Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The Darfur Vigil returned to Round the Clock this past Monday maintained by Start Loving who returns to a base of operations for light calories, MP3 Player Electrons, and Internet mid afternoon for three hours each day. Saturday and Sunday are also spent at the base.
Sudan officially rejects revised UN text on Darfur force, Sudan Tribune
What does a world citizen, a Servant of The Almight / Good / World Family / Brotherliness do when:
- 450,000 have been exterminated under Bashir's watch? Our watch? China's Watch? NGO's Watch? "Activists" watch?
- 3 million displaced under Bashir's watch? Our watch? China's Watch? NGO's Watch? "Activists" watch?
- Brother Bashir heaps desecration on desecration, inhumanity on inhumanity, lie on lie, deception on deception?
- We-the-worlds-citizens heap hypocrisy on hypocrisy, lip service on lip service, excuse on excuse, inaction on inaction....
How does Start Loving serve the above? What does or do The Almighty / Goodness / Humanity / "Activist" brothers / brother Bashir / brother Moon / Save Darfur / Africa Action / STANDnow demand of me?
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
House speaker to risk arrest in China July 25, 2007 By Joe Hanel Herald Denver Bureau
DENVER - A top Colorado Democrat will travel this weekend to China, where he plans to deliver a message to foreign ministry officials: Stop paying for genocide in Sudan.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The actress Mia Farrow first glimpsed the atrocities of Darfur—where 400,000 have been killed and two million have been driven from their homes—as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Since then, she has recast herself as one of the victims' most-eloquent (and -livid) outside advocates. When Khartoum blocked a U.N. effort to send troops in 2006, Farrow flayed the Sudanese and their accomplices—witting or otherwise. In op-eds and speeches, she joined a campaign against the 2008 Beijing Olympics, hoping to stigmatize China for its support of Sudan. And she even warned Steven Spielberg—a consultant for the upcoming event—that he risked becoming "the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games." Adam B. Kushner talked with the star of "Rosemary's Baby" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" about moral outrage and raising hell.
KUSHNER: Is this your first foray into advocacy?
FARROW: I'd traveled for UNICEF and, before that, a couple of times for Nelson Mandela's children's charities in South Africa. But Darfur was a seminal moment for me. On the 10th anniversary of [the] Rwanda [genocide], I read an op-ed on Sudan by Samantha Power, and I called UNICEF and said, "I need to go to Darfur. Something terrible is happening." I scoured the Internet trying to inform myself, I read Alex de Waal's book—which is the manual—but it was interesting (in an appalling way) how little information was available.
Can celebrities be effective as political actors?
I knew that I had to do my utmost to address this. You do what you can with what you have available. And you are interviewing me. When I visit people who cannot speak to NEWSWEEK for themselves—it's an immense responsibility to have to represent them. And every day, I feel [that] I've failed in some way: there's something [that] I didn't think of, something [that] I could have done better.
What if we can't persuade the Sudanese government to let peacekeepers in?
In my last trip to eastern Chad—where I was really very close to the Darfur border and spoke to refugees—I realized that the only voice that has any weight for me now is the voice of the people who are actually enduring these atrocities. So I've stopped saying what is practical. My feeling is [to] let it be said what should be done—a nonconsensual deployment.
But if that's what we need and the United Nations won't do it, aren't you actually inviting somebody else to intervene? By that logic, you're calling for U.S. or NATO troops.
Intervention should have happened in 2004 and it didn't. So should NATO come in? Anyone should come in! The United Nations and all member states should [act] in a matter of days when we see a government slaughter its own people. That should be an automatic trigger; it shouldn't be deliberated for years.
Those are the same lessons [that] people took from the Nazi Holocaust: ["]If not now, when? If not me, who?["] Given his activism on exactly those issues, Steven Spielberg was a smart target.
I'd heard that he was going to participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as the artistic director, and I thought, ["]Does he know?["] So I wrote him a letter, and he probably never got it, so it was time to write the op-ed. I've been six times into the region and I'm tired of people telling me to be "patient."
Has Spielberg shaped up?
He wrote to Chinese President Hu Jintao, and it was a fine letter, saying [that] he said [that] he didn't know of China's complicity. And I believe him. But what is he going to do about it? I would hope that he would withdraw his cooperation from the Games.
So many people have tried to make China a better world actor, but you figured out their Achilles' heel.
Chris Matthews once asked me, "What does China have to do with [Darfur]?" I had assumed that everyone knew, but they didn't. China was a huge player in the amount of money that was going to Sudan. Conservatively, 70 percent of that money was being used to attack the people of Darfur. I wasn't the only one to make these observations, and I didn't coin the phrase "Genocide Olympics." What caught me by surprise was China's reaction. It hasn't translated to anything on the ground, but it did get their attention.
It's not the way international relations are usually conducted. You're a guerrilla diplomat.
We're not constrained. But the people on the ground who are doing lifesaving work are muted, because [preserving] their access is paramount. Aid workers are in dangerous situations saving lives that the world has turned away from, but they can't speak out. They're under a lot of stress. One aid agency sent a professional stress counselor from headquarters, and that stress counselor left after three days, because it was too stressful.
You're certainly making a ruckus for a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
I take off the UNICEF hat when I talk about Darfur. But it was impossible simply to come out of [Sudan] having held babies and say, "Well, that's that." I knew, after leaving Darfur, that I had to do anything [that] I could to end the suffering [that] I had seen, because I had a new moral obligation and a new credential: I am a witness.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Have we ever been closer to the Rescue and Restore of Darfur? I don't think so:
- Effective pressure on China bearing fruit
- Powerful, humane leadership from France
- al-Bashir acquiescing to France / US / UK / China pressure
- "Lake Eire" being found under Darfur
- The Elders being formed of Mandella, Tutu, Carter... and Darfur spoken of as a focus
LAST MONTH WAS THE WORST MONTH EVER FOR ATTACKS ON AID WORKERS.
Let's not take our eyes off the ball. In fact, let's step up efforts dramatically.
IF YOUR DEAREST WERE IN A DARFUR DEATH CAMP in this 5th year of genocide, when our token wrist bands, one day fasts, sporadic lobbying, etc. have been correctly read by Washington as lip service, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO RESCUE AND RESTORE DARFUR - TO SAVE YOUR DEAREST? DO IT. DO IT NOW.
Personally, I don't know what is going on with my body. Literally I feel like I've forgotten how to walk. I'd have thought what with 9-12 hours per day marching for months now in front of the Sudan Embassy all the pain would be gone. Quite the opposite. I need to keep going with the Sudan Embassy Vigil for many, many more months. Mustn't quit until the Rescue and Restore is underway with certainty. I don't know how I can bear the pain in my feet, legs and hips much longer. How bad is the pain? Well, I was hit by a car this week, my head crushed the windshield, my body caved the hood, I was thrown back on the pavement with the tire stopping inches from my head, and that pain was nothing compared with the pain of each step I take most hours per day. Very frustrating.
Oh well. It is amazing what you can do out of Love. It isn't the pain I mind so much, as the worry that it will sideline me at this crucial juncture. Mustn't let that happen.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Jul 18 2007
By Tiffany Williams
When youth are inspired they can do anything and they will change the world. That is exactly what 15 students from Ponoka Composite High School did. They were inspired by students from Grant MacEwan College who walked from Calgary to Edmonton to raise awareness on the situation in Darfur. The group might seem small but Rishi Jaipaul who organized the event knows that size doesn't matter in their plight to raise money and awareness.
"It will make a difference, even the smallest thing, even if it saves one person's life it still made a difference," said Jaipaul.
The students from PCHS raise $4,876 for Doctors without Boarders. They raised the money through donations, selling t-shirts, the walkers took pledges and they held an event at their school and shaved students heads. He says that the money is going to Doctors without Boarders because they are one of the few humanitarian organizations who are still there. The other groups had to pull out because of rebel attacks.
Many of the walkers endured blisters, sprains, bruises or other hardships, but Jaipaul stresses that it was all worth it.
"The physical pain was hard, but when I was cramping up, I would think about the people in Darfur who would have to walk for 10 days to get to refugee camps after their villages were burnt."
The students set off from Ponoka on July 11 at 7:30 a.m. and started walking. They arrived in Lacombe at 2:30 p.m. and were taken in to rest at a church. They left the next day at 8:30 a.m. and arrived in Red Deer at 2:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. that night there was a reception held for their efforts. At the reception MP Bob Mills spoke of his humanitarian efforts in other war torn countries, members from the Central Alberta Refugee Effort spoke and a child solider that walked from Darfur to Ethiopia.
"The best part was seeing people's reactions, when telling them that I was walking from Ponoka to Red Deer. Also explaining the situation to people, where it is, the conflict, the lack of government support. I even had to explain to some people what genocide was, it was important just to get that awareness out there,' he said.
The group is also planning a car wash this summer and they still have t-shirts available if anyone would like to purchase them. For more information on how to support the group you can call Jaipaul at 403-352-8531.
The walkers included; teacher Ron Labrie, Jaipaul, Emma Curran, Maria Schultz, Neil Thompson, Danielle Comeau, Amy Baumgartner, Carielle Walsh, Tyrell Kochanski, Erin Golley, Scott Halland, Travis Kostivk, Lisa Widdifield, Brandon Curkan and the youth pastor from Youth for Christ Jerel Peters. They also received food and water donations from Hamilton's IGA, Extra Foods and Subway who provided lunch for them. A special thank-you also goes out to their driver Karen Dean who helped with supplies, kept the group hydrated and handed out snacks. Check out next week's Ponoka News for a first hand account of the group's adventure by Jaipaul.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Friday July 13, 2007 by stacey palevsky, staff writer
Television is known more for inspiring couch-potato behavior than activism.
But when Yasmin Ravid saw the sad, lost faces of mother-and-daughter refugees [from Darfur] on an Israeli newscast, she couldn’t sit idly by.
The 23-year-old decided she didn’t want to feel helpless. So she started looking for ways to help. She found the Hotline for Migrant Workers in Tel Aviv. Within days of seeing the television broadcast, she visited a refugee in prison.
For the past five months, Ravid has mostly worked with Darfur refugees just released from prison — taking them to the doctor, buying them a boom box, helping them learn Hebrew and English — in an attempt to restore the humanity they lost in Sudan.
Ravid’s Bay Area roots run deep — her mother, Linda, grew up in San Mateo and her father, Shlomi, spent several years as a shaliach in San Francisco, where he started the Israel Center in 1996. She used to go to Camp Tawonga. She lives in Israel and visits Northern California often, most recently before a backpacking trip in Guatemala (where she is currently).
Darfur refugees don’t get the attention they deserve, Ravid said in an interview during her recent Bay Area visit.
“Because Israel has so much going on, we don’t talk as much about the rest of the world. That’s just how it is,” she said.
Darfur refugees have been coming to Israel after being treated terribly in their home country. After escaping from Sudan, they make their way to Egypt, where they are also treated poorly. They arrive in Israel with high hopes for a peaceful life, but because they come from a country that supports terrorism, the Israeli government considers the refugees to be enemy nationals and puts them in jail.
With support from the hotline and volunteers like Ravid, about half of the refugees have been released from jail and placed on kibbutzes, where they can live and work if they agree to abide by certain restrictions.
The Israeli government has not decided exactly what to do with all the refugees coming from Darfur.
“On the one hand, they’re very grateful to have a place where they can walk down the street without getting beaten. They feel safe, and that’s extremely important,” Ravid said. “But there’s also a lot of frustration because their future is not secure. All they want to do is live.
“Some of them have been told that Jews kill any Muslims who come into their country,” she added. “The fact that they’re willing to take a chance and come to Israel shows how desperate they are for a better future.”
The Hotline for Migrant Workers helps foreign workers, refugees and asylum-seekers in Israel and runs a health clinic in partnership with Physicians for Human Rights.
The hotline first assigned Ravid to go to Masiyahu Prison and bring the Sudanese refugees basic supplies like paper and pens. Soon the hotline was asking her to “vouch” for a 27-year-old refugee who was to be released to work on a kibbutz after nearly two years in prison.
Most of Ravid’s volunteer work found her driving refugees from Kibbutz Yad Hana near Hadera to their medical appointments in Tel Aviv. She bought them medications and often paid her own travel costs.
“I want to make them feel like people again,” she said.
The volunteer work is now a family project. Ravid’s sister Maayan teaches the Sudanese Hebrew and English. Her brother just wrote a research paper about Darfur refugees for a high school course. And her parents have started a grassroots campaign to ensure the government does not send the refugees back to Egypt.
“She inspired us not to sit back but to act, to demonstrate our belief in tikkun olam, to go out of our way to help others,” Linda Ravid said.
Yasmin Ravid is pleased that her family is helping to raise awareness about the Sudanese refugees. She starts school at Ben Gurion University in the fall. She doesn’t know what she’ll study yet, but she does know she wants to continue advocating for peace and human rights.
“It’s important for Israel to take care of this situation correctly,” she said. “It’s such a great opportunity to prove that we’re the democratic and enlightened state we think we are.”
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
By Joel Whitney
Guernica magazine’s Joel Whitney recently spoke with Darfur activist Mia Farrow about the role of the UN, China and the U.S. in the ongoing genocide in Sudan: Not everyone reads a grim news story and gets on a plane to head for a war zone. But not everyone is Mia Farrow. [click above link for full article.]
Finally, someone in addition to Eric Reeves that is paying the price to Rescue and Restore Darfur. Someone that sees the truth (her photos below) and relentlessly lives it and tells it. Her site: http://www.miafarrow.org/
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
OK. These are the world leaders of the scam "Save Darfur" movement. Look at them. Is there a Genocide in Darfur or is this the most awesome career opportunity imiginable for these nice folks?
The Panel: (Back Row) John Prendergast (ICG), Samantha Power (Harvard), Nicholas Kristof (NY Times) and Daoud Ibrahim Hari; (Front) Omer Ismail, Mia Farrow (MIA IS THE EXCEPTION. SHE ACTUALLY BEHAVES AS THOUGH THERE IS A GENOCIDE - DAY IN AND DAY OUT), Winter Miller and Mark Hanis
More at: Photo Coverage: Public Theater's In Darfur Reading
Tuesday, July 10, 2007; Posted: 11:30 AM - by Ben Strothmann
The Public Theater offered New Yorkers a free staged reading of Winter Miller's In Darfur in Central Park for one night only, on Monday, July 9th. This reading continued the momentum generated by The Public's developmental production of In Darfur, which was highly successful in bringing audiences and artists together to raise awareness of the Darfur Crisis and encourage activism. The reading featured the original cast of The Public's production and was directed by Joanna Settle.
"Working as research assistant to Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times, playwright Winter Miller is immersed in the issues surrounding the ongoing genocide in Darfur. In Darfur is the provocative account of three intertwined lives at a camp for internally displaced persons in Darfur. The story follows an aid worker's mission to save and protect lives, a journalist's pursuit to deliver a "Page One" story and a Darfuri woman's quest for safety. It is a searing story of urgency and international significance," state press materials....