Amnesty International Toronto Organization

Regional Meeting, October 16, 2004


Report to The Activist

by Bridgette Clark & Iris Nowell


Toronto Regional Meeting – October 16, 2004

Amnesty International Toronto Office hosted a hugely successful regional meeting on October 16, 2004 at Metro Hall in downtown Toronto that attracted more than 150 Amnesty participants from all over southwestern Ontario. 

Nine educational, stimulating workshop/panel discussions and two plenary sessions were held over the full day, conducted by Amnesty International leaders and invited guest speakers.  Sessions included: “Amnesty in 100 Seconds,” “Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,” “Canada’s Resource Sector Abroad,” and Answering Tough Questions on the Death Penalty,” among them.

A plenary session on the Stop Violence Against Women Campaign was led by campaign coordinator Cheryl Hotchkiss.  The closing plenary, AI’s concerns of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force led by Hilary Homes, elicited widespread comments from the audience that are sure to contribute to this discussion at the 2005 AGM.

The highlight of the day was an inspirational and heartfelt keynote speech by Secretary General Alex Neve that focused on the changing meaning of security and human rights in our world today. 

An on-going action had participants folding origami paper doves and writing a message inside to threatened Malaysian human rights activist Irene Fernandez. At the end of the day, the doves were sent to Malaysia.