New Englanders march for an end to Darfur genocide

posted by Mike on May 21st, 2008

img_0033Ten New Englanders travelled to Washington, DC for a march yesterday against China’s support for the government of Sudan’s genocidal practices in the Darfur region.

The group included one person who had been to Darfur and four who had been arrested for protesting the violence in Darfur with nonviolent civil disobedience.

The day before this march, Human Rights Watch issued a press release saying, “Darfur: ‘Scorched Earth’ Tactics Warrant UN Sanctions.”

The march began at the Chinese Embassy’s “Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office,” which seemed to be in some sort of mall/office complex. We handed out a few fliers and had many honks of support from cars driving by.

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From here we marched a couple miles to the Sudanese Embassy. This has been the focus of previous demonstrations, and brought back fond memories for several of the marchers. You may recall that a few years back, during a 4-day fast at the embassy, some of us even helped with landscaping. I was proud to note that the yard is finally coming together. We were happy to see both Mr. Bashara and the Italian landscaper were there. Demonstrator Scott Schaeffer-Duffy went onto the embassy grounds to chat with them.

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From there we marched to the main Chinese Embassy, where they were holding a day of mourning for the earthquake victims. We’ve had similarly unfortunate timing in the past; for example, our four-day fast at the Sudanese Embassy coincided with a day of mourning for Sudanese Vice President John Garang.

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One Chinese man objected strongly to our presence. The police moved us to the official demonstration area, where we joined people demonstrating in favor of Falun Gong and North Korean refugees in China.

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Our flyer included words of condolences for the earthquake, but since we had no access to people visiting the embassy, we had no way of expressing our full message. Two of the demonstrators flipped their signs around and wrote “We Mourn The Earthquake Victims” on them.

We mourn the earthquake victims

Reportedly President Bush visited the Chinese Embassy that day, but not during the time we were there.

This visit to the embassies was less powerful than our previous visits, which included either nonviolent civil disobedience or fasting. Still, I was glad I went, because with the current pressure on China over all sorts of human rights issues, my voice isn’t quiet and unheard but part of a worldwide chorus.

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One Comment Leave a comment.

  1. On May 27, 2008 at 13:05 SjP said:

    As part of the Am I Not Human? campaign, the 27th of each month will be dedicated to providing the necessary tools in an effort to bring to the forefront the atrocities that continue to occur at the hands of the Chinese government in Darfur and Tibet.

    I invite you to read my May, 2008 Am I Not Human post entitled “am i not human? wanted ahmad haran & ali kushayb for crimes against humanity”

    http://sojournersplace.blogspot.com/2008/05/am-i-not-human-wanted-ahmad-haran-ali.html

    SjP

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