Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Support needed for the Calgary Sudanese community

As if they weren't already dealing with enough horror and tragedy, the local Sudanese community is now faced with the tragic killing of 8 year-old Bomkoth Deng, a Sudanese boy in Calgary, this past weekend.

Bomkoth's family needs financial support for the funeral, and the community as a whole needs our support as they struggle with this tragedy.

On behalf of my colleague Peter Both, local activist and close friend of the family, I'm collecting cards, letters and donations (please include a note with donations). You can drop them off at my work: Arusha (106, 223 - 12 Ave SW; call the office first to make sure someone's there: 270-3200, 270-8002), or contact me for other arrangements. Please try to have them to me by the end of this week.

Cheques should be made out to: Nyakong Pal

I'll also be setting out a card at Arusha, starting this afternoon, for people to sign with messages of condolence. I'll try to have it there until Friday.

Arrangements are still being worked out for the funeral and memorial services. I'll let you know if there are any events that we should attend to support the community.

Grant Neufeld

(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Darfur, Sudan: Genocide

Genocide is happening right now.

But, because they want to ignore their responsibility to the more than a million Sudanese people who are being subjected to murder, rape, displacement and other crimes against humanity, the leaders of the world (who similarly failed the people of Rwanda) refuse to acknowledge that genocide is taking place. If they did acknowledge it, then they would be obliged - not only morally and as human beings, but - under international treaty they would have to take measures to stop it.

Just like they (we) failed to do for Rwanda.

If we can get just one country, perhaps Canada, to formally declare that "genocide" is taking place in Sudan, that will create a treaty obligation in over one hundred countries to intervene in Sudan.

Canadians, please contact your Member of Parliament and demand that the genocide in Sudan be formally acknowledged as "genocide" (you may have to dig to find their local contact info because the government's website hasn't caught up with the recent election results yet). Free postal mail can be sent to any member of parliament to:

House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

(U.S. readers please refer to your House of Representatives.)

Wherever you are, sign-up online to attend a local Sudan Peace Meetup in your community. This is an opportunity to connect with other people who are prepared to work for peace in Sudan.

Extensive information and news on the situation and efforts to force intervention can be found at the "Sudan: The Passion of the Present" blog.

Seen at of, by and for: Please - zephyr teachout.
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)

Protest tactics - taking unexpected spaces

One of the things that made the mass actions at the WTO meetings in Seattle, 1999, so successful was that the "powers that be" didn't expect the space to be taken that way. Now, they fully anticipate such actions at every summit, convention, etc., - so our effectiveness is much diminished from the heights of Seattle.

Maya Schenwar has written an article looking at ways to continue to put activism in unexpected places, and in unexpected ways.

Seen at AlterNet: WireTap: Lights, Camera, Action....
(Copied from my postings to the Wayground Blog.)