Darfur Fast in D.C.–Day 4

Today was the last day of our four-day fast and vigil at the Sudanese Embassy.

Everyone was in good spirits. It was hot and humid. I got a little dehydrated since I didn’t really feel like drinking water.

Ice Tom Lewis tried to take a break in the lounge at the Hilton, and was approached by security. So Scott and Ken went down there. They buttered up the concierge, explained about our vigil, and relaxed in the lounge while a Hilton employee went upstairs to fill their shopping bag with ice.

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Darfur Fast in DC–Day 3

Today we did some light yard work at the Embassy of Sudan.

Overnight, an Embassy staffer had tried to add a couple of timbers to the sharply-sloping front lawn to deal with erosion, but they didn’t go in well, and the sidewalk was littered with one timber and a lot of dirt. With the Embassy staffer and the Italian gardener leading the project, the demonstrators helped smash concrete, cut back vines, dig, level the ground, move timbers, pound rebar through them, and sweep up afterwards.

Scott & Mr. Bashara move a timber
Demonstrator Scott Schaeffer-Duffy and Embassy staffer Mr. Bashara move a timber.

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Darfur Fast in D.C.–Day 2

Well, the Embassy went ahead and welcomed visitors to sign a condolences book for late Vice President John Garang. Their consular offices remained closed.

We met a lot of interesting people. Visitors ranged from dignitaries in suits arriving in cars with diplomatic plates, to guys in street clothes arriving on foot.

The first visitor of the day was an older woman who showed up early and waited for the Embassy to open. She had been a college classmate of Garang (who went to Grinnell and Iowa State).

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz came up to demonstrator Ken Hannaford-Ricardi and asked, “Is it OK if I go in there?” Ken said, “Of course.” Wolfowitz said, referring to the Darfur issue, “I’m with you on this one.” Ken said, “OK–but who are you?” Leave it to Ken.

Ken and Paul
Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, an opponent of America’s Iraq policy as part of Voices in the Wilderness, talks with Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of America’s Iraq policy as part of the Department of Defense.

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Darfur Fast in South Bend–Day 1

The fast in South Bend is also going quite well. There was a wonderful article about it on the front page of the “Local” section on Sunday. So many people read it and now know about the divestment campaign. The local TV station (WSBTV) also gave us 1.5 minutes on the evening news. Amanda Hart was a thorough journalist and she stayed with us to get footage for a full hour.

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Darfur Fast in D.C.–Day 1

The Sudanese Embassy said they would call off plans for a commemorative event for late Vice President John Garang, and closed their consular office for two days, after our group refused to interrupt our 4-day fast and vigil for an end to genocide in Darfur.

Embassy staffer lowers flag to half-mast
Embassy staffer lowers flag to half-mast.
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Fasting for Darfur

Women in Dereig camp A group of Catholic Workers will be fasting August 1-4 and vigiling each day from 9 am-5 pm at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C., and in South Bend, Indiana, for an end to genocide in .

All are welcome to join the vigil at any time for any length of time regardless of whether or not they are fasting with the core group. The embassy is at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Washington, DC event, please contact Scott Schaeffer-Duffy at 508.753.3588 or pieandcoffee@gmail.com.

For more information on the South Bend, Indiana event, please contact Brenna Cussen at 781.588.4216 or brennacussen@yahoo.com .

Two of the participants, Scott and Brenna, visited Darfur in December of 2004.