Amnesty: a page turns for the Perthois group


COMMUNITY LIFE. The local branch of Amnesty was in general assembly, Wednesday January 4th. An evening marked by changes in the office, in particular the position of secretary-president occupied by Marcel Marchand for 21 years.

“To campaign for human rights in Russia, you have to hang in there. Marcel Marchand has lost none of his sense of formula. The secretary-president of the “Le Perthois” group of Amnesty International, flew over the international, continental and local subjects, on the occasion of the general assembly of the association, which was held on Wednesday January 4 at the associative center of Vergy.

The end of an era

The main lesson of the evening is the change of office for the year 2023. In this case, Marcel Marchand leaves his rather atypical position of secretary-president. The end of a long chapter of 21 years for the octogenarian. « I joined this Amnesty group in 1995, with my wife Michelle, after my defeat in the municipal elections », recalls the one who had already been in the League for Human Rights since 1956. Simple member at the start , he quickly joined the office in 1998 with the role of assistant secretary, until 2000. Since 2001, he was secretary-president. “As General de Gaulle used to say: ‘One day, I’ll end up dying’, even if I’m not there yet. At 88 and a half brooms, it’s time to secure the future by setting up a renewed team. »

If he leaves his very special post as secretary-president, Marcel Marchand will not disappear from circulation, far from it. In an attempt to lend a hand as much as possible, he will now hold a position as a member of the office: “I am staying, and the day when I can no longer be able to, the train will continue to run. »

Handover

To succeed him, it is quite naturally that the name of the vice-president was put forward. Mireille Lacroix accompanied him during “about fifty work meetings a year”, as Marcel Marchand explained beforehand. “I was able to realize how much work it took. Human rights, for example, there are a lot of subjects to deal with,” shared Mireille Lacroix before the assembly of about fifteen people.

Not against the idea of ​​taking up the torch, the now former vice-president nevertheless expressed a few wishes: « I don’t mind, but we should work more together and anticipate more, because we have very few meetings. Indeed, apart from the work meetings, the group meetings where the members meet, take place once a month, alternating between Saint-Dizier and Vitry-le-François.

The new office:

President-Secretary: Mireille Lacroix. Assistant secretary: Dominique Carlotti. Treasurer: Marie-Jo Appert. Assistant Treasurer: Sandrine Chauchot.

Louis Vanthournout

l.vanthournout@jhm.fr

Actions to pursue

Overall, the year 2022 is satisfactory for the group, marked in particular by a net profit of more than €1,000, as evidenced by the financial report of the assistant treasurer Sandrine Chauchot. The two book fairs were once again a hit, in particular thanks to « a great investment by the whole team », underlines Mireille Lacroix. To do this, 242 bins of books were collected during the year.

Contacts have been resumed with schools, colleges and high schools with a view to interventions, things which remained impossible until last May. In parallel, the exhibition on the 40 years of abolition of the death penalty – visible in November in the hall of the town hall and which worked well – could be installed from school to school: “We had requests on specific topics such as Afghanistan », adds Annie, member. A high school student, who came as a supporter, suggested developing communication on social networks like Instagram and Twitter, to reach more young people.

Locally, the association will continue to be present during organized events. As it will continue to relay the elements of the national structure, which remains attentive to the situations in Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and even China and the United States. This leads to the launch of petitions, like the latest to defend the right to abortion in the state of Virginia, across the Atlantic.

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