Sunday, July 18, 2010

DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA - another multi-signature letter to plead for accountability of his words

Genocide Arrest Warrant for Bashir

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a second warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for three counts of genocide. When the first ICC warrant for al-Bashir's arrest on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes was issued last year, the Khartoum regime's retaliation put millions of civilians at risk. Take action today to prevent new retaliation, protect Darfuri civilians and support justice for Darfur.

Spirited Rally At The White House

July 14th, 2010 by David Tannenbaum

Dark ominous clouds hung over Lafayette Square. The winds that travel through the sky brought rain, light but persistent rain. The winds carried with them something more invigorating as well. “STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR”, “al-BASHIR TO THE ICC”, and “JUSTICE FOR SUDAN” were just some of the spirited chants that echoed across the plaza. Members from Sudanese Voices for Freedom, The Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee of America, Africa Action, Save Darfur, and other organizations gathered in support of the ICC’s most recent arrest warrant against Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir.

Rally at the White House

Picture taken by Mark Lotwis at rally in front of the White House on July 14, 2010.

The rally participants also called on President Obama to fulfill his campaign promises to the people of Darfur. Rain, humidity, and even the occasional water-soaked sign could not dissuade this devoted assembly from having their voices heard. And heard they were, al Jazeera interviewed a few spirited supporters as did a reporter for NPR. Tourists and visitors in the area witnessed a classic spectacle of activist speaking their minds, and many were moved to sign Save Darfur petitions. With the stroke of a pen, ordinary people from Springfield Massachusetts, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and even Ghana committed their support to the people of Darfur. Small in number, but large in determination, the spirited rally of grassroots activists on a hot, muggy, and rainy Wednesday afternoon is a testament to the fortitude that these groups posses.

Honor these hard workers: Send a message to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton TODAY. Every message matters, every message is needed. ACT NOW!


Sign-on Letter to President Obama
to Support Arrest Warrants and Ensure Civilian Protection

14 July 2010

President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

On Monday, July 12th, 2010 the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber 1 judges issued a second arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir after determining that there are reasonable grounds to believe he is responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur. As faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations working together to bring peace and justice to Darfur and all Sudan, we welcome this new arrest warrant and urge you to lead the international community in pursuing justice for the people of Darfur in parallel with efforts to achieve peace and security for all Sudanese.

It is urgently necessary for your administration to send a clear signal to the Government of Sudan that any acts that threaten civilians, Sudanese human rights activists, aid workers or peacekeepers in Darfur will not be tolerated. After the first ICC warrant was issued for al-Bashir’s arrest in March 2009, Khartoum expelled over a dozen international aid groups and disbanded three Sudanese aid organizations, forcing an emergency response from the United Nations and international community to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. Despite these efforts, many humanitarian programs, including aid for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, have not been restored over the last sixteen months. Vigilant monitoring and action by your administration and other world leaders is necessary to prevent compounding this tragedy. Such vigilance is particularly critical given that this arrest warrant comes in the midst of a spike in violence in Darfur and a government crackdown on human rights and political freedoms in Sudan in the wake of seriously flawed elections this past April.

The United States government should also publicly reaffirm its support for the ICC’s pursuit of justice in Darfur. As a leader in the international community and a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), which referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005, the United States has a vital role in ensuring justice and accountability for the gravest crimes committed against civilians. Your administration should work together with the UNSC and ICC member states to ensure the swift enforcement of this and all ICC arrest warrants for those accused of atrocities in Darfur.

Finally, the United States must intensify its diplomatic efforts to negotiate a just agreement that addresses the root causes of the conflict in Darfur and to press for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in its last stages. Toward these ends and to prevent a return to broader conflict in Sudan, your administration should put into action the promised consequences and pressures for the lack of measurable progress and continued backsliding on key benchmarks by the Government of Sudan and other Sudanese actors. During this volatile period in Sudan, it is imperative that the ICC warrants are not manipulated by the Government of Sudan to disrupt or distract from the fragile Darfur peace process or preparations for the upcoming referendum on southern secession.

In light of the challenges currently faced by the Sudanese people, justice and accountability remain critical components of a comprehensive and lasting solution to the crisis in Darfur. As advocates, we thank you for the leadership you have shown pushing for peace in Darfur and supporting the International Criminal Court’s pursuit of justice. In this historic moment – a milestone in the pursuit of international justice and a pivotal step for the people of Sudan – strong leadership by the United States is of utmost importance. We urge your administration to seize this opportunity to lead the international community in working for a just resolution to the conflict in Darfur and lasting peace for all Sudanese.


Gerald LeMelle

Executive Director
Africa Action

David Harris

Executive Director

American Jewish Committee

Ruth W. Messinger


American Jewish World Service

Nikki Serapio


Americans Against the Darfur Genocide

Larry Cox
Executive Director

Amnesty International USA

Barbara Thomas


Annapolis Friends Meeting (Religious Society of Friends)

Abraham H. Foxman

National Director

Anti-Defamation League

Bryan Ardouny

Executive Director

Armenian Assembly of America

Aram Suren Hamparian

Executive Director

Armenian National Committee of America

Daniel S. Mariaschin

Executive Vice President

B'nai B'rith International

Corey Dragge

Founder/Carl Wilkens Fellow

Champion Darfur

Sara Caine Kornfeld

Project Founder/Educator

"Change the world. It just takes cents"

Don Kraus

Chief Executive Officer

Citizens for Global Solution

Judy Lackritz

Community Relations Director

Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio

The Rev. Timothy Oslovich

Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur

Daowd Salih & Mohamed Yahya

Co-Founder and Board President & Executive Director

Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy

Doreen Romney


Darfur and Beyond

Mahmoud A. M. Braima


Darfur Association in the United States

Bakheit A. Shata
Founder/Executive Director
Darfur Community Organization

Richard Young and Martha Boshnick


Darfur Interfaith Network

Motasim Adam


Darfur People’s Association of New York

Abdelbagi Jibril
Executive Director
Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

Amal Allagabo

General Secretary

Darfuri Women Action Group

Gerri Miller

Founder and Coordinator

Dear Sudan, Love Marin

John Norris

Executive Director


Mohammed Ahmed Eisa

Fur Solidarity

Mark Hanis


Genocide Intervention Network

Marv Steinberg


Genocide No More – Save Darfur

Robert Goodis

The Goodis Center for Research and Reform, LLC

A.J. Fay
Idaho Darfur Coalition

Mayurika Poddar

India Foundation Inc.

Helen Fein

Board Chair

Institute for the Study of Genocide

Shrikumar Poddar

International Service Society

Eric Cohen


Investors Against Genocide

Rabbi Steve Gutow


Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Tzivia Schwartz Getzug

Executive Director

Jewish World Watch

Eileen Weiss


Jews Against Genocide

Bob Brousseau, Dr. Dave Robinson & Phil Nippert

Founder & Co-Chairs

Kentuckiana Interfaith Taskforce On Darfur

Julia A. Hays

Keokuk for Darfur

Nancy Walsh


Long Island Darfur Action Group

Rev. David Emmanuel Goatley

Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Lott Carey

William Rosenfeld


Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur

Marc Furmanski


Miami Help Darfur Now

Timothy P. Page, M.D.


Michigan Darfur Coalition

Gloria White-Hammond


My Sister’s Keeper

Tony Kireopoulos

Associate General Secretary, Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations

National Council of Churches, USA

Lauren Fortgang


Never Again Coalition

Sharon Silber


New York City Coalition for Darfur

Helga Moor


New York Darfur Vigil Group

Tanya L. Simon


North Jersey Coalition for Darfur

Mark Christopher Hackett

Founder, President

Operation Broken Silence

David Rosenberg

Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition

Rabbi Gilah Dror, President

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President

Rabbi Jack L. Moline, Director of Public Policy

Rabbinical Assembly

Michael Pertnoy

Righteous Pictures

Barry Hubbard


San Antonio Interfaith Darfur Coalition

Mohamed Suleiman


San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition

Mike Edington & Bill Schulz

Board Members

Save Darfur Coalition

Rev. Jennifer Hope Kottler

Director of Policy and Advocacy


Gabriel Stauring


Stop Genocide Now

Susan Smylie


Texans Against Genocide

Union for Reform Judaism

A. Edward Elmendorf

President and CEO

United Nations Association of the USA

James E. Winkler

General Secretary

General Board of Church and Society

United Methodist Church

Sandra Hammel
Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide Rhode Island

Roberta Roos

Member, Coordinating Committee

Westchester Darfur Coalition

Yale University STAND

Cc: Secretary Clinton


Our humanity in the balance


Have You Ever?

Have you ever had a part of a song's lyrics in your head and you couldn't remember the song that they are from? Well, this has happened to me. For months now....the lyrics go like this "how sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care". And I can't figure out the song.* While searching for the song I came across this song:

Rhymes and Reasons by John Denver



Uploaded by chiphead12

So you speak to me of sadness and the coming of the winter
Fear that is within you now that seems to never end
And the dreams that have escaped you
And the hope that you've forgotten
And you tell me that you need me now
And you want to be my friend
And you wonder where we're going,
Where's the rhyme and where's the reason,
And it's you cannot accept it is here we must begin
To seek the wisdom of the children
And the graceful way of flowers in the wind

For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day
Like the music of the mountains and the colors of the rainbow
They're a promise of the future and a blessing for today.

Though the cities start to crumble and the towers fall around us
The sun is slowly fading and it's colder than the sea
It is written from the desert to the mountains they shall lead us
By the hand and by the heart they will comfort you and me
In their innocence and trusting they will teach us to be free

For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day
And the song that I am singing is a prayer to non-believers
Come and stand beside us, we can find a better way

* I found it! I put it in my next post - a post all its own...

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