Divisions Cast Aside in Cry for DarfurClutching signs that read "Never Again," thousands of protesters from across religious and political divides descended on the Mall yesterday along with celebrities and politicians to urge President Bush to take stronger measures to end the violence in Sudan's Darfur region that the United States has labeled genocide. more
Out of Diversity, a Unanimous Demand
Thousands of people poured into Washington on trains, in buses and in cars from across the country yesterday. Evangelicals joined Hollywood entertainers, black civil rights leaders joined conservatives, and politicians from both parties spoke in unison on the same stage. more
Sudanese Rebels Reject Peace OfferABUJA, Nigeria, April 30 -- Sudanese rebels rejected a proposal Sunday to end the bloodshed in the Darfur region, throwing into question the outcome of yet another series of negotiations to put a stop to fighting that has left tens of thousands of people dead. more
Deadline extended for Darfur peace talksABUJA (Reuters) - Mediators from the African Union (AU) agreed in the early hours of Monday to give the warring parties from Sudan's Darfur region an extra 48 hours to strike a peace deal after a midnight deadline expired. more
In 'Darfur Is Dying,' The Game That's Anything ButIn the online game "Darfur Is Dying," launched at yesterday's Save Darfur rally on the Mall, atrocity is a click of a mouse away. A player can be a 14-year-old girl in a blue dress with white polka dots named Elham, in search of water for her camp, chased by gun-carrying Janjaweed militiamen. Run, Elham, run! more
"Out of Iraq, Into Darfur!"
Well, the "Save" Darfur marches happened yesterday. Thousands in Washington, hundreds in Seattle. Bush met with leaders from "A Million Voices" on Friday, George Clooney was there as were various Congress critters, including Barak Obama. Condi Rice has called on China and Russia to help stop the genocide. (Colin Powell also called on the UN a year ago, remember, for intervention -- but the UN, in its wisdom, denied that there was any genocide going on there, and referred it to the ICC, using the situation as a club to beat Bush into agreeing to ICC involvement. And, my gosh! That sure helped, now didn't it?)....
"Kumbaya, Motherf***ers"We began our attendance at the Save Darfur rally in the traditional way: by touring the National Museum of the American Indian. We got into town early so as to grab what little parking would be available after the huge crowds of demonstrators showed up. Turned out we could have wandered in pretty much any time. The parking lot behind the Department of Education (and conveniently across from a Starbucks) remained mostly empty.
The organizers of the rally wanted 200,000. I'd be surprised if they hit a tenth of that. The crowd was confined to a single square on the Mall quilt. Using Google Earth I make it 500 feet by 175 feet. Subtract 20% for the t-shirt tents and the media platforms and the stage, and give everyone just a two foot by two foot square, you'd be straining to call it 20,000.
The crowd was not passionate. This was not a fired-up, we're on a mission from God crowd like you'd get if you were talking 20 thousand geezers looking at a cut in Medicare, or Democrats on a Bush-bash, or Republicans confronted with a ten dollar tax on billionaires. This was a laid-back crowd. Respectful, aware of the issue, but less fist-pumping, yelling or foot-stomping, and more "let's get an ice cream bar and let the kids pet the police horses."......
I may be the only shul-attending Jew on the East Coast who didn't go to the Rally for Darfur yesterday.
I first posted about Darfur almost two years ago. I wrote about Charles Jacobs and Simon Deng at the Columbia Unbecoming Conference last year. I posted about the Sudan Freedom Walk, another Charles Jacobs/iAbolish project. I linked to a statement about Arabs massacring blacks in the Sudan, that was written by father of the neocon movement Milton Himmelfarb in the 1970s.
But I didn't go to the rally....