Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Journalist's View of the Save Darfur Rally (ABC News)

ABC News [For a photo blog of the rally, click here.]

A Journalist's View of the Darfur Rally
By Will Bressman

May 1, 2006 — - Tens of thousands rallied at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Sunday to urge immediate action against the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. In an effort to mobilize action, urge stronger rebukes and policy by President Bush and the United Nations, and inform the world about the unspeakable tragedy, speakers such as Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill..; George and Nick Clooney; and a host of others imparted messages of activism, peace and responsibility to the crowd that gathered from across the nation.

[JW: Speakers also included Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism during the Rwandan genocide was depicted in the movie "Hotel Rwanda"; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick , Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington DC; writer and anti-genocide campaigner Samantha Power; James Zogby, head of the Arab American Institute, whose speech was quite good; and the very problematic Al Sharpton, whose speech was--amazingly enough--also quite good and very effective. Sharpton closed by saying: "We are not anti-Muslim, we are anti-murder. We are not anti-Arab, we are anti-annihilation." That sums it up.]

As a journalist, it was fascinating and inspiring to watch people who traveled from Washington state join people from Washington, D.C. -- and the rest of the country -- and speak out to bring attention to the plight of Darfuri Sudanese whom they will never meet. In a rare moment of D.C. bipartisanship, this was not a moment to blame politicians or polarize debate. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., remarked that on this issue, she supports Bush and wants the genocide to end.

There was a determination among the speakers and crowd to join together and figure out how they could collectively stop genocide in this region before society gets to the point where everyone laments, "Never again." Trying to visually capture that emotion was a difficult task, but in the signs of the protesters, the earnest expressions on the faces of those gathered, and the high-wattage star power (needless to say, George Clooney is a large draw), one can get a small sense of the tangible depth of the empathy and the passion for ending this horror felt by everyone at the National Mall.

To check out my photo blog of the rally, click here.

[For some other reports, follow the links below. --Jeff Weintraub]

Sydney Morning Herald
A Journalist's View of the Darfur Rally
ABC News - 21 hours ago
... Tens of thousands rallied at the National Mall in Washington, DC, on Sunday to urge immediate action against the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan ...
Thousands Rally to Protest Darfur Genocide DCist.com
Holocaust On People's Minds At Darfur Rally NBC6.net
Thousands Expected For Darfur Rally NBC 4.com
all 643 related »

Jewish groups rally for Darfur
Globe and Mail, Canada - 4 hours ago
... Meanwhile, Jewish organizations in the United States set April 30 as the date for a major Darfur rally in Washington, providing a focal point for lobby groups ...

Hillel Students Make Their Voices Heard at Darfur Rally in ...
Hillel.org, DC - 19 hours ago
... Komisar and many of her fellow advocates cited a lack of publicity about the dire situation in Darfur as their inspiration to attend the rally and follow up ...
Top Christian Leaders Join 'Save Darfur' Rally
Christian Post, CA - 23 hours ago
... Other Christian leaders that spoke at the Save Darfur rally included Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious ...
US bishops urge action now to end Darfur crisis as negotiation ... Catholic Online
all 2 related »
Thousands Rally Across the US to Stop Genocide
Feminist Majority Foundation - 19 hours ago
... The speakers spoke to this diversity, saying that we are all one people. Another message of the Save Darfur rally was one of personal action. ...

Wonkette (satire)
Darfur Rally: A Lesson in Press Management
Wonkette (satire), DC - 16 hours ago
... while drunk the night before, because Liz has a thing for Clooney, and because we care about the people of Darfur, we stopped by the rally yesterday on the Mall ...
Thousands Rally in Support of American Aid to Darfur
New York Times, United States - Apr 30, 2006
... Many in the crowd said the Save Darfur rally was the first of any kind they had attended. For others, it was their first in decades. ...
Sudan protesters pick and choose US power Australian
all 4 related »

Save Darfur Rally: Confirmed Speakers
Darfur rally hits Washington
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NY - Apr 30, 2006
With the genocide in Darfur topping the Jewish community’s national agenda, an unmistakable Jewish presence ran through Sunday’s rally in Washington. ...
Reform Jewish Leader Addresses Thousands at Save Darfur Rally Kansas City infoZine
Never Again, Again: Jewish Groups and Individuals Fuel Darfur ... Combined Jewish Philantropies
Reform Jewish Leader Addresses Thousands at Save Darfur Rally Religious Action Center (press release)
CBS News - Washington Post - all 7 related »

Washington Times
McCarrick and Maryland Leaders to Speak at Darfur Rally
WJLA, DC - Apr 30, 2006
... Archbishop Theodore McCarrick is among the speakers slated for Sunday's rally on the National Mall calling for an end to the violence in Sudan's Darfur region. ...
Rally decries Darfur killings Washington Times
Coalition to rally against violence in Darfur Washington Times
all 4 related »

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