March 29 Darfur demo: update

posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy on March 27th, 2006

Update: “Nine arrested in Darfur protest”

At least ten people will risk arrest by blocking the entrance to the Sudanese Embassy at a demonstration this week.

Women in Dereig campAt 11:15 AM, Wednesday, March 29, 2006, we will meet at the statue of Gandhi outside the Indian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC (map).

We will march to the nearby Sudanese Embassy (2210 Massachusetts Avenue, map), to hold a protest against genocide in the west Sudanese region of Darfur. This protest will continue until 1:30 PM.

Participants will carry enlarged photos of some of the more than 400,000 people killed in the genocide, as well as photos of some of the 2 million people who have been displaced there. Leaflets will be distributed.

Brenna Cussen and Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, who visited Darfur in December 2004, will speak. Seth Shames, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, will also speak.

Group spokesperson Brenna Cussen said:

Getting arrested is a small sacrifice to make to stop the enormous evil I witnessed in Darfur.

The event also involves many demonstrators who will not risk arrest.

For more information, contact Scott Schaeffer-Duffy: 508.753.3588 or theresecw@gmail.com.

If you can’t make this demonstration, don’t miss the big April 30 rally.

What kinds of people are participating?

Some of those who are willing to risk arrest:

Sarah Assefa, 22, is a Clark University student from Nairobi, Kenya who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is a member of WOGAN, Worcester Peace Works, and political chair of the Clark Black Student Union. She says: “I’m interested in going especially because I’ve worked with women refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo.”

Mike Benedetti, 33, is a web designer and member of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was graduated from Caltech with a BS in Physics and is an Eagle Scout.

Brenna Cussen, 27, is a member of the South Bend (Indiana) Catholic Worker. She is originally from Kingston, Massachusetts. She is Director of Communications for the Catholic Peace Fellowship, and Contributing Editor of Sign of Peace. She holds an MA from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University. Brenna travelled to Darfur in December 2004 with the Catholic Worker Peace Team.

Al Guilmette, 63, is retired and lives in Leominster, Massachusetts.

Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, 59, is a member of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker community in Worcester, Massachusetts. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Assumption College. He says: “Since the last time I demonstrated at the embassy the situation has gotten worse, and I need to speak out again.”

Philip Loomis, 18, is a student at Clark University and is from Uxbridge, Massachusetts. He says: “I feel that it is important to mobilize for structural change in Darfur because the government isn’t responding, and somebody needs to give the marginalized a voice. If I do not go down to help create a strong, unified, peaceful message, I will be actively choosing to ignore the problem—as a willing and able human being, that would be unacceptable.”

Sandra McSweeney, 63, is an acupuncturist at the New England School of Acupuncture. She lives in Mendon, Massachusetts, and is originally from South Amboy, New Jersey.

Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, 47, is a founding member of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker community in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is originally from Woonsocket, RI, and has a BA in Religious Studies from the College of the Holy Cross. He travelled to Darfur in December 2004 with the Catholic Worker Peace Team. He says: “I have been to Darfur, and spoken with victims of the ongoing genocide who urged me to protest at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, DC.”

Seth Shames, 27, is an environmental and agricultural researcher who lives in Potomac, Maryland. He holds an MESc from Yale University, and is originally from Columbia, South Carolina. He says: “Besides having a responsibility to do what I can as a citizen of the world to stop this genocide, as a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I am particularly aware of the ability societies have to pretend that genocide isn’t really happening, or that it isn’t really that bad. I will do whatever I can to raise awareness and bring attention to the genocide in Darfur.”

Ryan Smith, 18, is a student at Clark University who teaches English as a Second Language in Worcester, Massachusetts. He says: “I see striking parallels between the world’s reaction to the Rwandan Genocide and the genocide taking place in Darfur. We know the results of the policy of inaction in Rwanda, and that can never happen again. Unfortunately, it is happening a short 10 years later, and this is the least I can do to hopefully effect some kind of change.”

Lia Volat is from Western Massachusetts and a freshman at Clark University. She says: “As a junior and senior in high school, I was on the a Teen Philanthropy Board that helped relocate 20 Sudanese families into the surrounding towns. My interest in the Darfur genocide escalated after I met the families and hung out with the kids my age. Their stories still haunt me and press me to remain active in the Darfur cause. ”

Sponsored by:

  • Catholic Worker communities in Worcester, MA; Washington, DC; South Bend, IN; Hartford, CT; and Albany, NY
  • Amnesty International chapters at Auburn High School (Auburn, MA) and Anna Maria College
  • Clark University groups: Hillel, Black Student Union, Peaceworks, Model United Nations
  • Peace and Social Concerns Comittee of the Worcester Friends
    Meeting
  • Peace Initiative Sri Lanka

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2 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On March 27, 2006 at 11:11 Adam (Southern California) said:

    What’s being planned that involves the potential of getting arrested?

  2. On March 27, 2006 at 13:18 Adam (Southern California) said:

    Oh, duh… I just re-read the first sentence of the post. Good luck.

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