Two weeks ago, April 30th I took my first trip to Washington DC. I didn't go there to sightsee, but to participate in democracy and protest/rally. Rob and I joined people from ours and other local synagogues rallying on the mall in fromt of the capital to Save Darfur.
Where's Darfur? SO many people have asked me that. I didn't know myself until a few months ago when Rob told me about it. It's a complicated political history of the conflict but basically it's a region in the Sudan where people are being killed, women and children raped and taken from their homes, villages burned, people killed for no reason whatsoever... It's basically a genocide that's going on while the government allows it and the rest of the world ignores it.
After the Holocaust we siad never again. But then Bosnia Happened. And Rwanda Happened. And now Darfur. Hundreds of thousands killed for absolutely no reason except that they exist. Never again has turned into again and again and again. When will never again mean never again? So we joined about 75,000 people in Washington to rally against this tragedy. To make the government aware that something has to be done to help stop the murder and starvation of thousands of people.
President Bush wrote on the margins of a report on Rwanda "Not On My Watch" Well, it's your watch. Let's do something instead of ignoring it. Let's save lives instead of harmong them.
It was an amazing experience. A LONG day, but amazing to be with thousands of people all there to support the effort to rid genocide from the world. The practicalities of it were about what I expected. Standing on the mall with thousands of people listening to different people give different speeches saying the same thing for 3 hours. But in a sense it was so much more, jsut being there and feeling like you were a part of something, that you're trying to help in whatever small way you can...
A lot of people gave great speeches. Elie Weisel, Barak Obama, Al Sharpton, Ruth Messinger, and leaders of many other religious and cultural organizations from across the spectrum. it was really great. Unfortunately we had to leave to get our bus back to CT befor it was over, it ran late, and I missed hearing George Clooney. But it was worth going and a really great day.
I can't give a ton of information right now and I want to post some pictures but until I can here are some websites you can go to to learn about the rally and the effort. You can send a postcard to our President, and letters to your reprisentatives in Congress. We need to stop genocide. Help make Never again MEAN NEVER AGAIN!
ABC News Article of Rally
Photo album to ABC News Article of Rally
NBC News Article of Rally
NY Times Article of Rally