The Fight for Darfur

Grassroots movements take action to stop genocide

| April 27, 2006

Mired in its fourth consecutive year of unchecked atrocities, Sudan's Darfur region still awaits a legitimate semblance of international intervention. Unfortunately, the world's collective non-response has legitimized nothing more than the status quo -- which, for Darfurians, has translated to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children. With the Bush-led government stalled in an apparent combination of apathy, bureaucracy, and geopolitics, a number of US-based grassroots movements are rallying their constituents to take action.

One of the most effective protests to date against the genocide in Darfur was conceived, not surprisingly, on a college campus. According to Sam Graham-Felsen of The Nation, not long after Harvard University bowed to pressures from campus-wide protests and agreed to divest the school's financial investments from a Chinese-based oil company working with the Sudanese government, other divestment protests met with similar successes at universities across the country. Ultimately, however, while these divestment movements continue to chip away at the financial capability of the Sudanese government, Graham-Felsen concludes that combating the crisis of Darfur requires a much greater action.

Hoping to jump-start that requisite action are a number of organizations reaching out to move the consciences of their unique audiences. Van Jones and James Rucker's ColorOfChange is specifically appealing to black Americans and their allies, while faith-based publications like Sojourners and Tikkun have called on their respective readerships to confront Darfur's plight via letter-writing campaigns to everyone from Congressional representatives to the president. Million Voices for Darfur aims to bring such groups together in a broad-based campaign to bombard Bush with one million postcards, phone calls, and petition signatures demanding increased humanitarian aid, if not complete UN intervention in Darfur. Organizers hope to achieve the 'Million Voices' tally by Sunday, April 30th, when the Save Dafur Coalition will hold its Rally to Stop Genocide in Washington, DC. Speakers will include Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel, actor George Clooney, and Joey Cheek, the Torino gold-medalist who donated his Olympic winnings to Darfur charities.

Go there >>Divestment and Sudan

Go there too >>ColorofChange's Stop the Genocide in Darfur Campaign

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