewer people, in an environment hostile to all? The EU Withdrawal Bill has already raised serious concerns about a weakening of Rights and protections.  Watch this space.

People’s stories, people’s lives. 

“I feel insulted, anxious. This is where my home is and now I have to apply to stay here. And nobody can give me a guarantee that it will all be ok.”  

Continue Reading »

A reminder that you are warmly invited to an evening of speakers and discussion:

Rights in Limbo?

Human Rights and Citizenship in the wake of Brexit

7-9pm Thursday 14th February 2019
The Priory Rooms, 40 Bull St, Birmingham, B4 6AF

Speakers including: Elena Remigi, Nando Sigona, David Forbes, Sibyl Ruth, Tim Gee plus a Q&A discussion.

This is a free event, open to all. Donations welcome.

Amnesty International takes no position on the EU referendum, but affirms that any action taken by the government must be consistent with human rights.

For more info, please drop us an email at amnestybrum@gmail.com

Read more about the event & speakers.

In the excitement around our event ‘Rights in Limbo?’ don’t forget that we’ve got our regular letter-writing meeting this Tuesday:

Letters for Human Rights

From 6pm Tuesday 22nd January

at Java Lounge cafe, 124 Colmore Row, Birmingham city centre, B3 3SD.

Simply turn up, grab a coffee if you’d like one, and join us for action and chat. We’ll provide pre-printed letters, based on research carried out by Amnesty’s international team. We start around 6pm, but you’re welcome to drop in at any point: we’re usually done by 7:15, and the café closes at 8pm.

Thanks as always to Java Lounge management for accommodating us.

AmnestyBrum invites you to an evening of speakers and discussion:

Rights in Limbo?

Human Rights and Citizenship in the wake of Brexit

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© Marie-Anne Ventoura

7-9pm Thursday 14th February 2019
The Priory Rooms, 40 Bull St, Birmingham, B4 6AF

This Valentines Day, show some love for our fellow human beings!

Speakers including: Elena Remigi, Nando Sigona, David Forbes, Sibyl Ruth, Tim Gee (read more below) plus a Q&A discussion.

This is a free event, open to all. Donations welcome.

Amnesty International takes no position on the EU referendum, but affirms that any action taken by the government must be consistent with human rights.

For more info, please drop us an email at amnestybrum@gmail.com

Continue Reading »

Please read and sign the petition to support fellow citizens in the U.K., being forced to pay to apply to be allowed (or not if the Home Office messes up or loses the papers) to stay … Pay to apply to be allowed to stay, in the country they have made their home, where they have worked, lived, loved, cared for others, and paid taxes …

Settled status” (for those 5 years+ already in U.K. , or pre-settled status for less) is what’s on offer here. Reduced rights against the background of the Hostile Environment.

And for an insight into the confusion and upset caused to those who have been here for many years, from pre-EU and pre-EEC days, see the BBC news item about long-time residents in Yorkshire.

There is a real danger of repeating similar treatment to that which was meted out so shamefully to the Windrush generations,

Event: On 14th February (from 7pm) in central Birmingham there’ll be an open event, run by AmnestyBrum, on citizens’ rights following the referendum. Knowledgeable and dedicated local and national speakers. Watch this blog for details.