Regina Group of Amnesty International Activist Volunteers Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Gord Barnes and Crystal Giesbrecht are AI Canada Grassroots Activist Leaders, and are two of the 15 members who meet monthly to advance human rights in Regina and everywhere! The informal group became Amnesty International Canada, Regina Group 91 in 1984, celebrating 40 years of human rights actions this year! 

Gord recalls, When the group formed in 1984 it was pre-internet, pre email delivery, most volunteers were in a concentrated part of the city, urgent actions were faxed from AI Canada, then photocopied and dropped in mailboxes throughout eight blocks where there was a hub of active human rights advocates.

Every summer a picnic is held, folks share food, ideas and sign petitions.  For the past 10 years ‘Amnesty Rocks The Boat’ has had 22 people participate in the Regina Dragon Boat Festival! Dave Wessel, the team captain and he says “if it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable! Human rights work is very serious work, providing opportunities for team building is essential.”

Taylor Madarash, the Regina Group Chair says “we have had an entry in the Queen City Pride Parade for many years and on June 7th, 2017, our Amnesty Regina group was the Grand Marshall of the Pride Parade.” Manal Allagabo-Ahmed, the previous Chair
indicates: “The Regina AI Group has been an important supporter of refugees and refugee rights and has also been very supportive of the diaspora communities here, including our Sudanese people”

Each May the group meets to confirm roles that volunteers can take on over the next year and meet online monthly.