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Thursday, September 28, 2006


Enough Talk: Time for Action

On September 9, 2006, there was a rally held in Washington, DC. It was held in front of the White House, and 30 people ended up going to jail. Not because they were unruly, they were not. It was because they laid down on the pavement as if laying down their lives for their Darfurian brother and sisters.

Then there was another rally on September 17th in New York City. It was held in front of the United Nations complex. Thousands of people came from all over the world. Those who were unable to come held vigils in their own communities. It was a day of prayer, hope and outreach.

For over three years now, we have been writing, rallying, talking and "discussing" the genocide occurring in Darfur, Sudan. These dictators cannot even decide on a definition for what is genocide. How are they going to come up with a solution?

It was stated by Kofi Annan that he regrets the genocide that occurred in Rwanda. Many wonder how many people are aware of the fact that Kofi Annan was in charge of Rwanda at the time of this genocide?

Now the UN wants more talks, because President Bashir is not willing to allow the UN peacekeeping forces onto his soil. When will it have been enough for you? What will it take to wake up those who would rather turn a blind eye to this tragic crisis?

We have had the great honor to have another interview with Mr. Jay McGinley. There is a planned "hunger strike" on October 5, 2006. That is correct. It will only be for one day. Why don't we find out what Mr. McGinley thinks about this?

Greetings, Mr. Jay McGinley. It is so nice to speak with you again. So many questions, so little time. Especially for the people of Darfur, Sudan. Are you ready to answer a few questions?

Good afternoon. Yes, I am quite ready. I have been looking forward to all interviews that have to do with saving the Darfurians. It just seems there are so few people interested. That is one reason why I am pushing forward.

Great. Let's begin.

1.How many people attended the September 9th rally?
I would estimate 300-500 people, some of whom traveled a mighty distance, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and North Carolina....

Regarding Darfur, I am extremely difficult to please. I am a "father" and "brother" of 4,000,000 people in my "immediate family" that are being slaughtered by Bashir. Where is the outcry by my international brothers and sisters?

My point? My being difficult to please is never "personal," rather my best attempt at a professional, objective, "Family Emergency Respone" assessment of whether our response is "commensurate", "realistic in terms of the challenges", "adequate" ...

The September 9th Africa Action event you inquired about is, to my eyes, "the model" so far of an honest, appropriate and hopeful event.

(The April 30th event was also excellent. Save Darfur was the quarterback on that one.)

It was an extremely disciplined group of people and speakers. They were serious and committed from the time they arrived until the time they departed about 3 hours later. Everyone was on purpose, working the entire time. It was an honor and deep joy to be a part of and an honor to our Darfur family.

2. Was there any coverage by the media? If so, could we find these sources?

The next day the Washington Post had a fine article with a good photo: Washington Post article; Africa Action has a good writeup: September 9th Rally Updates; and there is a good assembly of photos at: 30 ARRESTED AT WHITE HOUSE SATURDAY and SEPT 17: FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

3. How many people were able to attend the NYC rally on the September 17, 2006?
In my eyes, it was larger than what I've seen reported. 20,000-30,000 is what I've seen reported.

This crowd actually, in both quantity and quality, is a source of alarm to me as an indicator of how insufficiently we are generating "will" among "we the people"; the mandate we owe President Bush.

On April 30th in DC at the US Capitol, the organizers turned out 30,000-70,000 (yes these are the estimates I've seen. 30,000-40,000 is my guess.) The quality of crowd participation was fabulous - serious, reverent, united, disciplined, working hard the entire 3 hours and with virtually no exceptions.

Why am I alarmed by the September 17th rally? Since April 30th things have gotten much worse in Darfur; the impotence of our international efforts thus far have become more glaring; NYC has a vastly larger local population from which to draw a crowd than does DC, so the numbers should have been some multiple of April 30th; and the quality of the participation was greatly less than on April 30th!

We should have had 100,000 or more. (Only praise is due the organizers and those that worked with them.) Thank goodness the 30,000 folks turned out, but almost all of the qualities which so blessed the April 30th crowd were less present in all but a handful of the September 17th attendees. For many, the 17th appeared to be not much more than a nice day, seeing folks and being seen in the park.

Yes. That is the right of those folks, and it is my right to be honest about how much further we have to go to stop this genocide. We must do better. We can do better. I am certain that deep down, we want to do better.

4. How many cities, states and countries were involved?
The reports I've seen are that two dozen to four dozen cities around the world were involved. Again, enormous credit to the organizers. But our measure, we that are committed to Darfur, of course is - are we doing enough? Is it enough? And the answer is, September 17th was not nearly the mandate that we owed to President Bush, not nearly enough to rescue Darfur. We the people are failing them.

Here are the sources I have used: 5. You are *participationg* in the October 5th "FAST," but you have already been on a true hunger strike since July 4, 2006, and in 4 waves now. That is a total of 58 days, and counting. What do these people hope to accomplish in only one day?
Hmm. Actually, I am praying with my entire being to cause an expansion, a dramatic expansion of the options for those participating in STAND's (Students Taking Action Now Darfur) October 5th event. Why? Well, as usual, STAND's instincts and planning are great; but I feel certain, yes certain, that history will judge--a one day only "fast from snacks"--as heinously inadequate, morally bankrupt, in the face of Genocide.

Actually, it is worse than that. Students have always been our leaders in social struggles throughout history. Our actions speak much louder than words. A one day fast from snacks shouts that Darfur is not an emergency. This is not what the organizers intend. We must do better

I know STAND to be a group that is of fine inclinations and I hope to encourage them, and their participants to a response that is more appropriate in the face of genocide, and more worthy of the courage and humanity that I know the organizers, participants and my fellow world citizens posses.

Is it too radical to suggest that on October 5th we start: RESCUE DARFUR FAST; an open ended fast that 1000's of us undertake? Will history forgive us for doing less? I know of no options on the table other than this for citizens to really step up to the plate in a way that history, their children and their grand-children themselves will find acceptable, appropriate, humane and courageous when we look back 10 years from now.

We and Darfur are out of time. With Bashir's escalation of his extermination campaign, the death rates are likely headed to 25,000 per week (that is six (6) 911's per week. per week!) We need a plan and we need it now.

I've done 58 days of Hunger Strike (water only Fast) this summer in 4 waves. I am currently on the 4th wave. Is it easy you might ask? If it is done out of love for our Darfur family? YES! It is shockingly easy. Truly easy. (Don't tell anyone.) And it is profoundly joyful. $10,000,000,000 could not get me to stop what I am trying to do, including the water only Fast.

But Jay, people have lives; masses of them cannot just go on an open ended total Fast! I have been a full time activist since May 14, 2006. [It is amazing the freedom you have if you sell (out of necessity) all of your possessions, live on the street....]

Yes, not all of us can or should go quite that far. My point is, I've been extremely, amazingly functional through day 23 on just water. This is something that billions of people can do! For those with more physically active roles that they fulfill: students, moms, laborers, ect., they can do 1,000 calories a day and be just as completely committed. They can remain normally functional for many weeks, just as those of us on just water! Aside from temporary edema and water retention in my legs, there's not a hint of damage to my health after cumulative 58 days; even with me living on the streets. Honestly, health fanatics frequently fast for 40 days or more to get cleansed and to get more healthy!

I am in the process of building a web site with information on all of this. I think it will be called "Darfur: Dying for Heroes"; inspired by the extraordinary study by Eva Fogleman on the non-Jewish "Rescuers" of WWII, "Conscience and Courage, Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust."

In the last 20 years, reports are as high as 6 million people have already been exterminated in Sudan - 3 million Christains in the south and more people in the Nuba mountains.

The Jewish organization, Vlad Yashim, has identified more than 10,000 oursiders. These include non-Jewish Rescuers, Heroes, that stepped up, put skin in the game, and saved people, saved strangers. They did so at unimaginable personal sacrifice. Unimaginable. Usually they put their "immediate family" at risk of death or worse, by doing so.

I can capture the truth of Darfur no better than in the words - Darfur: Dying for Heroes. So far 6 million people have been exterminated in Sudan; 400,000 in Darfur in just the last 3 years. Where are the heroes? This is also something we must solve.

6. What are your recommendations to help the people of Darfur, Sudan?
Until this week, I had only one recommendation to the frustration of everyone that has asked me. Now I have two. Thank God.

1. Reject the double standard we live under. For yourself, and your children and grandchildren, take this God-given opportunity to do so much good, SO MUCH GOOD, by stopping the slaughter of 4 million people at so little personal cost. Use this once-in-history opportunity to rise above the double standard: Treating "immediate family" one way and others another way. Simply, "do unto others ALL that you would have them do unto you." I have never been more serious in my life.

But now, for the first time in my 26 months being possessed by the Darfur Genocide, I have a 2nd recommendation: A concrete recommendation:

2. October 5th, 2006, start: RESCUE DARFUR FAST. Never have so many had the opportunity to do so little to help so many in such an extraordinary degree. Please God, don't let us let this opportunity pass. YES, it will take a miracle for us to respond. Let us surrender to the Divine within us, and let us make a miracle.

Billions of us will never get such an extraordinary opportunity to finally be "saved" from ignoring the "least of these our brothers." Such a violation of human rights as this should appall everyone.

The central mandate of every ethical tradition - "do unto others ALL...." NONE OF US NEED BE HURT. None of us will truly suffer. But we can stop genocide for the first time in the history of mankind, if we are dedicated to doing so.

Would you go on a long term fast to save your five (5) dearest loved ones? In a heartbeat you would and in doing so, you increase the ranks of Heroes by one more. As a friend of mine has reminded me, by more than one, because others will follow a leader.

7. Do you remember the sign that declares, "War is better than a bad peace" being held by the Darfurians? Do you think this will come to that if Bashir continues to thumb his nose at the United Nations? Explain.
I have yet to see any evidence that what is needed is forced-entry to Sudan. No evidence whatsoever. Ultimately, should we be willing to do so? "As you do unto the least of these my family, you do unto me." Of course. If it were our "family," wouldn't we go in? Well it is our family! Every religion, and every conscience tells us so.

However, all evidence that I see says that the bully Bashir can be bullied. No question of it. We've done it - South Sudan! The SLA leader who brokered this deal stands for nothing but his own selfish interest. We can overtly and covertly threaten that interest and thereby radically change his behavior. Again.

We need to remove China as an obstacle by pledging to the world that we will leave China's preferential access to Sudan oil out to dry and by embarrassing China as a defender of Genocide (this has started).

We need to twist the arms of India and Malaysia to stop trading with Bashir and buffering him from our sanctions; we need to follow through aggressively on the honest threats that Sec. of State Rice leveled at Bashir today (Rice Warns of Punitive Steps If Sudan Refuses UN Darfur Force), that he is at a personal and professional "fork in the road" with respect to obstructing the UN; we need to totally play the International Criminal Court (ICC) card so that they can see prison or execution in the their future, unless they back down now; we need to back the Arabs away from supporting Bashir; we need to cause a re-negotiation of the May 5, 2006.

The Darfur Peace Agreement did not favor of the 80% of the Darfuries (2 factions), and they did not sign it. They were correct not to sign it. The DPA is tragically inequitable to Darfur as it stands. This is all, all doable, if we give the mandate to the US administration. If we pay the price by the 1000's in the form of a mass RESCUE DARFUR FAST.

Anything less, and 4 million die. So do we. Would it work? Would we use a mass FAST to save these camps if they contained our dearest loved ones? Could we put a man on the moon? Can we put a city block's worth of computer power on a microchip? The will. We must raise the will. Or God help us and them.

Thank you so much for your time. Again, it is an honor to help you get your message out to those of us who care about others. Have a wonderful day.

The honor is mine. God bless you and your work.


What a sobering situation. While you may not agree with his worldview, we can at least agree that something urgently needs to be done to save the lives of thousands.

Let us take a step back for a moment. What would have been your worldview in the 1930's? 1940's? Would your apathy have been turned to anguish at the end of WWII? You have the opportunity to avoid this from happening again.

Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, and Conservatives all agree, for the most part, that Darfur needs our help. They are being murdered, raped, starved and enslaved everyday. We can and should do something about this. Something you should ponder.

Jay has asked to speak about one more item, and I believe he should have that right.

We cannot choose our timing on when to stop this genocide. (For me, this is what is meant by "God's time." He sets the time He demands of us, and they usually are completely unreasonable!) Situations have their own internal time demands - "launch windows," "acceleration requirements." My entire life has been spent saving people's "lives" in the computer industry by helping to turn around their failing, "crashing" organizations. What I am discussing now is one of the few things I know exceedingly well.

The launch window, if we are going to rescue Darfur, is now and the next few weeks. Now. Why now? Many reasons: President Bush is talking. Rice is threatening! Press is writing! France is acting! China is embarrassed! Britain is posturing! Raising so much energy is like firing stages on a rocket launch. We must light-up the next stage now or the weight of the issue will bring Darfur down with a fury, a final and irrecoverable crash.

We saw the precursor to this with the fabulous April 30th Rally. Huge "first stage," but no "2nd stage"! The rocket crashed. This was a profound tragedy. We lost probably another 30,000 brothers and sisters to the exterminator, Bashir.

It is now or never.

Category: Human Rights, Darfur, Sudan and The UN.

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