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Saturday, December 19, 2009

SO I JUST HAD TO POST THIS

I have started work on a book, taken to practicing my piano and singing while getting ready for a performance in January and I have started a large project of digging through a lot of video and pictures to make a Darfur video. So, I have neglected my blog. I have wanted to write here as it brings me pleasure and it has taken discipline not to spend time here. Tonight, as I was also getting back to my free weights I was upstairs on the bench press and in between sets, I was reaching into a shoe box filled with letters from various people from my past. It is part of my research for my book, but it is also just
so
much
fun
to read.

I can't tell you.

And also I scanned 234 pictures tonight of Darfur rallies in Washington, D.C. and New York City's Central Park, but also pictures of childhood, family and just people from my past. That also is fun and brings back so many memories that are rich with emotions and heart-felt affection. As my printer has not been working, I had to go to a store to scan them and only stopped because the store was closing.

Oh, and yesterday, I wrote a letter to the President and copied it to the Vice Presdent Biden, Secretary of State Clinton and U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration. It isn't my best letter, but just felt another letter was needing to be written. It is posted below.

Okay, this is a quick post. I wasn't going to post tonight....it's late and I have to still practice the piano and singing before the typical cookies and milk before getting ready for bed.

But I found this video and had to post it.

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Uploaded by MartinaE26

Support Site for Heath's Final film
www.imaginariumofdrparnassus.com

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Coming Soon to Rhode Island
www.avoncinema.com


Okay, so I love this one too....
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Uploaded by buhtichki


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GENOCIDE IS NOT OKAY

NOT IN THE PAST,

NOT NOW,

NOT IN THE FUTURE

SO . . .

USE YOUR VOICE
TO CALL UPON OUR LEADERS
TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT
ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS VERY WRONG


Rhode Island

December 17, 2009

Genocide Stops With Us





President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500


Dear President Obama,


I write to you about a deeply defining issue. Genocide and our response to it as a moral nation who chooses to live by principles.


I believe what we do, as well as what we don’t do, defines who we are individually and as a nation. As you know, the Darfur genocide has been ongoing since March 2003 – seven years March 2010. And yet what have we and the planet’s people and leaders done to end it with any effective results? I believed you would make the difference in this tragedy, that your heart and leadership would move us toward the healing for the Darfuri people. And I have been disheartened by your lack of active, personal engagement. And regretfully, I must say, thoroughly disappointed in our Special Envoy Gration.


Our being silent is used as a tool in the arsenal of Bashir. And Bashir takes the Bush and, now, the Obama administration’s lack of consistent determination to end the atrocities the same as our being silent. It is license for Bashir and his associates to continue business as usual.


Genocide in our time must be noticed, must be reported by our media, must have the leaders of free nations use their political power to end the Darfur genocide and actually put some meaning to the words “Never Again”. Words we love to use at the languishing end of each genocide that this planet has hosted.


There has been no acceptable genocide. Complicity is not a policy. Complicity comes from a lack of will. It comes from an administration that has lost its moral compass.


It comes from a world too wrapped up in its self-importance to stop and contemplate just what human disaster will we condemn, if not genocide.


Choosing to live in a world where it is okay to murder, torture, rape and starve to death a group of human beings truthfully means we live in a world with a moral vacuum.


Just exactly when is genocide not okay with us? Just exactly which ethnic group of people can genocide be used to rid the earth of them and just exactly which group of people can we turn our backs on - and the definition of genocide fits our values?


A moral nation needs to stand up for what is right and know that genocide flourishes when there is no accountability. Stopping genocide is a choice.


What does it say about us if we choose to allow Darfuri families to live this 7th year of genocide as a way of every day life?


Where there is a will there is always a way. Where there is no will there is never a way. One voice won’t stop a genocide, but that is no excuse to be silent. Our political will regarding Darfur has been underwhelming. Almost all of what is written above is from a speech I gave April 28, 2007 in Newport, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, it is just as true and relevant, today.


I have been a citizen active in the genocide prevention issue since 2004, when I read much about our country’s awful response to the 100 day genocide in Rwanda. I have written letters to my Presidents, lobbied in person repeatedly with my U.S. Senators Chafee, Reed, Whitehouse, Representative Patrick Kennedy, worked for Rhode Island’s divestment, divested my own money, delivered petitions to Fidelity Investment Company in Smithfield, Rhode Island, organized walks for Darfur, given speeches at three rallies, many churches, minister organizations, at my public library, speak to people in stores and on the street about Darfur, spoken up when the easier thing to do is be quiet, organized the Rhode Island Torch Relay and Ceremony at the RI Capital as a part of a global effort, organized other events in Rhode Island as a part of the Global Days for Darfur, such as Quiet Riot for Darfur, Newport Darfur Walk and Gathering, volunteered in Washington, D.C. rally where you, yourself spoke, volunteered at the rally in Central Park in New York City, attended STAND’s conference in Washington, D.C, participated in a conference in D.C. with Save Darfur, STAND, and the Genocide Intervention Network, participate in national conference calls continually, sign petitions to numerous people, including Special Envoy Gration, post consistently on my on own blog, make youtube videos about Darfur, written and had published many letters to the editor, regarding genocide and the lack of media attention to it. These are just some of the things that I personally have done. Without pay.


I believe this issue and our standing by says in a core way who we are, whether we fall on the side of accomplishing nothing to make a change about it or whether we succeed with our efforts and voices.


I receive daily updates about Darfur. Do you? I talk with a Darfuri who lives in the USA because he has seen many of his family members die at the hands of the Sudanese government supported genocide. He has contacts in Darfur and reports daily on his blog. His name is Mohamed Suleiman and he recently responded to my requests of help to make a youtube video, which I am working on currently. One of my questions was what is needed today for the Darfuris and the following is his answer.


DARFUR - WHAT IS NEEDED NOW in 2009


1) Justice now. This is a paramount demand for the Darfuris, a society torn apart by atrocities and genocide.


To date (after 7 years of atrocities) not a single perpetrator is arrested or stood trial in the International Criminal Court.


2) The Government of Sudan is intending to dismantle the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps before the national elections in April 2010 - all under the disguise of the program, Voluntary Return. Leaders in the Darfuris refugee camps are intimidated, detained, and assassinated by the Sudanese Governments' Security Agents, in order to force the IDPs to desert the camps.


3) 2010 Elections in Darfur are not welcomed. This is stated by many leaders of the refugees. They (the refugees and their leaders) believe that elections under the current situation would be a sham only to legitimize the rule of Al-Bashir and his ruling Party, the National Congress Party (NCP).


4) Still the humanitarian aid is not to the level of providing decent living conditions in many refugee camps.


I hope that you will actually receive this letter and take to heart the passion many of us share about ending and preventing genocide.


I have already received three copies of the Darfur response letter that you send to people like me. Now, I would like to see you get personally engaged in this issue.


What will be the Obama administration’s legacy about genocide?


Thank you very much for your attention to this deeply defining issue.


Sincerely yours,


Sandra Hammel


Use Your Voice to Save Darfur Rhode Island


Founder, Director since 2004


CC: Vice President Joseph Biden

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

US Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration


Contact

The Whitehouse

202-456-1111

or

1-800-GENOCIDE

More ways to contact the President:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please include your e-mail address

Phone Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

facebook.com/WhiteHouse

twitter.com/whitehouse

Speak Up

You Have A Voice

standnow.org
www.savedarfur.org

www.henryjacksonsociety.org/stories

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