Greetings Card Campaign at Castlepoint

For many years now Amnesty International has run a greetings card campaign in December. This has entailed groups and individuals being encouraged to send greetings cards directly to prisoners of conscience (as opposed to letters to governments, etc), sending them a message of hope. Usually to let them know they are in our thoughts (and actions) and not forgotten.

amnesty internationalWe have usually focused on this at our December meeting. But for a few years now we have gone to the square in Bournemouth and set up a stall for one weekend afternoon to ask the passing public to participate. Initially we combined with some carol singing, as a few of our group belong to singing groups and were able to encourage a decent turnout of folk able to sing in tune and further encourage participation.

Unfortunately in recent years the council has passed over the running of the Square to a private company. Whilst we can do street collections, with permission, setting up a stall even for charitable (and non profit making) now costs. We nearly got arrested after the then manager of Borders (a now deceased seller of books) called the police when we had the audacity to try and set up our stall outside their shop front.

Fortunately, for the past couple of years then manager of Debenhams has allowed us to use space outside their store – including for the 50th birthday celebrations in May 2011. We were all set to repeat this year, but the current manager declined and wouldn’t entertain any negotiation. However, we have now (thanks to Genevieve) the opportunity to run a stall at Castlepoint. The details are:-

Sunday 9th December 2012 2.00 – 4.00pm

“upper level outside Marks & Spencer, against the white balustrades (opposite the SKY pod.)”

The latter detail comes from the management at Castlepoint (writing as someone who has only been to Castlepoint twice, and not for several years, I hope this makes sense!?)
So please either join us to help encourage the passing public to sign/write a card – or take the opportunity to write a card yourself. If you are unable to do so, either join us at our Moordown meeting on December 13th, or follow up yourself via the AIUK site. The photo at the top is Ramze Shihab Ahmed – a 70 year old serving a 15 year sentece in Iraq. Find out more here.

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