Friday, March 30, 2007


Global Days for Darfur

April 23 – 30, 2007

"Time is Running Out"


  • United Nations Peacekeepers
  • Targeted Divestment from Sudan
  • Fly-free Zone

For the Children

Sunday, March 18, I was the guest speaker at the Channing Unitarian Universalist Memorial Church in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. As well as giving the message on “Justice Sunday” about Darfur to the adults I was asked also to give a special message For the Children before they went off to Sunday School. As an activist in my state for Darfur, I am asked to speak on Darfur, frequently. I always include ways people can be informed, stand up and speak up to stop the Darfur genocide while giving hand-outs with all the contact information for elected politicians to ask them to be act in ways that will stop this four year old genocide. I include contact information also for the United Nations Secretary General, which is currently Ban ki-Moon and the President of the United States of America, President George Bush.
The Honorable Ban ki-Moon
United Nations
Room 3800
New York, NY 10017, USA
Website: www.un.org
President George Bush
email: president@whitehouse.gov
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC. 20500, USA
These people who have voluntarily taken on the role as leader need to be held accountable.

Do you think President Bush is acting honorably and living with truth as his guide.

I don’t.

Freedom of Speech means
if you don’t exercise it.


“…So many questions haunting us
So many doubts attacked our love
Dangerous thoughts of what could go wrong
Against the odds, we must carry on
We must be strong and fearless
We must be fearless

…For for so long I was afraid
To step from the shadows of my mistakes
You….have given me the courage I need
Together I know, nothing can stop you and me
If we are fearless
We MUST be fearless

…We must stand in the light,
willing to fight
Whatever may come between us and be fearless
We must be fearless.”
From the song “Fearless”

My Call to Worship:

I invite you to enter this space just as you are

Opening up your spirit to hear the quiet voice inside

Calling you to be human in the most human of ways

The Beauty, Wonder and Radiance of our personal humanity is when we show we are fully alive.

God is not with us as an invisible person dwelling in us … but with us as the life that we share with others.

Our lives endure and reach out over the universe.

Casting our love out - involving ourselves in the world’s purposes
The following is a summary of my presentation For the Children on Darfur after which the congregation of 130 in attendance surprised me with applause.
Fingers in the Sand

I’m going to do something and I would like to ask you to do the EXACT Same thing back to me.

I clapped and made vocal sounds in rhythms and the children echoed me.

“You are being my echo”

Could you now echo my drum with your clapping?

Then feeling the whole congregation might be wanting to join in the rhythm response, all were asked to echo the final rhythm on the drum.

Then my talk For the Children began about Darfur.

This drum is a djembe drum that is from Africa

I have a question for you to think about

Can you imagine that you have been given paper and markers
to make me a picture about your life …

I wonder what your picture would look like…

Have you thought about it?

Can you use words to describe your picture?

Who is in your picture? Are you in it? Who else?....
RECENTLY I was watching a British news report about children just your size

They live on Continent of Africa in a place called Darfur
They also were given paper and crayons
And drew pictures about their lives.

The drew scary and sad things because that is what has been happening in their lives

…planes dropping bombs,

…houses set on fire
…men on horses shooting people

They ran because
It wasn’t safe to stay

Now they live in the middle of nowhere

And they want to go back home and to live normal lives

When I saw them on the British TV report, the children were having school
sitting on the ground, which is sand

on the sand they were writing with their fingers in the sand

That is why I called this story “Fingers in the Sand”.

It is important for us to know about other children and to care about their lives

We are all human beings
who need to be loved and know someone cares for us

Maybe you could draw a loving and caring picture while thinking of the Darfur children on the continent of Africa

Now I’m going to do Drumbeats for the children of Darfur
and while I do I would like to ask you to walk to your RE classes with your teachers
Thank you for being such good participants.

The song "The Impossible Dream"
from MAN OF LA MANCHA (1972)
music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion
Richard Kiley's original.
Based on the book Don Quixote De La Mancha

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
My Benediction - Blessing

I invite you to leave this space just as you are
Carrying others’ hearts in your heart
And answering the call to be human in the most human of ways
Being the change you want to see
Going out into the world with the experience of love, wonder and participation in goodness.
Lifting up humanity
*For when you make the world better in one way, it makes it better in all ways.

* Spoken by Rev John Ramsey in the “Amazing Grace” movie

APRIL 23 – 30, 2007
Find An Event In Your Area
Do Something to Use Your Freedom of Speech To Stand Up and Stand Out Against Genocide
Don’t Be Complicit
Don’t Choose Silence
Don’t Choose Apathy
Don’t Choose Ignorance
Be Proactive
Be Alive
Be Aware
Be Present
Do Something To Tell Your Leaders To Lead In This Human Disaster of Genocide
If Not You, Then Who?
The Genocide is FourYears Old
The Holocaust Went On For Twelve Years
…Before We the People’s Government Did Something Right
…Does That Mean We Are Going to Wait Eight More Years Until We Decide Darfuri Families
Have Suffered Enough On Our Watch?!


• http://www.Savedarfur.org

• http://www.ajws.org/

• www.sudandivestment.org/

• http://www.genocideintervention.net/

• http://www.standnow.org/



This is the story of the American Capt. Brian Steidle.

Although some of his editorial comments may be personal opinion, surely the pictures and description of the attacks and acts of genocide are self-evident as genocide.

Part II


Part II



There is an excellent film, “Darfur Diaries – Message from Home”, that can be purchased on DVD by three film producers. The film can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com
and there is a website to give much information on the film at
There is a companion book, “Darfur Diaries – Stories of Survival

Last Sunday, March 25, 2007, I met one of the three producers and authors, Jen Marlowe, at our screening of the film at the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, Rhode Island, where we had an excellent turn out. I had been emailing Jen for a year, so it was good to finally meet her face to face. I have pictures of the event, but haven’t downloaded them yet. The Newport Daily News interviewed Jen Marlowe, Dr. Peter Liotta of Salve Regina University and who is the executive director of the International Relations and Public Policy at the Pell Center and me, Sandra Hammel. Dr. Liotta spoke at the beginning of the discussion, which was led by Jen Marlowe and prior to the screening of the movie that she filmed in Darfur in 2004 – by thanking people – then at the end of his introduction, he stated that he wanted to thank a very special person, that he met last year when Romeo Dallaire spoke at the Pell Center. I was sitting in the fourth row at the edge of my seat listening and wondering who he was talking about. He talked about this person as being an activist about Darfur and instrumental in the evening’s event. Then he said, “I would like to thank Sandra Hammel.” I was so surprised to hear my name.

After the book signing and taking of pictures of the three of us and video – I thanked Dr. Liotta for mentioning me – and he said “Oh, yes – I saved your name for last because you were so special to this – it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you.” I asked him if I could call him Peter – and he waved his hand and said – “of course”.

I attended another Pell Center event this evening and Peter told the audience that he still was shaken by the event at the Jane Pickens Theatre Sunday night and that he hadn’t been able to sleep Sunday night. Dr. Liotta lectures in Rome every 6 months. He has been in international relations work a long time and travels around the world in relation to his work. He brought Pulitzer Prize Winning author, Samantha Power to the Pell Center last spring. And Prudence Bushnell (you might remember from 1994, when she was saying what was happening in Rwanda was "acts of genocide." Then one of the reporters followed her comment up with the question: "How many acts of genocide does it take to make it genocide". She was rendered speechless at that.

It takes so little to make a difference for the good in this world. But so little do it. Try to see the movie “Darfur Diaries” and do get involved in the moral cause of the prevention and intervention of genocide.

Here, in Rhode Island the 2nd of two bills is moving through legislation to divest Rhode Island Pension Funds from Sudanese Companies that virtually fund the genocide. I spoke of this in a previous post. Here is a video’s link and embedding about that:


Targeted divestment is an act that any citizen or organization can do to make sure that you are not funding the Sudanese’ government’s genocide. We don’t need to wait for our government to do this one critically important thing to help stop the genocide. We can sidestep our leaders’ complicity and be our own champion in this cause for humanity.


One person can make a difference.
Ask your state, organization, or university to divest from Sudan.
Music:”Don't You Cry” by Kamelot

"Examples of divestment for social reasons have included:
the withdrawal of firms from South Africa during the 1980s due to Apartheid
the recent selling/commitment to nonpurchase of assets implicated in funding the government of Sudan, in acknowledgement of acts of genocide perpetrated in the Darfur conflict. This divestment has taken place both at the state level several states and twenty more states have legislation moving through their houses, while many American Universities, notably Harvard University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Amherst College, Yale University, Brown University, the University of California, the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, and American University. The Sudan Divestment Task Force has organized a nationwide group which advocates a targeted divestment policy, to minimize any negative effects on Sudanese civilians while still placing financial pressure on the government."

Learn what you can do by visiting the website.
Information just above is taken from

Here is a video’s link and embedding about Darfur’s situation:


This picture is from Rwanda - One of the other genocides we did nothing about.


I hope this post actually gives a "comment" option at the end of this post. Three of previous posts haven't. And I hope that the links above are enabled as links and don't need to copied and pasted in the window to get to the sites. Sometimes this works out this way for me and sometimes it doesn't. Here's hoping.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Freedom Has No Meaning When We Don’t Stand Up

When One is Born
One Has A Reason
To Become Human

And Serve Others



One Has Freedom
One Has THE Responsibility
To Use THAT Freedom
To Speak For Those That Don’t

Ziggy Marley & Gipsy Kings One love

There Is A Genocide Going On

And the Whole World Isn’t Even Watching

Isn’t Even Reporting

The Leaders of Our Countries Don’t Care Enough

To Give It Their Attention and Concern

. . . Good Thing It Isn’t Us

“We don’t have to wait for some great politician to be our champion.

We ARE the Champion we’ve been waiting for.

Let us Stop Waiting for Someone Else to Make the Difference

Let us STOP “Waiting for the World to Change”.

Get Inspired



Global Days for Darfur
April 23 – 30, 2007
Plan an Event in your City

If Our Leaders Won't Lead...
Then You & I Must Lead

We Must
Take a Stand
That Counts


…It’s freedom of speech – as long as you don’t say too much

You can’t stop running water
You can’t kill the fire that burns inside
Don’t deny our flesh and blood
And don’t forsake our sons and daughters

You cant’ stop running water
You can’t kill the fire that burns inside
Don’t deny our flesh and blood
And don’t forsake our sons and daughters

From the song “Sons and Daughters”

Sade sings "Why Can't We Live Together"


Genocide is the mass killing of a group of people as defined by Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Dachau Concentration Camp

By Philip Greenspun

"Arbeit Macht Frei" on gate into Dachau concentration camp

Dachau was Germany's first concentration camp, started in March 22, 1933, 74 years ago because the prisons were overflowing with people the government didn't like. Twelve years passed before the holocaust was stopped by civilized governments.

Inmates in Dachau line up. This photograph was on the cover of the Munchen Illustierte Press edition on July 16, 1933.

Photo credit: USHMM Photo Arhives

They didn't have enough money to just build more prisons, so the Nazis built work camps like Dachau. Dachau is distinctive because it was here that SS personnel (Eichmann, Hess) trained for work in newer camps such as Auschwitz. Pastor Martin Niemöller, who initially supported the Nazis, ended up here in 1938, whereupon he famously noted that:

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,

habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,

habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,

habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,

habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr,

der protestieren konnte.

-- Der Weg ins Freie, Martin Niemöller (F.M. Hellbach, Stuttgart, 1946)

A prisoner in Dachau forced to stand without moving for hours as a punishment.

Translation of above:

When the Nazis arrested the Communists,

I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist.

When they locked up the Social Democrats,

I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat.

When they arrested the trade unionists,

I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist.

When they arrested the Jews,

I said nothing; after all, I was not a Jew.

When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest.

Chart of prisoner markings from Dachau concentration camp.

Photo credit: KZ Gedenkstatte Dachau, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives

If you're so inclined, it is possible to live in a brand-new condo built just a few meters from the walls and barbed wire of the Dachau Concentration Camp.

The camp would literally be your back yard. You could tell visitors "Keep an eye on the enormously tall sign for the McDonald's restaurant. Turn left at the Arbeit Macht Frei gate. If you come to the Krematorium or the blood trench where the Soviet POWs were shot, you've gone too far."

A prisoner in a special chamber responds to changing air pressure during high-altitude experiments. For the benefit of the Luftwaffe, conditions simulating those found at 15,000 meters in altitude were created in an effort to determine if German pilots might survive at that height.

Photo credit: German National Archives

The medieval town of Dachau is now a suburb of Munich and the S-Bahn will whisk you there in a few minutes. At 170 kph, a cab driver can simply follow the signs to Stuttgart and then turned off at the Dachau exit. As one approaches the town of Dachau, there are signs directing to the camp (a huge McDonald's sign is also a good landmark).

Dachau inmates gathered outside and on the roof tops of a camp building to hear a speech by Hitler.

Photo credit: KZ Gedenkstatte Dachau

Dachau, 1933 - 1945, will stand for all time as one of history's most gruesome symbols of inhumanity. There U.S. troops found sights, sounds and stenches beyond belief, cruelties so enormous as to be incomprehensible to the normal mind. Dachau and death were synonymous.” William W. Quinn, 7th US Army.

More pictures at



We are all Nazis
We are all killers of Tutsis

We are all killers of Darfuri

Because we are all tools used by the genocidaires

We all speak so strongly with our silence

It is time to be human

as we are called to be
by virtue of being born

Save yourself by saving others,

Save the human race from the crime against itself

Genocide is not only a word,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .it is crying of the whole human race.

There is nothing redeeming about being silent.
when another brother or sister is killed
while silence is our choice.

Sandra Hammel, aka ilovemylife
Dachau's Two Ovens for Humans to Die In
I walked in this room, November 22, 2005

Never Again

In Darfur



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil




to do




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The movie Amazing Grace is the first film I have seen with Ioan Gruffudd in it. I first became introduced to Ioan Gruffudd through my interest in Matthew Rhys, who plays Kevin Walker on my favorite TV show, Brothers and Sisters. Ioan and Matthew both grew up in the capital of Wales, Cardiff and knew each other in childhood. They both attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, as well as owning a home together at one time for ten years.

Currently, Ioan is starring as William Wilberforce in the inspirational film, Amazing Grace. April 6, he can be seen in the movie, The TV Set.

Here are select photos which were downloaded from www.ioanonline.com which is great source for Ioan Gruffudd admirers.

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