Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

February 26, 2006

Tour for Darfur: Eyewitness to Genocide

The Bush Administration has finally begun talking about Darfur again. Read into that what you will, but it means that there is once again hope that the international community will intervene to stop the continuing violence there.

The Save Darfur Coalition is launching a 22-city "Tour for Darfur: Eyewitness to Genocide" to raise awareness of their "Million Voices for Darfur" campaign. Below is a press release from Feb 22.

Washington, DC - (Feb 22 2006) The Save Darfur Coalition tonight will launch a 21,000 mile, 22-city, 11-state photo exhibit and speaking "Tour for Darfur: Eyewitness to Genocide" to raise public pressure on the Bush administration to end the genocide and build a lasting peace in the Darfur region of western Sudan, and on Congress to provide the resources necessary to do so. The tour will begin tonight at 7pm at the Free Library of Philadelphia, the nation’s first capital, and end in its current one, Washington, DC, with a "Rally to Stop Genocide" on April 30.

"While President Bush deserves credit for asking Congress for emergency supplemental funding of $389 million for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid projects in Darfur, that’s just the first step to ending this crisis," said the tour's featured speaker, Brian Steidle, a former Marine captain and U.S. representative to the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Darfur from September 2004 to February 2005. "This tour is designed to educate the American people about the Darfur genocide and to motivate them to turn up the heat on the Bush administration to take the many other steps necessary to end the suffering for millions of men, women and children in Darfur."

Since February 2003, an estimated 300,000+ people have died in Darfur as a result of what the President and Congress recognized in 2004 to be genocide sponsored by the Sudanese government, with 3.5 million dependent on foreign aid for their survival, and 2 million people forced by violence to live in make-shift camps.

The tour is part of the "Million Voices for Darfur" campaign to generate one million postcards to President Bush asking him to use the power of his office to fulfill his Feb. 17 pledge to support a stronger multi-national force to protect the Darfuri people. Anyone can send an electronic version of this postcard in just a few seconds by visiting www.MillionVoicesForDarfur.org. The postcards will be delivered at the last stop of the tour in Washington, DC, the site of the April 30 "Rally to Stop Genocide" (www.SaveDarfur.org/rally). The tour, Million Voices campaign and rally are sponsored by the Save Darfur Coalition (www.SaveDarfur.org), an alliance of 150+ faith-based, humanitarian and human rights groups representing 130 million Americans.

In addition to Philadelphia and Washington, DC, the other tour cites and dates are: Coconut Grove, FL (2/27); Jupiter, FL (TBD); Deland/Orlando, FL (2/28); Los Angeles, CA (3/1-2); Beverly Hills, CA (3/3); Sacramento, CA (3/6); Saratoga, CA (3/7); San Francisco, CA (3/8); Ithaca, NY (3/10-11); Nashville, TN (3/21); Henderson, NV (3/27); Seattle, WA (3/28); Pittsburgh, PA (3/29); Bloomington, IN (3/30-31); Fort Wayne, IN 4/1-2); Chicago, IL (4/4); Austin, TX (4/21); San Antonio, TX (4/22-23); Houston, TX (4/24); Fort Worth, TX (4/25); and Dallas, TX (4/26). For more details, visit www.SaveDarfur.org/SteidleTour.

2 Comments

What an appalling situation. Reading this reminds me of watching Hotel Rwanda, which I think is one of the most important movies to come along in quite awhile.

Thanks for keeping us aware.

One day I'll have to watch that film. I have seen a good portion of another movie on Rwanda, its name slips my mind. It was, from what I've heard, a bit darker. I woke up from the middle of a nap to find it on. I wanted to turn it off but I just couldn't turn away -- I felt like I had to watch and try to understand.