On April 30, 2006, in order to bring attention to the ongoing genocide in Darfur and demand immediate protection for the Darfurian victims and refugees, concerned citizens will hold a Day of Conscience for Darfur in San Francisco, with a Vigil on the Golden Gate Bridge and a Rally in Crissy Field.
People of conscience from throughout the Bay Area will join hands across the entire span of the Golden Gate Bridge to powerfully state that we will not stand idly by in the face of such atrocities.
Our silent vigil will begin at 10am and will be followed by a Rally on Crissy Field, featuring remarks by Reverend Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church, Jerry Fowler of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and several other notable community leaders about the need to act immediately to end the genocide. We will be sending the message that a multinational force that has the power to protect Darfur’s civilians is needed immediately.
Busses are being arranged from all over the Bay Area. If you would like to participate in this event (vigil on the bridge) and/or would like to be on one of the busses to get there, please [http://www.OurPledge.org/april30.html;click here to fill out the registration form] and get other information about the day's events.
Quick Primer on Darfur Situation:
According to savedarfur.org: Open warfare erupted in Darfur in early 2003 when the two loosely allied rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), attacked military installations.
This was followed closely by peace agreements brokered by the United States to end the twenty-year-old civil war in the south of Sudan which allocated government positions and oil revenue to the rebels in the south. At that time rebels in Darfur, seeking an end to the region's chronic economic and political marginalization, also took up arms to protect their communities against a twenty-year campaign by government-backed militias recruited among groups of Arab extraction in Darfur and Chad. These "Janjaweed" militias have over the past year received government support to clear civilians from areas considered disloyal to the Sudanese government.
Militia attacks and a scorched-earth government offensive has led to massive displacement, indiscriminate killings, looting and mass rape, all in infringement of the 1949 Geneva Convention that prohibits attacks on civilians.
The war, which risks inflicting irreparable damage on a delicate ethnic balance of seven million people who are uniformly Muslim, is actually multiple intertwined conflicts. One is between government-aligned forces and rebels; a second entails indiscriminate attacks of the government-sponsored Janjaweed militia on civilians; and a third involves a struggle among Darfur communities themselves. Its implications go far beyond Darfur's borders. The war indirectly threatens the regimes in both Sudan and Chad and has the potential to inspire insurgencies in other parts of the country.
About Days of Conscience:
A national movement to end the genocide in Darfur and support peace and justice for all of Sudan has designated April 2006 as a month of action: “Darfur Days of Conscience” (DDoC). Key groups have created a national steering committee to provide collaborative leadership for this coordinated effort.
The month of April will be divided into “weekly themes” devoted to community education, lobbying, fundraising for humanitarian relief and silent vigils (April 30th). These activities will build on the work of participating groups and therefore represent “streams of activity” rather than distinct actions only taking part in the month of April 2006.
Congregation Kol Emeth of Palo Alto is one of the local faith communities taking the lead in this project for the Palo Alto area. Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice encourages all of our participating organizations and congregations to get involved!
First - there will be vigils held every day from noon to 1pm at the corner of El Camino and Embarcadero. Signs and leaflets and other materials will be provided. We need congregations/organizations to sign up to organize one week of people to be there during that one hour. Please contact Sheila Kay (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up.
Second - Organize education opportunities for your organization/congregation during the month of April.
Third - Join us on April 30th on the Golden Gate Bridge April 30th for the worldwide Day of Conscience for Darfur. There will be a rally with speakers following the bridge action.
RESOURCES FOR STUDYING DARFUR:
Below are a few links worth perusing to learn more about the situation in the Sudan/Darfur.
What can you do to help?
Situation in Darfur
Million Voices for Darfur