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Saturday, April 12, 2008

In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur

Today, this blog is participating in In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur
Villager from Electronic Village will be posting all day as well as other members of the AfroSpear.
There Already has an pretty good post that reviewed manyof the other bloggers who are participating in In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur.

Almost three years ago I was separated from my family and my home for about a whopping 48 hours. A few weeks after watching the devastation, chaos, and carnage of Hurricane Katrina, almost my entire family had to evacuate as Hurricane Rita was bearing down us and the Governor decided to order an evacuation of pretty much the entire Gulf Coast of Texas.

You have to remember at the time, the nation was still skittish after Katrina and at one point the meteorologists were touting Rita as a category 4 or 5 while it was still in the Gulf. Even my Daddy who had refused to evacuate changed his mind when he saw that angry big red blurb out in the Gulf of Mexico.

The one thing that kept going through my head was all of those families from Katrina, irrespective of their backgrounds, educations,incomes were separated fro their families. Mothers separated from children. Some families put on plane to Utah, others sent on buses to the Astrodome in Houston. They flew those people everywhere. They didn't have anything to their name and the news played clip after clip of family members searching for each other.

I ended up packing everything I couldn't live without-. My important records, all of my photos, and a laptop and walked out the door leaving everything behind. Knowing that there was a possibility that when I came back, it would all be gone. But I was more worried about my family who were evacuating in the opposite direction. Were they scared? Were they tired? Were they able to get food, water, gasoline? Were people cutting up on the road? Did they have a place to go to the restroom?All that happened with a week of forewarning from the meteorologists. All of that happened to a group of folks who had means and incomes and it was over in a relatively short amount of time.

Running For Their Lives
Most Americans will never know what it feels like to have to flee their homes. To run for their lives. To have to take what you can carry with you turn the key in the lock and drive away knowing that everything could be gone when you get back. To wonder if you will ever see your family again.

Everyday in Darfur people are running . They're fleeing their homes and everything they know and they are doing it while experiencing violence and terror. Sometimes they can carry away a few possessions, but in most cases they are lucky to get away with their lives. They aren't running from an act of God or Mother nature. They are running from Acts of pure evil and crimes against humanity and nature. Their government isn't trying to evacuate them or give them aid, their government is trying to slaughter them.
For over four years, the first genocide of the twenty-first century has devastated millions of innocent, non-combatant civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan. The government of Sudan has sent its troops and hired militias known as the Janjaweed ("devils on horseback") to systematically destroy the livelihoods of Darfurians by bombing and burning villages, looting any and all economic resources, and committing egregious crimes by murdering, raping, and torturing innocent civilians. Though obstruction by the government of Sudan has prevented the international community from finding concrete statistics on mortality, we know that hundreds of thousands have died and over 2.5 million have been displaced as a result of the conflict. In just 2007, over 250,000 more Darfurians have been displaced according to the United Nations Mission in Sudan. As a result of the massive displacement and violence, refugees have fled en masse to the neighboring countries of Chad and the Central African Republic, where they face additional conflict. The violence has not only been targeting Darfurians but also humanitarian convoys and international peacekeepers that have been working tirelessly to try to deliver aid and provide protection. Genocide Intervention Network
Here are some things you can do, courtesy of Modern Musings and Dream for Darfur.


All actions sponsored by Dream for Darfur

1. Write to the ambassadors of the US, the UK, Russia and France to the UN.
Urge them to help China insist that Khartoum stop its obstruction.
2. Email or call the Olympic Corporate Sponsors.
Send a letter to companies sponsoring the 2008 Olympics, hosted by China. (Dream for Darfur’s email system will let you do this with the touch of a button.)
3. Pledge to turn off the commercials of Olympic Sponsors during the Games.
Olympic corporate sponsors have been silent about China’s financing of the Darfur genocide, even as the sponsors are spending billions to enhance China’s image as Olympic host. If sponsors continue to ignore China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide, we will ignore their million-dollar ad campaigns.
4. Write to the UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace.
Mr. Adolf Ogi represents the UN Secretary-General in contacts with international sports bodies. Tell him you are concerned that the world will gather for the Olympics while the people of Darfur are being slaughtered.
5. Petition the International Olympic Committee.
Urge the IOC to work with the international community to ensure that China uses its leverage with the government of Sudan to help stop the genocide in Darfur, and avoids tarnishing the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Organizations dedicated to ending the genocide in Darfur