A Journalist's View of the Save Darfur Rally (ABC News)
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 -
... 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
Holocaust On People's Minds At Darfur Rally
Thousands Expected For Darfur Rally
Jewish groups rally for Darfur
Globe and Mail, Canada -
... 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 -
... 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 -
... 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 ...
|Thousands Rally Across the US to Stop Genocide|
Feminist Majority Foundation -
... 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. ...
|Darfur Rally: A Lesson in Press Management|
Wonkette (satire), DC -
... 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 -
... 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
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