Montreal Downtown (Group 16)

Amnesty International Group 16 is the community group serving central Montreal’s English-speaking population.  We are a dynamic and diverse group of people brought together by our concern to end human rights abuses around the world.  Our group members are of many ages and backgrounds, and include many long-time Amnesty activists as well as new members who have joined recently.

During our regular monthly meetings, members plan events and activities to raise awareness of human rights in the community, learn about human rights situations through guest speakers, videos and presentations by other Amnesty members, and engage in human rights campaigns directed by Amnesty International’s national and international secretariats. Attending the monthly meetings is an important way for members to become involved in Group 16’s human rights work, and joining an Action Group or taking on some other position in Group 16 lets members choose their particular areas of interest and best use their personal skills.

New Members

If you are interested in joining Amnesty or Group 16, we would encourage you to just come along to one of the meetings listed below.  At a typical meeting, you’ll be able to sign letters and/or petitions from the various Action Groups,  learn about activities to come and  hear news from the national and/or international branch of Amnesty.  We also have either an invited speaker or video in the second half of our meetings, generally followed by some discussion.  (See the speaker/topic list below.)  You do not need any previous experience in Amnesty or other human rights groups, just come along and find out what interests you!

Note: The English-Speaking section of Amnesty International has no permanent facilities in Montreal, nor do we have any paid staff members in the city.  All our members are volunteers who attend our monthly meetings and meet separately in groups when necessary.  We are always very happy to meet new volunteers, but on the understanding that all work we do in Montreal is unpaid. 

Monthly Meeting Schedule

When?  Group 16 usually meets on the third Sunday of the month from September to May.  Our meetings run from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  Dates and topics for monthly meetings are subject to change (see below).

Where? Downtown Montreal YMCA, 1440 Stanley Street (near the Peel metro station).

The meetings take place on the fifth floor in room 521 (Take the elevator.).  Notices are posted in the YMCA to point you towards the elevators, and to the left upon exiting them.

Upcoming Meetings (2019-2020)

*Please note that the views expressed by speakers at AI Group 16 meetings are not necessarily those of the organization or its members.  

FALL 2019:

SEPTEMBER 15

Join Group 16 as we launch another year of activism.  At our first meeting of the year, we will, of course, start off by signing letters and petitions. After that, we’ll be discussing our ideas, planning events and setting dates for some of our activities.

Come and listen in or contribute as you wish. No experience required and everyone is welcome! 

OCTOBER 20

Join us from 6:30 to 7:30 when Bob McBryde, representative of AI francophone Canada for the Amnesty International Committee on Environment and Social Justice, an international AI committee whose members come from all sections the world over, will speak to us about climate change:

OUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE: CLIMATE DISASTER AND HUMAN RIGHTS Human-caused climate disruptions are generating an existential crisis and the greatest human rights challenges we face. Based on scientific evidence, this interactive presentation will explore the gravity of the situation and the impact of the crisis on our human rights work.

 

NOVEMBER 17

Sushil Handa, China Co-ordinator for the French-speaking section of AI Canada, will be speaking to us about human rights in China, More details to come. 

WINTER 2020:

JANUARY 19

Join us at 5 p.m. to sign letters and petitions during the regular part of our meeting or at 6:30 p.m. when our featured speaker will be Noelle Sorbara of the asylum seeker support group the Welcome Collective. Come and learn how we can support asylum seekers in desperate need:

https://www.welcomecollective.org/

The Welcome Collective`s goal is to provide better access to a new start by reducing the stress, isolation, and other difficulties faced by newcomers. Volunteers are paired with newly arrived families and help them gather essential items for their new homes and negotiate Montreal life, including services and especially schools.

The families we help are refugee claimants, which means they have fled their country from fear of persecution, war, or other hardships. They usually arrive in Canada with very few belongings and come here hoping to set up a new life.

Prioritized by Welcome Collective/ Collectif bienvenue are vulnerable families, specifically single mothers with small children, pregnant women, families with several small children, and the disabled.

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there will be at least 150 million “climate refugees” by 2050. A British humanitarian organization is talking about a billion people! The UN Institute for Environmental and Human Security points out that there were already 50 million climate refugees in 2010, a huge migratory flow. And we’re speaking here only of climate refugees!

February 16

We’ll be showing a human rights documentary at 6:30.  Our regular meeting starts at 5 p.m.  with letters and petitions. Come and join us!   

MEETING CANCELLED March 15  

Due to the closing of the YMCA, today’s meeting has been cancelled.     ttps://www.ymcaquebec.org/en/Home

Group 16 is pleased to welcome Ehab Lotayef as speaker at our next meeting on March 15. Ehab has been extensively involved in the Non à la Loi 21 campaign.  We will start our regular meeting at 5 p.m. with letters and petitions.  Ehab will speak at 6:30.                                                            

Ehab Lotayef is the coordinator of the Non a la Loi 21 (#NL21) campaign and has been active in the mobilization against Bill 21 since it was announced by the CAQ government.  He is also the coordinator of Muslim Awareness Week and acted as Executive Director of the 2020 MAW (Jan 25 – 31). He will be speaking about the past and future mobilization against Bill/Law 21 as well as Muslim led outreach and bridge building.  This will be followed by an open discussion and exchange around these and other topics.

April 19 Our meeting will be held on line. 

May 24  We are continuing to hold our meetings on line with a revised  schedule.  Please contact us at amnestygroup16@gmail.com for scheduling info. 

June 14 Meeting starts at 4 p.m. with Ehab Lotayef speaking at 4:15. Please contact us if you would like to attend. 

Ehab Lotayef is the coordinator of the Non a la Loi 21 (#NL21) campaign and has been active in the mobilization against Bill 21 since it was announced by the CAQ government.  He is also the coordinator of Muslim Awareness Week and acted as Executive Director of the 2020 MAW (Jan 25 – 31). He will be speaking about the past and future mobilization against Bill/Law 21 as well as Muslim led outreach and bridge building.  This will be followed by an open discussion and exchange around these and other topics.

Our schedule for the year is determined at the September meeting.  If the meeting schedule changes, we will update this page as soon as possible, so please re-visit this page before going to a meeting.

 

ACTION GROUPS

Group 16 members work in specialized teams called action groups, with each actions group focusing on a particular geographic area or theme in Amnesty’s human rights efforts. Members may belong to more than one, and can join in on any activities they choose in addition to their action group involvement.

We have two Action Groups for the 2019-2020 activism year:

  • Climate, Land and Resources
  • Current Issues (Human Rights Defenders)

Questions?

If you have a question about Group 16 that is not answered above, please write to us at amnestygroup16@gmail.com and put the word ‘Amnesty’ in the subject of your message.  You can also visit us on Facebook.

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