Amnesty International Toronto Organization

Regional Meeting Planning session

July 20, 2004



In attendance

Patrick Furey, Wayne Smith (chair), Patricia Grenier, Andy Buxton, Bridgette Clark, Elena Dumitru, Aubrey Harris, Iris Nowell, David Frank


Wendy Phillips, Marilyn McKim, Sasha Baglay, Yulia Prodaniuk

Wayne opened the meeting by suggesting that our objective would be to finalise plans for the October 16th event.

Food and Venue - Bridgette Clark

Bridgette circulated a sheet showing the cost and composition of the meals at Metro Hall. The current per person cost is $20.38. The food proposed is vegetarian but not vegan. Bridgette will obtain the following additional options on food:
Chicken for lunch (in addition to salads)
Sandwich trays (as an option instead of chicken)
Fruit juice at lunch as well as (or replacing) soft drinks
These added options will add to the food cost. We may need to go to a fee of $30 to cover the added cost. It was suggested that $30 would be the absolute maximum fee we should charge.

Patricia will take the estimated food costs and create an overall budget (see below).

Bridgette also reported that she needs to know the Audio Visual requirements of the various presenters and workshops. The plenary room has laptop/projector capability. The breakout rooms can have any or all of TV/VCR, Vugraph projection (from acetates), and flipcharts. We are not allowed to stick tape or pins to the walls, so we'll need easels for displays. Workshop and session organisers should let Bridgette know their requirements as soon as possible.

We can have a merchandise table as long as we indicate that all proceeds are going to AI.


The AITO executive (Patrick Furey - lead) will draft a meeting advertising 'flyer' to be sent to the AITO calendar, Elena's contact list, the AITO website, and to the Activist. Target completion date is August 1st. Registration will be by mail to the AI Toronto office, so registrants can send a cheque to cover the fee. Confirmation will be by email. Aubrey will prepare a map to Metro hall that we can email with the confirmation. Registrants will be 'encouraged' to register by the first week in October. We are not allowed to charge for registration on site, so all participants must pre-register by October 1, 2004.

Program details/Workshops

Elena reported that Alex Neve, Cheryl Hotchkiss, Hilary Homes, and Paul Bentley have all confirmed their attendance.

The group reviewed the proposed workshops - most of which are well into development by now. Some specific decisions were made:
We will drop the media workshop
The public speaking workshop will focus on the 'low key' speaking issues and situations AI activists face at venues such as public info tables
We will replace the media workshop with a 'War Children/Land Mines' workshop. Elena will pursue this and try to arrange a workshop presenter from another NGO.

We may use the Encana video as part of the 'Resource sector' workshop. We may use materials from the economic, social, and cultural rights workshops being offered to AI staff as the basis for this workshop. Marilyn is attending one of these staff workshops soon.

Death Penalty workshop

Iris reported that this workshop will probably have a panel of three people - potentially including Stephanie Coward Yaskiw, Mark Warren, James Lockyer, or a representative from the Innocence Project. Other high profile participants such as Rubin Carter and Joyce Milgaard were discussed. There will probably be a death penalty action as well, possibly the current China death penalty petition.

'Doves for Freedom' Action

Andy showed the group an envelope full of pre-folded doves and explained how the action will work. We will have a case (to be finalised shortly before the meeting) and will ask attendees to write a brief note inside or on a square piece of paper and then fold this into a simple Origami dove. The doves will be attached to a large display board into the shape of the AI candle, and will be mailed to the intended recipient after the meeting. The action will be ongoing through the day, since it will be impossible to have 100+ participants all folding doves simultaneously. We hope that participants will decorate the doves the way supporters decorated paper chain links for the Colombia paper chains action.

Stop Violence Against Women Panel

Cheryl Hotchkiss will be on the panel for this. It was agreed that since this is the top AI campaign for the next two years, we absolutely must have this as a meeting item. We need a leader to take on arranging this - preferably from the Action Network on Women's Human Rights. Elena will ask the ANWHR team leaders if they can take on this task. (After the meeting, Jennifer Foulds agreed to take this on.) Possible panelists were discussed - various representatives from women's shelters and support groups, as well as the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), were mentioned.

Armed Conflict/Use of Force Panel

Hilary Homes will be asked to be on this panel. Hilary will be asked to supply a list of potential panelists. Wayne agreed to take on the task of moderating and co-ordinating this panel.

Other things we need to think about

A discussion about logistics for the day identified the following things we need to remember:
Decorations at the venue (use the Afrofest displays for example)
Copies of materials such as the program
Volunteers to work during the day
Evaluation form (Bridgette will create one)
Program for the day (Aubrey will create one)
Videotape the session (Elena volunteered Florin, if he is available)
Photographer for the day (Wayne volunteered)
Rapporteurs for some sessions (if required)
A request for funding to go to the national AI office (agreed that Elena will identify the need for up to $1500 in funding and Patricia will make the formal request - with the costs estimated at ~$600 for meals for guests, about $400 for materials and copying, and a few hundred for incidentals such as gifts for participants - but each workshop team should identify any specific costs to Patricia as soon as possible)

Bridgette agreed to take on the task of arranging logistics for the meeting, along with the team of Wendy Phillips and Nona Macdonald.

Next meeting

Tuesday Sept 14th, 7PM at the AI Toronto office.

Appendix - draft agenda

8:30 Registration
9:00 Opening plenary
9:30 Workshops (Fundraising, Refugees, Canadian resource sector abroad)
10:45 Break
11:00 Panel on Stop Violence Against Women campaign/issue
12:15 Lunch and keynote speaker (Alex Neve)
1:30 Workshops (Land mines, Death Penalty, FTAA and women)
2:45 Break
3:00 Workshops (Public speaking, Econ Social Cultural rights, Art)
4:15 Closing plenary
5:15 Closing remarks
5:30 End of meeting

Origami 'Doves for Freedom' ongoing through the day