Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pledge to Protect

It is well established that genocide is a planned activity, not something that "just happens." When talking to survivors of genocide, one hears eerily similar stories, usually beginning with the denial of education. In the past, when the international community has seen precursors to genocide, the response has been ad hoc, with no systematic approach to intervening in an effective way.

The Genocide Prevention Task Force recognized these patterns and problems with past genocides and came out with a series of recommendations to help ensure future signs of genocide will be taken seriously. Genocide is planned, which means it is preventable.

You can be a part of helping to make sure the recommendations of the task force are implemented. The first week of December will be the kick-off of a National Canvass to get people to become a part of the movement to end genocide. You can join by signing up at ipledge2protect.org You can do more by getting your friends to sign up and by holding a Canvass event yourself, at your place of worship, at a social gathering, or even by going door-to-door. All the information you need is at ipledge2protect.org

The movement to end the British Slave Trade began with 12 people committed to seeing its end. It seemed to many like a hopeless endeavor when it started, with the British economy totally reliant upon the slave trade. Yet, it succeeded. The fight to end genocide is just as doable. You can be a part of it, starting today. Go to ipledgetoprotect.org and sign up now. Tell your friends. Become a member of the movement that will end genocide.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pledge to Protect Conference

SAIDC Advocacy Coordinator and 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellow Susan Smylie has been in Washington, DC this weekend attending the Pledge 2 Protect Anti-Genocide Conference.

She is shown here with Carl and Teresa Wilkens and other 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellows.

This is what the Anti-Genocide Generation looks like:

Layla Amjadi, STAND Student Director, inspiring us with her words "We are so blessed to be able to do this work."

Sam Bell, Genocide Intervention Network President, "It's about carrying the faith for a world without genocide with us wherever we go."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sudan Policy Review

The long-awaited Sudan Policy Review was released by the Obama Adminstration today. Overall reaction from activist organizations is that it stronger than it was believed it was going to be based upon the statements and actions of Sudan Special Envy Gration, that it has the potential to be effective, but that we must keep the pressure on. The real marker of success will be changes on the ground in Sudan, including things like implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan and the ability of Darfuries to return to their homes in peace and safety. In addition, it includes language about accountability for past actions, something that is important to the people of Darfur.

There is a new action on 1-800-GENOCIDE related to the release of the policy. Please take a few minutes to call today and ask to connect to the White House to leave a message for President Obama. You will be given information about what to say prior to being connected to the White House.

You can read reaction/analysis at the following sites:





Friday, October 9, 2009

Please read this editorial that ran recently in the San Antonio Express-News. It points out the need for us to keep the pressure on President Obama to deliver on his campaign promises.

American Approach to Darfur Genocide Woefully Lacking

Want an easy action to follow up with? Stop Genocide Now has done the work for you, just go here and copy the provided message to send to the White House:

Stop Genocide Now

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Top policy advisors on Sudan are supposed to meet today to discuss policy. Please take a minute to send President Obama a message asking him to get personally involved and fulfill his campaign promises. The link below will take you to a page where you can quickly send a message and also find a link to a Washington Post opinion piece that discusses disturbing comments made yesterday by Sudan Special Envoy Gration.


here is the White House's response:

White House pushes back

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Relief Beads is a grassroots campaign raising awareness and support for Relief International’s humanitarian efforts in Darfur. Founded in 2007, Relief Beads has raised tens of thousands of dollars, which has provided life-saving relief for thousands of refugees. Each Relief Beads bracelet truly makes a difference!

Contributions raised by Relief Beads aided in the construction of the only Women’s Development Center in Darfur. The center is a place where women and children victimized by the crisis are able to get professional medical and psychological support. Relief Beads bracelets are assembled by the women at the center and this provides them with an invaluable opportunity to contribute to their own livelihoods.

Relief Beads is also currently raising funds to build a Children's Malnutrition Center at the second largest refugee camp in Darfur, Zam Zam.

Please vist the website at www.reliefbeads.org to learn more about this wonderful organization the work they’re doing to help IDP’s in Darfur, and to order bracelets for yourself and your friends!

(from Orange County for Darfur. Reused with permission)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

SAIDC coordinator of advocacy Susan Smylie had an op-ed in a recent San Antonio Express-News. Take a look at it here:

Why Study Genocide? Here's Why?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Be a Guerrilla for Darfur

Please go to this website and send a fax to President Obama, asking him to fulfill his campaign promises on Darfur. This is an easy action that is free and takes about a minute:


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moved by Faith: A Call for Peace in Sudan

Current events in Sudan are dire, and it is critical that the faith community revive engagement with Sudan not only in their local community, but also internationally. This summer clergy of all denominations will unite in prayer for the people of Sudan. Together, we can keep loud the drumbeat for engagement on peace and security for all of Sudan. For more information, go to: http://www.savedarfur.org/pages/moved_by_faith_a_call_for_peace_in_sudan

Join other faith leaders in signing the letter calling on President Obama to continue his work for lasting peace in Sudan.

Signing the letter is only the first step. The weekend of August 28th-30th, just before the U.S. takes the Presidency of the UN Security Council in September, communities of faith will unite in prayer and action for Sudan. Sign up as a Congregation of Conscience for forthcoming details.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Darfur Calls

Come see this performance of an original script written by Michael Hardy, Kathleen Kardon, and Rachelle Neuman, based on the genocide in Darfur. Performed at Travis Park United Methodist Church, July 19, 9 and 11 AM.

After the Nazi Holocaust, many people said, “Never again,” but in the sixty-plus years since, there have been more genocides than ever before in history.

Barry Block, senior Rabbi at Temple Beth-El, commissioned the Temple ’s theatre group to produce a play in order to educate the public about the tragedy in Sudan, Africa. Darfur Calls-a Trial for Humanity-a Trial of Conscience opens with an African interpretive dance and then moves into a trial in which an average woman, Miriam, is held accountable for her lack of response to the Darfur genocide. Audiences will hear witnesses from both sides and then will have to decide whether or not Miriam is responsible and, in the process, learn what they can do to help.

The writers’ hope is that the words, “Never again,” will never again be empty words.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rwanda Diaspora Fundraiser

Fifteen years ago during 100 days of bloodshed, one million people were tragically and horrifically killed in Rwanda. They were killed by neighbors, friends, and family members--in churches, schools, and homes. It was one of the worst cases of mass murder this world has ever seen.

While Rwanda has made remarkeable strides since then, many survivors of the genocide are still struggling to get by. UNICEF reports that close to three million children, about 83% of the population, are classified as orphans or are vulnerable because they do not have family members to consistently rely upon for support. Children-run households are common, and many genocide orphans do not have homes.

During the Fifteenth Anniversary of Rwanda's Commemoration it is the goal of the Diaspora One Dollar Campaign, not only to remember, but to effectively do something for the survivors. It is their hope by everyone pitching in at least one dollar, we can raise money to build homes for at least 500 genocide orphans (this is being through RINA, a US-based 501c3 organization).

To check out how you can help, make sure you attend a "fun" fundraising event filled with music, films, and info!!!!

Youth Worship Center
5084 DeZavala, SA, TX
TIME: 6:00 P.M.

If you choose to give a donation, all donations are tax deductible.

*So, why $1? One dollar is just a symbol - meaning that if each person can give a dollar....what a huge impact it could make in the lives of people around the globe. Each person is encouraged to genorously give according to what he/she can afford. Most importantly, $1 allows everyone, particularly those with limited means to be part of the initiative

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fast for Darfur

Activist-actress Mia Farrow will begin an extended hunger strike in solidarity with the people of Darfur today. She intends to continue this water-only fast for 21 days. Others will join by participating in water-only and/or “refugee rations” fasts to bring attention to the immediate humanitarian crisis in Darfur created by the expulsion of aid organizations by the government of Sudan. Darfur Fast for Life demands from our leaders around the world to be ambitious and work on creating lasting peace in Sudan and guaranteeing the respect for the human rights of all.

San Antonio stands strong with the people of Darfur, with numerous participants in this fast. If you would like to join the fast,
email ContactSAIDC at gmail.com to be added to the fast list--specify the day(s) you wish to fast, your city, and whether you will fast on water only or on refugee rations.

What else you can do:

Contact your Senators and Representatives today by dialing 1-800-GENOCIDE (1-800-436-6243 ), tell them to:

Publicly support the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudan’s President al-Bashir.
Urgently seek the return of humanitarian aid agencies to Darfur.
Pressure the UN Security Council to ensure protection for Darfur’s civilians.
Work towards a peace agreement in Sudan which allows Darfuri’s to return home.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Take the Burma Challenge!

Genocide Intervention Network has launched a civilian protection project in Burma where a radio network alerts the country’s ethnic minorities to possible attacks from the Burmese military - thus, keeping them out of danger by allowing them to flee trouble before it arrives.

The Echoing Green Foundation, an organization aimed at promoting social change, has offered to match donations to the Burmese civilian protection project - up to a total of $25,000. For every $325 raised, one village in Burma will be added to the life-saving radio network.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity - take the Burma challenge today. 100% matching ends on May 31st.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sudan Envoy Appointed

The New York Times, Reuters and the AP are reporting that President Obama will announce today that he is appointing retired Air Force General Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan. It seems like he is uniquely qualified for this position, great news for the people of Sudan. Listen to reactions from Darfuris below.

This does not mean we give up our activism. We need to make sure that Gration is given the resources and mandate to do the job that needs to be done. We also need to continue to press for the restoration of humanitarian aid within Sudan and for the overall peace process to continue, including full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Khartoum government and South Sudan. We cannot rest until the people of Sudan know peace.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Take Action Today!

Last week, the Sudanese government kicked 13 humanitarian organizations out of Darfur. The situation has not improved, and if the status quo remains, there will be a humanitarian catastrophe in the coming months.

The Chinese government, and the governments of Arab League and African Union members are key to resolving the current impass. We are requesting that they use their influence with the Sudanese government to secure a reversal of the decision to expel the aid groups, and to make clear that the United States will never support a trade-off of humanitarian access in exchange for concessions over the International Criminal Court. We are urging Members of Congress to sign "Dear Colleague letters" with this message to the heads of the Arab League, African Union, and China.

Please join us in this effort by calling your Representative (call 1-800-Genocide) and asking that he or she sign the three Darfur letters being circulated by Representative Michael Capuano and Representative Michael McCaul. The letters are addressed to China, the Arab League, and African Union and call on each to pressure the Sudanese Government to reverse its decision and allow the 13 expelled aid agencies back into the country.

If world leaders join together humanitarian aid can be restored to the people of Darfur. But, we need you to call your Representative today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Urgent Action Needed

The situation in Darfur has become dire. Sudanese President al-Bashir reacted to the March 4 ICC arrest warrant against him (for war crimes and crimes against humanity) by kicking many major aid agencies out of Darfur. Since millions of Darfuris have been displaced from their homes over the last 6 years and rely upon these aid agencies to keep them alive, this move puts millions of people at immediate risk. Imagine being stuck in the middle of west Texas with no food, no water, no transportation--and with tens of thousands of other people in the same situation (and millions spread out over the whole of the region). How would you survive?

This situation requires that we respond even more strongly than we have in the past. Please take the time to complete at least one of these actions. If you would like to get even more involved, please go to: http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/statement-ngo-expulsions-sudan for more information.

1) Send President Obama a "progress report" on how he has responded to the Darfur crisis during his first 50 days in office. It only takes a few seconds to send a free e-fax, just click here for instructions:

2) Please send a text message to Secretary of State Clinton at 90822 (this is the phone number to use--it works! Does not need more digits) Ask her to act to restore humanitarian aid and appoint an envoy for Sudan.

3) This one is a bit more involved--it focuses on Congress--please take the time to call at least one office:
a. Call your Senator Cornyn's office at 202-224-2934 or Senator Hutchison at 202-224-5922 and ask to speak to the staffer for foreign affairs.

b. Tell that person that you are calling to advocate for firm action in response to the Sudan government's expulsion of humanitarian aid organizations and that you wo uld like the Senator to advocate the following:

1) FULL deployment and use of UNAMID to deliver humanitarian aid,

2) No-fly zone--(ban on offensive military flights),

3) Sanctions on senior Sudanese officials and an arms embargo

4) Appointment of a Special Envoy to Sudan

4. Then call your representative and follow the same steps. You can find your Representative and their phone number at: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

As always, your willingness to be engaged in action to keep alive hope for the Darfuri community is immensely appreciated.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ICC Arrest Warrant for Sudan's President

Today marked an event long anticipated by the activist community and the people of Darfur: the announcement by the International Criminal Court that it is issuing an arrest warrant for Sudan's President, Omar al-Bahir. It had been anticipated that Bashir and his government, the National Congress Party would respond swiftly and with impunity. Below are some resources where you can learn more:

Activist Community Response

Take Action

Reuters News Story about Aid Agencies

Blog Response

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Important Texas Legislation

There is a bill before the Texas Legislature to establish a Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. The primary purpose of the Commission would be to provide advice and assistance to schools (elementary through college, public and private) for genocide education. There are identical bills in the Texas House and Senate.

You can download a copy of the bill at: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB795

Please write to your state Representative and Senator and either thank him or her for being an author/co-author of this bill, or if they are not listed below, ask them to support it.

You can find out who represents you and how to contact them here:

HB 795
Author: Chisum | Cohen | Naishtat | Thompson | Branch
Coauthor: Allen | Bohac | Davis, John | Edwards | Gonzales | Weber

SB 482
Author: Ellis | Shapiro
Coauthor: Carona | Deuell | Hinojosa | Lucio | Seliger | Van de Putte | Wentworth | West

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sea Una Voz Por Darfur

En el 2006, la coalición para Salvar a Darfur lanzo la campaña de postales "Un Millón de Voces por Darfur". Al entregar un millón de postales dirigidas a la Casa Blanca, comunicamos la voluntad y la determinación del pueblo americano por ver a nuestro gobierno tomar acción para terminar con el genocidio en Darfur. Desde entonces ha habido progreso, sin embargo, los darfurianos continúan sufriendo y luchando por sobrevivir.

La campaña de postales "Sea Una Voz Por Darfur" busca asegurar que Darfur es una prioridad para la administración de Obama. Usted y un millón de americanos más, le recordarán al presidente electo Obama, la promesa que hizo: "tener una determinación sin límite" para terminar con el genocidio en Darfur. En el 2009 estaremos entregando sus postales a nuestro presidente, acompañadas de un plan de acción sobre lo que es necesario hacer en Darfur. Inmediatamente despues de la campaña, seguiremos vigilantes para asegurar que la situación en Darfur sea tomada en cuenta de una forma urgente y definitiva.

Descargue la petición.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Take Action: Sign the petition at: http://action.savedarfur.org/campaign/iccownerhp

Groups: 'The Government of Sudan will be held responsible for any preemptive or retaliatory actions against civilians, humanitarian aid workers, or peacekeeping forces'

WASHINGTON - The Save Darfur Coalition - in coordination with the Enough Project, Genocide Intervention Network, Refugees International, Physicians for Human Rights, Stop Genocide Now, Africa Action and American Jewish World Service - today released a statement on the reported decision by the International Criminal Court judges to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President al-Bashir. The organizations urged Sudanese authorities to comply with their obligation to cooperate with the court. The organizations also urged the U.S., the U.N., and the international community to take all necessary steps to ensure the protection of civilians, aid workers and peacekeepers in Darfur, and to focus renewed diplomatic efforts on building a lasting and inclusive peace for all of Sudan.

The full statement appears below.

"The judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will soon act on the prosecutor's request for an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

"Their decision will likely add international legal weight to a long obvious truth - primary responsibility for the atrocities in Darfur rests with the regime that Bashir heads. Individual nations and the international community as a whole cannot continue to do business as usual with Bashir once he is an indicted war criminal. At a minimum, countries should not allow him to travel to their territory and should limit diplomatic interaction with him in Khartoum to efforts to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan. He should not be allowed to attend summits, international conferences or similar functions. A regime led by an indicted war criminal cannot possibly be treated as a full member of the community of nations. The international community must press Sudanese authorities to comply with their obligations to cooperate with the ICC, including executing all outstanding warrants.

"The ICC decision will present both challenges and opportunities. The international community, led by the United States and other members of the United Nations Security Council, must first and foremost meet the challenges. It must make absolutely clear that the Government of Sudan will be held responsible for any preemptive or retaliatory action against civilians, humanitarian aid workers, or United Nations and Africa Union peacekeeping forces. The Security Council must explicitly identify severe consequences and employ them if necessary.

"Likewise, the Government of Sudan must know that the Security Council will categorically reject any attempt to abandon or suspend the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the Government of South Sudan in retaliation for the ICC decision. The Security Council - led by its five permanent members and the seven non-permanent members who are parties to the ICC Statute - must resolve that it will not allow Khartoum to hold hostage the CPA, Sudanese civilians or the international operation to alleviate suffering caused by the Sudanese government.

"The various Darfur rebel movements must also understand from the Security Council that any attempt to use the ICC decision as an excuse for offensive military action is unacceptable, will only result in greater suffering for the Darfuri people and will incur punitive measures. Rebels should be encouraged to come to the negotiating table to take part in a peace process that is better structured and managed than previous efforts. The rebels must know that they stand to gain nothing, and risk losing everything, if they take matters into their own hands.

"While the Bashir arrest warrant will present challenges, it also will provide an opportunity for peace. The international community, led by the United States, must pursue a comprehensive, negotiated peace in Sudan that builds on the framework of the CPA and takes into account the needs and rights of all citizens. Ultimately, the problem of Darfur cannot be resolved unless the problem of Sudan is resolved.

"For its part, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) must take this opportunity to abandon its disastrous policies in Darfur and elsewhere and rehabilitate its relationships with the international community. For that to happen, it must end its attacks against civilians and its support for the janjaweed militias; cooperate fully with the UN-AU peacekeeping force (UNAMID); end impunity in Darfur; allow refugees and internally displaced persons to safely and voluntarily return home; negotiate in good faith with the rebel movements and Darfuri civil society to ensure equitable political rights and economic development; and fully implement the CPA. Any other course of action will lead only to greater isolation and further loss of legitimacy.

"The ICC judges' decision to issue a warrant for President Bashir's arrest will provide a choice to the NCP, twenty years after it seized power in a military coup. It can choose to move backwards into chaos, destruction and increasing isolation for Sudan, or forward to peace, prosperity and full reintegration of Sudan into the community of nations. We hope it will choose the latter. But if it does not, we will fully support strong and immediate action to protect civilians and humanitarian aid operations throughout Sudan. The Security Council must give U.N. forces throughout Sudan better resources and more capable military personnel to ensure that they can protect themselves from provocations from either the government or rebels and provide much needed protection to civilians and humanitarian agencies."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Emergency Alert--Take Action Today!

Sound the alarm on Darfur - Call the White House

TAKE ACTION: Call the White House today by dialing 202-456-1111 or 1-800-GENOCIDE. Urge President Obama to condemn the violence happening now in Darfur.

Reports are coming out of Darfur that the Sudanese government and its militia allies are attacking civilians even as you read this.

According to a first-hand account from Darfur, "People in Elfasher (my hometown where my mother, sisters, brothers and their children are still there) saw military jets and heard loud explosions outside the city. Situation is tense in the city. People stayed at home (no schools or ordinary business). Usually air strikes are signs that the ground troops and Janjaweed are not far."

President Obama, Secretary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice must respond. This is the first time that there have been reports of aerial attacks under the new administration's watch. They must send a clear message to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his regime that violence against civilians, peacekeepers and aid workers in Darfur will not be tolerated.


Hello, my name is (YOUR NAME) and I'm from (YOUR CITY, YOUR STATE). I'm calling to ask President Obama to urgently address the escalating violence in Darfur. According to on-the-ground reports, Omar al-Bashir has launched air and ground attacks throughout Darfur and civilians have been caught in the middle.

President Obama, please demand that Bashir, his regime and the involved rebel groups must immediately cease attacks on civilians in Darfur. Additionally, you should designate a high-level official with the necessary stature, authority and mandate to lead your administration's efforts to reach a comprehensive solution in Sudan. Thank you.

You can also call the State Department's Public Comment Line at 202-647-6575 and leave a similar message for Secretary of State Clinton.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr March--San Antonio 2009

Members of the San Antonio Interfaith Darfur Coalition and the South Texas Homeschool STAND Chapter joined with tens of thousands others to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and to continue his work of speaking out for peace and justice.

Friday, January 2, 2009


In less than three weeks, the Obama administration will be in office. Between now and then, it's crucial that Darfur activists around the country let them know loudly and clearly that there are tens of thousands of Americans who care deeply about Darfur and Sudan.

Several activist groups including the San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, the Massachusetts Darfur Coalition, New York City Coalition for Darfur,Stop Genocide Now, and Americans Against Genocide have worked together to develop a simple e-action that utilizes the invitation at the Obama website, change.gov, for American citizens to "Join the Discussion" and express ideas.

For those of you on Facebook, please post the e-action as a Note on your profile and share it with friends.

We've got a few weeks before Inauguration Day. Let's make our voices heard!

Text of e-action:

Please visit http://change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople today and

1. Provide your information.
2. Check off the "Foreign Policy" box.
3. Copy and paste the following text into the "Your Ideas" space:

"An immediate challenge to the United States is how to lead the international community in bringing peace and protection to the people of Darfur. I urge President-Elect Obama to:

1)Create a peace surge for Sudan, focused on ending the crisis in Darfur rather than managing it.

2)Prepare a comprehensive emergency response plan to prevent Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir from carrying out his threats to accelerate attacks on Darfur and the millions residing in refugee camps and to block the humanitarian aid on which they rely for survival.

3)Identify genocide prevention as a policy priority and implement the recommendations of the Genocide Prevention Task Force.

Elements of the peace surge include fully implementing and supporting the U.N.-authorized peacekeeping force that actively protects civilians, holding the perpetrators of the genocide accountable, ensuring the success of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan, and making Darfur a priority from Day One. The emergency response plan is particularly important given the recent threats by the Government of Sudan to attack Darfuris and humanitarians if the ICC issues the arrest warrant for al-Bashir as expected in early 2009. The non-partisan, blue ribbon Genocide Prevention Task Force published a blueprint for U.S. policymakers to integrate the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities into the broader structures of U.S. foreign policy, including the creation of an interagency Atrocities Prevention Committee (APC) to monitor areas of concern and develop and coordinate responses and interventions.