I’m not one to really promote Mtv, I mostly think they have an overall negative influence on us as a society and especially young people. But, rather then get into that, I think it’s good to acknowledge and encourage the good steps they take. MTVU (Don’t ask me what the U is for I haven’t even looked) has an Activism page, and they did make some effort at creatively raising awareness on the Sudan Crisis. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times, that activism is cool now. Either way I thought the site was at least a brief browse, if only to show there web techs that people are interested in Activism, not… other things.
Ariah Fine, a socially aware Christian who works with teenagers in Nashville, finds the game very unique. “The target audience of the gaming community is another big step in raising awareness to an audience that might not have otherwise heard about Darfur,” he says. “I work with high school students and they aren’t constantly checking BBC news for the latest humanitarian crisis, but they are playing plenty of games online. This project helps them hear about the issues in Darfur.”
Even though the game is packed with facts and stories in the small print, the die-hard gamer may not stop to read them all while playing. But, the simple fact that the game exists, coupled with MTV’s backing, is a conversation started in itself.
Says Fine: “A game like this is a great ice breaker and tool for bringing up the conversation with a group that might not otherwise care or know about the issues in Darfur.”
Read the rest of the article.
I’ve been really bothered about something for the past week or so. The genocide in Darfur has been on my mind a bit lately, ever since the rally that happened last Sunday in New York. I’ve been thinking about the fact that for the last two years, I along with thousands of others have been “taking action” against the Genocide. We’ve blogged, written letters, rallied, met with congress people, bought wristbands, sent money, and a whole bunch of other things, from the comfort of our desk chair, coffee shop or school library.
We’ve declared, “Not on Our Watch,” and yet three years have gone by, hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been displaced, and I still sit in my comfy living room choosing which news article to link to or picture to post in my latest advocacy.
I think all our words are empty, because they are not stopping this horrible evil we seem to say we want stopped. I’m beginning to think maybe we are just interested in causes to the degree that they benefit us, usually through intrinsic, ‘I feel good about myself’ kind of ways.
I say this with the acknowledgement that I am far from willing to take this step…
We need to go to Darfur and stand in those places. We need to stop blogging and rallying and asking a government that isn’t listening to us, and we need to go take action into our own hands. I’m not talking about fighting, I’m talking about going and stopping it.
Imagine hundreds of planes full of people that decided to put their money were their mouth is, flying to Sudan, walking into the borders and declaring that they have come to spread peace, and that they could not stand idly by and let injustice come, that they would stand in the place, and if necessary take the beating, punishment, death upon themselves, rather then see others die.
There is an army of people who say they want to help stop the genocide. When will we decide we aren’t stopping it and that we need to find another course of action? When will we be willing to stand in and go to stop it ourselves, not through violence, but through creative non-violence.
Who shall go?
Thanks to your efforts and the efforts of many others working to create a lasting peace in Darfur, I am pleased to report we have seen significant progress in recent weeks.
On May 5, the Sudanese government and Darfur’s largest rebel faction signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, laying out a plan to end three years of violence and raising hopes for a lasting peace in Darfur. There is a much more to do, however, before that hope is realized.
In the next two weeks, the Sudanese government and the two remaining rebel factions must come to terms in order to ensure a strong building block for a lasting peace. With or without additional signers, it is imperative that the parties live up to their commitments to end the genocide and rebuild Darfur.
Another significant step forward was taken just yesterday, as the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding strict observance of the peace agreement, and calling for a quick transition from the current African Union peacekeeping force to a stronger UN force. Prior to the signing of the peace agreement, Sudanese President Bashir opposed a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur by saying that there was no peace to keep. With this peace agreement, however, that argument has been rendered moot.
Soon there will be a joint UN-African Union assessment mission dispatched to Darfur to assess the situation. Following their return, the stage will be set for UN Security Council consideration of a second resolution to actually authorize the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force.
These are real, substantive steps forward, and you helped make them happen.
In fact, just one day after over 50,000 rallied on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and thousands more rallied at events across the country, President Bush dispatched Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick to the peace talks to make sure that an agreement was reached.
Upon his return, Deputy Secretary Zoellick personally called the Save Darfur Coalition to express his thanks for the level of U.S. activism which helped make the peace deal possible. In an interview last week, he said that “of all I’ve dealt with in foreign policy over some 20 years that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much broad support from churches, from communities and universities.”
Your collective voices have helped accomplish amazing results thus far!
But much more still remains to be done. Work at the UN is far from over, funding for humanitarian aid and peacekeeping falls short and puts millions of lives at risk. And above all, the people of Darfur still must contend with the dual threats of violence and starvation every day.
As we continue the fight, there will be many more opportunities for you take action and help make a difference.
Save Darfur Coalition
More at Savedarfur.org
It was only a few months ago that I was an outspoken advocate on addressing the crisis in Darfur. The situation was even newsworthy, carrying stories of Powell calling it a genocide and other information about what was occuring. I helped organize a group to speak to a senator, encouraged people to write letters, send emails and more. I wrote an article for Relevant about Darfur and then I forgot.
It’s easy to forget when you don’t see the pictures and hear the stories on TV or in the Newspaper. It’s easy to forget when you stop reading the emails with “Darfur” in the title (cause you can already guess what they’re about).
It’s easy to forget because the dead bodies, the mutilated people, the raped women, the displaced refugees; none of them are in my way on my bike ride to work. They don’t pass me in the grocery store and they haven’t called me on the telephone.
I saw one of them today, and I didn’t know what to say. A small child just looking at me. “um, I… I forgot.” That’s all I could think of saying it humbles me like nothing else. Enough of me feeling important, feeling like I’m doing good things, living a good life, suddenly I don’t feel so good about what I spend most of my time doing.
Let’s get concerned again, and let’s continue to speak. My voice is not hoarse from crying out too much, I’m rested enough to stand and raise my voice on behalf of those who cannot.
Let your leaders know that you know about your brothers and sisters that are being killed in Darfur. Send them a card. And get more letters for your friends, family, and church members to sign as well.
This is about the Genocide in Darfur. There is a national call in happening right now.
Here is a link to info.
And here is the basic text:
As you read this alert, hundreds of activists are in Washington DC in front of the White House calling on President Bush to take immediate action to stop genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Please join us in this national call-in day and pick up the phone to place a call to President Bush.
Call (202) 456-1414
“I am calling because I am very concerned about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. To stop this genocide, there must be an urgent international humanitarian intervention in Darfur with a mandate to protect people, not just observe the violence. The United States has a unique capacity and clear obligation to take immediate action as the only nation that has recognized genocide in Darfur. I would like to ask President Bush to take every step necessary through the international community to ensure a multinational intervention to protect the people of Darfur.”
One year since the Bush Administration declared that genocide was occuring in Darfur, little has been done to stop the violence and protect the people. Up to 400,000 people have lost their lives in Darfur since the government-sponsored genocide began in 2003. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced, their livelihoods and villages destroyed by government forces and their proxy militias. These forces have raped many thousands of women and girls. The humanitarian crisis that forms part of the genocide continues, as a government-engineered famine unfolds. Unless there is an urgent multinational intervention, hundreds of thousands more may die this year. Considering the powerful role that U.S. leadership can play in ending the crisis in Darfur, American citizens have a unique power to protect.
You have the power to protect. Your voice can move this nation. Will you join us?
The Staff @ Africa Action
Would you make a single phone call if it could stop the genocide in Darfur?
Would you be willing to make that same phone call – every day – until the killing stopped?
Take the ETHIC’s Darfur Pledge. Visit www.DarfurPledge.org.