31 July 2007

a response: here's some straight talk on darfur...

on sunday i blogged about the issue of compassion fatigue and, well, joined others in calling for a very specific action to turn 2 nasty human rights violators over to the international criminal court (ahmad harun and ali kushayb)...

i received a letter, a parallel response if you will, from meredith larsen, campaign manager on the campaign to save darfur of amnesty international usa, that's pretty stirring and i wanted to share it with you...let me know what you think, k'?

peace out <3

Dear Randy,

I'm often asked whether I have hope for Darfur. And my response is a resounding yes.

Working to end the violence in Darfur has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. The consequences of setbacks have been great. And every step forward has been hard-won.

But it's clear to me that because of the unwavering support of activists like you, we have experienced some success. And we’ll continue our bold initiatives until the violence has ended.

Here's what we've been able to accomplish with your help:

Already in 2007, Amnesty has sent two teams of investigators to the region. Armed with their reporting, we have pressed all parties to the conflict to end the violence and allow full humanitarian aid for all those displaced or otherwise affected.

And, to add to our ground missions, we now have an eye in the sky. Amnesty currently monitors twelve vulnerable villages, using the power of high-resolution satellite imagery. We have made it clear to the government of Sudan – the world is watching and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions. Help us keep watch at www.eyesondarfur.org.

We’ve also launched Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur, which has leveraged the power of John Lennon's music recorded by some of the world's best-known artists to help mobilize millions to learn more and urge our own leaders to take action.

And while we continue to press the allies of the Sudanese government to encourage Khartoum to fully open its doors to the UN, we are also urging President Bush, Congress, and other world leaders to keep their promises and actively work to bring peace to Darfur.

For example, we recently turned our attention to President Hu and the Chinese government. As the largest single foreign investor in Sudan, China has unparalleled access to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. In March, Amnesty staff met with Chinese diplomats in Washington and staged rallies at the Chinese embassy and Chinese consulates from coast to coast – urging China to use its influence to encourage the deployment of UN troops in Darfur. And we’re making progress - China recently appointed a special envoy to Darfur, and has more and more consistently issued public statements supporting the UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur.

While we are making great strides, we must still remember that this deadly conflict continues to unfold, claiming lives nearly every day.

Four years ago, Amnesty was one of the first organizations to report on the impending crisis in Darfur. And today, our commitment to protecting human rights in Darfur is stronger than ever.

Today you can play a role by signing the global petition to end the violence in Darfur.

While the fight for peace and human rights continues in Darfur, please visit us often at http://www.instantkarma.org/.

Thank you for your continued action and support.


Meredith Larson
Campaign Manager
Amnesty International USA
Campaign to Save Darfur

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