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April   6

Montclair Rally To Save Darfur

Darfur_rallyThis Sunday, April 9, the Essex County Interfaith Coalition for Darfur urges you to attend the Save Darfur Rally at Watchung Plaza, Montclair from 2-3:30 p.m.  Learn how you can help end the genocide that has claimed more than 400,000 lives and displaced an estimated 2 million people in the Darfur region of Sudan. Listen to speakers from the Darfur Rehabilitation Project, American Jewish World Service, Church World Service, Help Darfur Now, United Jewish Communities/Metro West, and more.  Mayor Ed Remsen, Congressman Bill Pascrell, and Governor Jon Corzine are expected to speak as well. “Darfur is rightly placed in the other horrendous genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries,” Jeffrey B. Plaut, a Montclair resident who helped organize the rally, told the Montclair TImes.

Many local religious leaders, groups from Montclair State University, Montclair High School and other student organizations are expected to attend the event.

Congressman Bill Pascrell  sent this statement to the Montclair Times:

I am proud to represent a community that is vigorously campaigning to create awareness and inspire change in Darfur. The activism that will hit the streets of Montclair this Sunday will undoubtedly accomplish both. It will further encourage the type of action that Congress took this week when it considered the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act.

During the rally,  African Drumming will be performed by the Northstar Navigators, with Reggie Workman, Maya Milenovic, and Kevin Jones.  There will also be information and a sign up for bus transportation to the National Rally in Washington, D.C. on April 30.

The Essex County Interfaith Coalition on Darfur is a consortium of synagogues and churches in and around Montclair, including the members of the Montclair Clergy Association. Visit Million Voices For Darfur, or Save Darfur to learn more about the crisis and what action is being taken to put a stop to the genocide.

April 6, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink


Here are the main provisions of the bill:

To expand the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and give the force a stronger mandate in
order to protect civilians, humanitarian operations and deter violence in the region.
To assist the efforts of the investigation by the International Criminal Court in Darfur
To appoint a special Presidential Envoy for Sudan
To impose asset and travel sanctions against individuals deemed by the President to be
perpetrators of the atrocities in Darfur.
To provide assistance to reinforce the AU mission (AMIS), “including but not limited to” logistics,
transport, communications, training, command and control, technical, and aerial surveillance
To deny entry at U.S. ports to cargo ships or oil tankers engaged in business in the oil sector of
Sudan or involved in the shipment of goods for use by Sudan Armed Forces.
To report to appropriate congressional committees within 30 days after enactment on:
- sanctions imposed by the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act (2004) and
- on the status of the AMIS mission and U.S. assistance to it
To use the U.S. voice, vote, and influence to advocate NATO reinforcement of AMIS, including
deterring air strikes against civilians, logistical, transport, communications, training, technical,
command and control, aerial surveillance, and intelligence support.

Does anyone really think that will end the genocide?

It's like they are lining people up at the "showers" and we want to appoint a special envoy to report to congress how Himler's plane ticket was cancelled.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 9:05:42 AM


Do you propose that we remain silent?

Posted by: Franklin | Apr 6, 2006 9:27:24 AM

No, no not at all. Talk all you want. Print bumper stickers, posters, magnet ribbons, march, proselytize, demonstrate, make signs, chant chants, meditate, pray, form committees, commissions, raise money, pass UN resolutions, make speeches, pound lecterns.

It's sure to stop the killing.

(it certainly has worked well in the past)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 9:36:06 AM

No, support much more directly the sending of an international army to kill the bad guys, or at least thwart them. Is the UN up to such a task? It's a shame that we stand by, but all the awareness and post card campaigns in the world will not stop the genocide until the awareness, etc., results in the will to defeat the genocidal maniacs on the ground with force of arms.

Posted by: appletony | Apr 6, 2006 9:38:54 AM

Franklin! Nice to hear from you again, friend.

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 6, 2006 9:42:39 AM

ROC, I can't believe that you would belittle the efforts of these good people to do something about the terrible things going on in the world. You probably don't like the sound of children drumming either.

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 6, 2006 9:43:57 AM

The problem with UN forces, appletony, is often that, no matter how well armed they are, they very rarely use their weapons.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 6, 2006 9:53:21 AM

p.s. only the US government (Including Bush and his evil henchman Bolton) even calls it "genocide".

Just like in Rwanda the UN finds the word too, shall we say, "uncomfortable".

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 9:54:29 AM

ROC does make some good points but I would still rather be out there banging my drum than remaining silent.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 6, 2006 9:56:41 AM

I imagine ROC as a crusty old "Michigan militant group" kinda guy ... a non-violent Timothy McVeigh ... is any topic of conversation agreeable with ROC? ... yikes, embrace happiness, man! ... embrace your neighbors, peer leaders ... in the infamous words of our "friend" Ed Rodriguez, "have some fun isnt that what life is about fun meeting new friends dancing laughing."

Posted by: Jim | Apr 6, 2006 9:59:41 AM

I kinda have to agree with you, Jim and others. But I would have a lot more respect for them if they just admitted their greediniess outright rather than make it sound like it's some noble project.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 6, 2006 10:04:49 AM

Oops...this was posted on the wrong thread...it was meant to be directed at the makers of the 9-11 movie(s)...

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 6, 2006 10:05:42 AM

Perhaps Jim is right.

Perhaps I should see an anti-genocide rally to "save" Darfur as an opportunity to "embrace happiness, man! ... embrace your neighbors"

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 10:06:22 AM

Cathar, I know that UN forces rarely use their weapons. God forbid I should suggest a U.S. or NATO force.

I don't begrudge the organizers their goal of raising "awareness" -- awareness can help. In my opinion it will only really help when it results in bad guys being stopped by all necessary means. Postcard campaigns will not stop the Janjaweed.

If there's a guy at the rally with a "send an army" sign, it'll be me.

Posted by: appletony | Apr 6, 2006 10:07:04 AM

ROC: Your mockery only bolsters my approximation of you. Can't you keep things positive, even when your opinion conflicts against the grain, and offer some insight to a more agreeable solution (i.e. if fundraising support for DARFUR doesn't meet your expectations, tell us what will)? Further, isn't it more noble and pragmatic to make "baby steps" toward the solution, than to sit back and wait for the idealistic action plan?

Posted by: Jim | Apr 6, 2006 10:14:44 AM

Yes, appletony, armed response just might be the only thing that'd really work in Darfur. But it'd have to be a real force, meaning Brits, Americans, maybe some French (if they're not still too busy intervening in the Pacific) or Italians. Countries where military strength isn't a joke (thereby disqualifying, for instance, the Netherlands.) So, basically, either a US or NATO force.

For what it's worth, I think starvation and oppression are indeed "WMD's," so I wouldn't be greatly bothered by military action in Darfur. But then, I long ago felt the same way about the plight of the Kurds in Iraq at the bloody hands of Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 6, 2006 10:23:30 AM


I can assure you that the "approximation" of me made by someone who has already compared me to Timothy McVeigh does not concern me in the slightest.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 10:28:12 AM

Well, big surprise...the international pacifists will wring their hands and pray that the U.S. will exercise force.

Posted by: Byron | Apr 6, 2006 10:37:03 AM

"(i.e. if fundraising support for DARFUR doesn't meet your expectations, tell us what will)? Further, isn't it more noble and pragmatic to make "baby steps" toward the solution, than to sit back and wait for the idealistic action plan?"

I would think my preference would be obvious.

Genocide will not stop until some big guys with big guns are willing to kill the guys committing the genocide.

Now if that is the intended aim of the "activism" I'd like to lend a hand. Something tells me it is not.

What are these "pragmatic baby steps" you think will have some affect?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 10:42:42 AM

Effect, ROC, not Affect.

Posted by: Byron | Apr 6, 2006 10:56:46 AM

Now is the time for all good men and women to ignore the postings of ROC -- it only feeds his ego.

Posted by: Franklin | Apr 6, 2006 11:06:51 AM

The bill's phrase, "[t]o expand the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and give the force a stronger mandate in
order to protect civilians, humanitarian operations and deter violence in the region," is a mushy way of saying "send an army."

Deep down, many of the rally attendees will know that the only way it will stop is the way it stopped in Bosnia. They just can't stand saying it.

Posted by: appletony | Apr 6, 2006 11:07:20 AM

I'm already so busy ignoring your postings, Franklin, that I didn't realize you'd been gone until walleroo pointed it out this morning.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 6, 2006 11:09:47 AM

ROC: Some people solve problems with guns, others with diplomacy and political action. I guess I know were you stand.

Posted by: Jim | Apr 6, 2006 11:14:02 AM

Jim, in all seriousness, has genocide ever been solved with diplomacy and political action? I can't think of a single instance in human history. I'm happy to be wrong on the point, as I am overall an optimist regarding the ability of mankind to overcome -- but once an organized effort to wipe out a population is in progress, I think the only hope for the victims is force exerted on their behalf.

Posted by: appletony | Apr 6, 2006 11:20:09 AM

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