Thursday, September 13, 2007



China has themselves in the position of vulnerability. The 8-8-08 Beijing, China Olympics is a platform being used for more than one human rights focus group to ask China to do right or have unwanted attention. And since the Darfur activist groups have had some response from the Chinese government by their Torch Relay idea, another group is taking the Torch idea for shining a light on human rights abuses within China.

Human Rights Torch Relay Begins in Athens

This Torch Relay is by a
different organization than the one that I am leading a Torch Relay for in Providence, Rhode Island for October 27, 2007. Ours is with a coalition of partners from http://www.savedarfur.org/content, http://www.dreamfordarfur.org/content, http://www.standnow.org/ We are not asking for a boycott of the Olympics. But the group in the above video is asking for a boycott to bring attention to human rights abuses in China.

The China consulate requested a meeting with the Dream for Darfur's Jill Savitt because of the Torch Relays that we are planning not only across the United States, but in countries such as (on the border of) Darfur, Sudan, Kigali, Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia, Germany, Cambodia and China. We are linking the Darfur genocide to China. We feel China has a responsibility to stop selling weapons to Sudan and use their leverage with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow the hybrid force of United Nations and African Union Peacekeepers on the ground in Darfur.

The following is taken from
On September 9, 2007, genocide survivors, Darfur advocates launched a symbolic Olympic torch relay in New York City.

Genocide survivors from Darfur, Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda joined Darfur advocates to launched the Olympic Dream for Darfur symbolic U.S. Torch Relay in New York on September 9, 2007. In a powerful ceremony, survivors shared their experiences and called on the international community to take action to end the genocide in Darfur. Director of Dream for Darfur Jill Savitt, Daoud Hari, a Darfuri survivor, and Olympic Medalist Amber Stachowski then lit the torch. Dream for Darfur, the Save Darfur Coalition, and STAND co-hosted the event.

Find a Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay near you:

Ben Prochazka (Save Darfur Coalition), Jill Savitt (Dream for Darfur), Daoud Hari (Darfuri survivor), and Amber Stachowski (Olympic Medalist) gather before lighting the torch

Darfuri survivors carry the torch to survivors of the Rwandan genocide

Genocide survivors and Joe Madison (MC and radio host) gather with the lit torch

Activists at the ceremony

Genocide survivors and Darfur advocates walk to the Chinese Mission with the torch


September 9, 2007

Genocide survivors, Darfur advocates launch symbolic Olympic torch relay in New York

Speakers, activists urge China to bring the Olympic Dream to Darfur

NEW YORK – Genocide survivors from Darfur, Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda today joined Darfur advocates to launch the Olympic Dream for Darfur symbolic Torch Relay. The torch relay will travel through more than 20 U.S. states to raise awareness about the atrocities in Darfur and to urge China, as the next Olympic host, to use its influence to end the ongoing suffering.

The torch was passed between the survivors from Darfur, Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda in Dag Hammerskjold Plaza – across the street from the Sudanese Mission to the United Nations. The torch was then carried to the Chinese Mission to the United Nations for a candle lighting ceremony.

“If the 2008 Summer Olympics mark China’s ascension as a world power, they must assume the responsibility that comes with such a position,” said Mia Farrow, an actor and prominent Darfur activist. “Instead of continuing to bankroll the genocidal regime in Khartoum, China should focus its efforts on brining the Olympic motto – One World, One Dream – to Darfur.”

The US torch relay has been organized in solidarity with an international relay that is traveling through countries historically associated with genocide. The international relay has already visited the Chad/Darfur border region and Rwanda.

Host cities across the country have chosen symbolic routes for the torch relay – many of which pass by memorials for past genocides and other crimes against humanity or locations that have a significant tie to China.

The Olympic Dream for Darfur Torch Relay aims to urge China – as host of the 2008 Summer Olympics and as Sudan’s chief diplomatic sponsor, major weapons provider, and largest foreign investor and trade partner – to use its unique position to lead the world in bringing an end to the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

Organizers of the torch relay will continue their efforts until there is adequate and verifiable security on the ground in Darfur.

To learn more about the torch relay, please visit www.DreamForDarfur.org.

For more information on the Save Darfur Coalition, please contact Allyn Brooks-LaSure (allyn@savedarfur.org) or Ashley Roberts (ashley@savedarfur.org).


About the Save Darfur Coalition – The Save Darfur Coalition raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. It is an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org. To obtain footage from the Darfur border region, coalition events, various interviews, and more, please visit the Save Darfur Coalition media gallery at http://media.savedarfur.org. All footage may be previewed in non-broadcast quality and may be purchased in broadcast quality by filling out the purchase request form provided on the site.

About Dream for Darfur – Olympic Dream for Darfur is a global advocacy campaign. Our goal is to secure protection for civilians in Darfur. Our strategy is to use the 2008 Olympics to focus attention on the special relationship between Sudan and China. China, host of the next Olympics, is uniquely positioned to exert real and consequential influence to help resolve the crisis in Darfur. For more information, please visit www.DreamForDarfur.org.

About STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition – STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition (www.STANDnow.org) comprises more than 700 high school and college chapters throughout the United States and internationally. STAND mobilizes students to take action to stop and prevent genocide by educating, advocating, and fundraising for civilian protection. STAND is the student division of the Genocide Intervention Network.







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