April 11, 2006
Avoiding a Casting Call for ‘Hotel Darfur’
This month human rights activists and concerned citizens are taking action to speak out against genocide in Darfur. While political leaders continue to debate over what action is needed in Darfur, there is a growing movement to force political actors to stop the genocide. Activism gives people a chance to realize we have a voice and responsibility to protect civilians as security in the region dissolves.
This is a round-up of information available on the Darfur crises. While our efforts to bring social change can seem futile at times, I think we should keep in mind of our strength in numbers. The more people protesting and demanding action from their representatives, the more likely those in position of authority will do something.
For more information, check out the Save Darfur website. They will be part of a rally in Washington DC on April 30 and a Congressional lobby day on May 1st to talk to legislators.
- Go to Africa Action for campaign updates, an activist toolkit and other resources. This is a great site for different humanitarian emergencies in Africa that hardly get any attention in the West.
Here are more items of interest on the Darfur conflict. These columns are a few years old but they are written by journalists and human rights activist who have reported on the African conflict since the beginning. What these writers have to say is relevant to how the situation continues to deteriorate while very little is done.
- NYT columnist Nicholas Kristoff’s column “The Secret Genocide Archive” includes a multimedia presentation.
- General Romeo Daillaire headed UNAMIR in Rwanda during the genocide. He wrote “Looking at Darfur, Seeing Rwanda” in the NYT, a few months after the conflict in Darfur started to escalate.
- Samantha Power, who won the Pulitzer in 2004 for A Problem from Hell, wrote this op-ed, Remember Rwanda, but Take Action in Sudan for the New York Times.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also have petitions for you to sign. If you don’t have time, take action while you’re at work or school–chances are you’re underpaid/overworked/overcharged for tuition. Think of it as helping your institution be more socially responsible…
There’s an expression “Speak Truth to Power.” I never thought this was accurate because those in power already know what the truth is and want to subvert it (alright, maybe I’m slightly paranoid)–we have to “Speak Truth to the People.” The more people are aware of what’s going on, the more we can be effective in bringing about change.