DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

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DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Peter Newman on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:40 am

My comment is why is the Society supporting a non-Bath City related activity. As the original posting pointed out the migrant/refugee topic is somewhat divisive so there are (probably 50% of the membership) who would be opposed to the initiative.
With the possibility of the bid project still having an extended life it does seem strange that the Society comes out to publicly endorse support for migrants which is something that will alienate a proportion of the local population. The same people we may be looking at for financial investment.

I see we are looking for donated items for Calaid ( actually what happened to the foodbank collection is that still happening).
Since there is no way the government will allow the Calais migrants  entrance to UK perhaps the most appropriate donation would be a teach yourself German course.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by OliverH on Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:44 am

Put simply, we see this is as a humanitarian rather than political gesture. We hope that our members will give us the benefit of the doubt on this.

Whatever your views on UK immigration policy, there is no question that a tragedy is unfolding across Europe and there are real and immediate material needs to be met. We have an opportunity to join a nationwide movement of football supporters to do something about it.

What's it got to do with football? Well, the entire Bath community is responding to this crisis through collections at pubs, churches, etc etc.

We want the club to be at the heart of the community, part of the social fabric of Bath - as they say at Barcelona, "more than a club". In fact, the Society's community benefit purpose is "to be the vehicle through which a healthy, balanced and constructive relationship between the Club and its supporters and the communities it serves is encouraged and developed."

The community of Bath is responding to the refugee crisis and we are offering another channel through which local people can support and help.

Finally, the Society welcomed the food bank initiative and would support it if it happened again.

The relevant provisions of the Society's constitution are below.

4. OBJECTS
The Society’s objects are to benefit the community by:

4.5 being a positive, inclusive and representative organisation, open and accessible to all supporters of the Club regardless of their age, income, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religious or moral belief.

6. In order to achieve its objects the Society may either itself or through a subsidiary company or society acting under its control:

6.13 co-operate with other supporters organisations, co-operatives and societies conducted for the benefit of the community at local, national and international levels;
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Colin Voutt on Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:41 am

OliverH wrote:Put simply, we see this is as a humanitarian rather than political gesture. We hope that our members will give us the benefit of the doubt on this.

Whatever your views on UK immigration policy, there is no question that a tragedy is unfolding across Europe and there are real and immediate material needs to be met. We have an opportunity to join a nationwide movement of football supporters to do something about it.

What's it got to do with football? Well, the entire Bath community is responding to this crisis through collections at pubs, churches, etc etc.

We want the club to be at the heart of the community, part of the social fabric of Bath - as they say at Barcelona, "more than a club". In fact, the Society's community benefit purpose is "to be the vehicle through which a healthy, balanced and constructive relationship between the Club and its supporters and the communities it serves is encouraged and developed."

The community of Bath is responding to the refugee crisis and we are offering another channel through which local people can support and help.

Finally, the Society welcomed the food bank initiative and would support it if it happened again.

The relevant provisions of the Society's constitution are below.

4. OBJECTS
The Society’s objects are to benefit the community by:

4.5 being a positive, inclusive and representative organisation, open and accessible to all supporters of the Club regardless of their age, income, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religious or moral belief.

6. In order to achieve its objects the Society may either itself or through a subsidiary company or society acting under its control:

6.13 co-operate with other supporters organisations, co-operatives and societies conducted for the benefit of the community at local, national and international levels;

Well said!!!!

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:37 am

Agreed with Oliver, last season's Foodbank initiative was supported by the Society and, to be fair, the club - previous even to the Community bid - and also could be seen as nothing to do with football. However, it was contributed to generously by the supporters. It could be said that that was due to the Foodbank being on our doorstep. However I must tell you that, on that day, Wealdstone supporters gave very generously to a cause that wasn't local to them.

This isn't a political move. We aren't saying what should be done about the refugee crisis. We are just saying that, like bath Foodbank, people need food, clothing and shelter and we are happy to help that. We aren't forcing people to donate, just facilitating it.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by BenE on Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:22 pm

Without commenting on the rights or wrongs - I have to say that it is a political issue.

It is exactly what politics is.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Marc Monitor on Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:27 pm

Thank you for reminding me about this thread.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. I was again pleased how generous Bath City supporters are to those in need. We will give the amount once it has been counted - I couldn't do it straight after the game - but I was impressed and surprised by how much was donated and there was also donations of several bags of clothes and camping equipment. Again, thank you.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by SteveBradley on Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:13 pm

Peter Newman wrote:My comment is why is the Society supporting a non-Bath City related activity. As the original posting pointed out the migrant/refugee topic is somewhat divisive so there are (probably 50% of the membership) who would be opposed to the initiative.
With the possibility of the bid project still having an extended life it does seem strange that the Society comes out to publicly endorse support for migrants which is something that will alienate a proportion of the local population. The same people we may be looking at for financial investment.

I see we are looking for donated items for Calaid ( actually what happened to the foodbank collection is that still happening).
Since there is no way the government will allow the Calais migrants  entrance to UK perhaps the most appropriate donation would be a teach yourself German course.

1) Homelessness and cancer have nothing to do with Bath City, for example, yet the club has recently worked with and helped local charities who campaign on those issues e.g. Julian House and Forever Friends Appeal/RUH. This is no different.

2) It is way off the mark to suggest that 50% of Bath supporters take a negative view on the issue of refugees. Fortunately, most Bath residents and Bath City supporters are a compassionate lot who have seen the appalling footage on TV of the warzone that is Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

3) As this email, the banner etc states, the issue is about REFUGEES not migrants. You may be unable or unwilling to differentiate between the two, but it would seem that most people can. Someone leaving their home in search of a job is one thing. Someone doing so because their house has been bombed, their street no longer exists and their home town is a battlefield is something very different.

As stated, if you want to discuss the rights and wrongs of refugees there are plenty of other places online where you can do so. Thanks.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by SteveBradley on Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:17 pm

Thank you to everyone who donated generously on Saturday, and to Marc and the others who helped with the organisation.

A lot of items were donated, which will go to Bath-based charity CalAid for distribution. The bucket collection also raised £129.29, which will go to the Red Cross European Refugees Appeal. A great result all round.

Thanks again to all who contributed, donated or helped.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Peter Newman on Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:19 am

My understanding is ( or was ) that the residents  of the Calais camps were migrants as under the EU rules they had failed to claim asylum as a refugee in the initial country of arrival. Happy to be corrected if this is not the case.

My point of concern was that the Society was making a political statement by endorsing support for CalAid. Since there is no way the UK government will grant entry to the Calais camp inhabitants ( Are they migrants or refugees? )  so any donation is only going to prolong the poor situation of  those living there and at the same time  perhaps persuade others to arrive. I had no personal problem with a banner ( and made no mention of it in my post) or the general aim of solidarity with refugees.  Nor would I have had problem with a collection being made for a more general charity such as Save the Children that would need additional funding to meet its additional demands. It just seemed to me that the CalAid support request was not something the Society should have been promoting.  I saw it as a semi-political gesture and outside the scope of the aims of the Society but others, obviously, disagree and from other responses it would seem the rules/charter seem to be fairly far-reaching.

On reflection I should have left out the learn German comment but it did remind me of the time I lived and worked in Germany when my German colleagues always believed then that Germany was taking in too many refugees/migrants/asylum seekers and believed that "Teach Yourself German"  was the first humanitarian assistance handed out - followed by a cup of soup.


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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by OliverH on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:32 am

Thanks Peter - you are right that this issue is perhaps not as black and white as some others might be, but we still felt that the humanitarian case justified our support. We will take your comments on board, however.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by comrade powell on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:56 am

And thanks also, Peter, for posting your thoughts under your name. It's so easy these days to post online under an alias with the knowledge that most will not know your identity should they disagree with you.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:33 am

Although I disagree with you, Peter, I take your point and you are well within your rights to make it, of course.

What I would say is that, firstly, the move by the Supporters' Society to hold the collection of both clothing and money was apolitical as it was seen as addressing a immediate humanitarian issue in Calais in the same manner as we address issues such as food poverty, homelessness and cancer care in Bath. From your comments, the decision to support CalAid may have brought a political slant to this and this is something that the Society will have to be careful about in future. It could be that the Society has specific charities that it collects for regularly as the club does. The issue with that, as I see it, is that we can't react to situations like the refugee crisis that turn up. Perhaps, others see such events as beyond the remit of a Supporters' Society.

Presently, there is a group talking about the nascent community and social responsibilities of the Bid and the subsequent community-owned club. As a successful Bid will mean increasing responsibilities and involvement in these areas, perhaps it would be an idea for the Society to have a specific person or group involved in finding out where people would like the Society and, in future, the community-owned Club to be involved. That way, there is a democratic process where people like yourself could engage with, challenge and, perhaps, get involved with the fundraising events.

Just for the record, while the clothes and equipment were collected for CalAid, the money was collected for the Red Cross which is, of course, apolitical.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by City Awayday on Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:33 pm

SteveBradley wrote:
3) As this email, the banner etc states, the issue is about REFUGEES not migrants. You may be unable or unwilling to differentiate between the two, but it would seem that most people can. Someone leaving their home in search of a job is one thing. Someone doing so because their house has been bombed, their street no longer exists and their home town is a battlefield is something very different.

As stated, if you want to discuss the rights and wrongs of refugees there are plenty of other places online where you can do so. Thanks.


What amazing arrogance from one of our bid promotion team to suggest Peter Newman (who I do not know) may be unable or unwilling to differentiate between refugees and migrants. From what he has written and the way he has presented it I have little doubt that he knows the distinction and he has every right to express his view.Your patronising dismissal of what is a quite legitimate point does you little credit and your remark that there are other online channels to express these views applies equally to you.

There seems to be a danger of a creeping politicisation of the Supporters Society which sits very uneasily with me. Perhaps your knowledge of the constituency on this forum and within the Society is not as wide-ranging as you believe.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:04 pm

It seems odd that, after Peter's own response to Steve's mail and two members' of the Society's committee saying that his comments would be taken on board in future, to return to Steve's mail. The debate seems to have moved on. As Oliver points out, this collection and appeal is well within the constitution of the Society and, though there may be disagreement about it, was intended as apolitical.

Whatever the political leanings of the members of the committee, any Society initiative will be apolitical and in keeping with the constitution. As it happens, I can confirm that the Bid was very much a broad church of political opinions and, as such, all meetings and decisions were apolitical. This was evidenced by the fact that we included and invited all representatives from all major parties to endorse, work with and contribute to the Bid.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by BenE on Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:09 pm

That's not apolitical. It's inclusive.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:06 pm

If you want, I suppose you could put it like that. The thing is, if we are working with community organisations , political parties, like charities, fall under that definition.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by BenE on Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:10 pm

Someone who represents a political party cannot claim to be apolitical. Someone who engages in an activity that has political consequences cannot claim to be apolitical no matter what their motivation is.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:49 pm

No, i think you are missing my point. I take your point that perhaps 'inclusive' is a better definition. I was saying political parties, like charities, fall under the definition of community organisations. I understand what you are saying. As a Supporters' Society and, when the Bid is successful, as a club, there will have to be dealings with political organisations even if it is just at a lower level such as local councillors. Certainly, in the process of community work, such as that Oliver mentioned in the constitution, there will be a lot of work with local councillors as well as charities and other community organisations.

Although you are right, that doesn't make it 'apolitical', we have to ensure that we aren't endorsing one party or another. Maybe 'politically neutral' is a better phrase. It is certainly something we are going to monitor and have checks and balances in place. However, I still maintain that the refugee collection was, let's say, politically neutral.
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by SteveBradley on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:22 am

City Awayday wrote:
SteveBradley wrote:
3) As this email, the banner etc states, the issue is about REFUGEES not migrants. You may be unable or unwilling to differentiate between the two, but it would seem that most people can. Someone leaving their home in search of a job is one thing. Someone doing so because their house has been bombed, their street no longer exists and their home town is a battlefield is something very different.

As stated, if you want to discuss the rights and wrongs of refugees there are plenty of other places online where you can do so. Thanks.


What amazing arrogance from one of our bid promotion team to suggest Peter Newman (who I do not know) may be unable or unwilling to differentiate between refugees and migrants. From what he has written and the way he has presented it I have little doubt that he knows the distinction and he has every right to express his view.Your patronising dismissal of what is a quite legitimate point does you little credit and your remark that there are other online channels to express these views applies equally to you.

There seems to be a danger of a creeping politicisation of the Supporters Society which sits very uneasily with me. Perhaps your knowledge of the constituency on this forum and within the Society is not as wide-ranging as you believe.

I'm afraid it was factually incorrect for Peter to state that the refugees in Calais are not refugees but migrants because they hadn't claimed asylum in the first safe country they'd come to.

The international rules on refugees/asylum are outlined in the United Nations (Geneva) Convention, and there is no requirement at all in that for refugees seeking asylum to do so in the first safe country they come to. Article 1A to 1F of the Convention, defining what is a refugee, are the key bits to look at if you want. They do not contain any express rule which requires, or excludes, people from being defined as refugees or asylum seekers on the basis of whether or not they applied for asylum in the first safe country they entered.

The media have unhelpfully repeated frequently that there is a rule to this effect, but there isn't. Those at Calais are therefore still internationally and legally recognised as refugees/asylum seekers, not simply migrants.

Peter said in his last email that he was happy to be corrected on this if he had been wrong. I don't think this forum (especially not the Bath City section) is the place for an ongoing discussion on refugees and migration, hence I didn't respond prior to now to clarify. Detailed discussion of issues around refugees, migrants etc are complex, emotive and in my opinion not appropriate for a football forum. Hence why I've said that it is best saved for other sites.

Apologies to Peter and anyone else who thought my previous email was unhelpful.

For the record - I'm not on the Supporters' Society committee.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by comrade powell on Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:49 am

But I am and would really appreciate it if those who are critical of the way the Society has acted on this or any other issue, City Away Day, would contact us directly. I am sure this particular issue will be covered at our next meeting and if there are additional problems, please PM them to me and I will ensure they are discussed.
Thanks
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by City Awayday on Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:11 pm

comrade powell wrote:But I am and would really appreciate it if those who are critical of the way the Society has acted on this or any other issue, City Away Day, would contact us directly. I am sure this particular issue will be covered at our next meeting and if there are additional problems, please PM them to me and I will ensure they are discussed.
Thanks

My posting, Comrade, was not critical of the way the Society has acted but of the patronising tenor of Steve's remarks which, apart from the points already made, could detract from our effort to attract new investors which is, currently, our overriding objective.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by comrade powell on Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:45 pm

Reading it back, i think I could have punctuated my sentence better...

But I am and would really appreciate it if those who are critical of the way the Society has acted on this (or any other issue, City Away Day) would contact us directly.

So to confirm, this particular 'incident' will be addressed at our next meeting. You mentioned 'a creeping politicisation of the Supporters Society' - as Steve has mentioned above, he is not a member of the committee and is certainly not speaking for it. But if you have concerns about the actions, comments etc of anyone from the committee, please let me know.
I hope that clears this up!
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by kermit on Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:48 pm

I must confess that I thought Steve was part of the committee. Thanks for clarifying that point 'cos I was thinking along the same lines as City Awayday. Anyway, perhaps some time for reflecting before jumping in next time ?
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by OliverH on Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:54 pm

Details of committee members are available on the Society website:

http://www.bathcitysociety.org/the-committee.html
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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

Post by LB on Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:24 pm

We clearly have our priorities wrong when a thread that has no relevance to the football club (both on and off the field) gets more views and posts than one about our first defeat of the season.

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Re: DAY OF SOLIDARITY FOR REFUGEES - TWERTON PARK - SATURDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

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