Saturday, June 28, 2008

G8 Warns Sudan Of More UN Action

Yes. This is what we've been waiting for. Enforce the laws. Give the ICC the teeth it needs to stop crimes against humanity and genocide in their tracks.

JAPAN: Group of Eight powers warned Friday they could take further action against Sudan at the UN Security Council unless it complies with demands to bring Darfur war crimes suspects to justice.

Foreign ministers of the industrial powers called for an immediate ceasefire in the parched province, where the United Nations estimates that up to 300,000 people have died since the conflict broke out in 2003.

Sudan has refused to comply with UN Security Council demands to hand over two suspects to the International Criminal Court who are accused of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, torture and rape.

"We call on all parties concerned to abide by their obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions; we would otherwise support further appropriate action in the UN Security Council," a G8 statement said after two days of talks in Kyoto, Japan.

"We urge the government of Sudan and all other parties to participate fully with the International Criminal Court in order to put an end to impunity for the crimes committed in Darfur," said the ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime and state-backed "Janjaweed militias, prompting a clampdown that the United States has branded as genocide.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Am I Not Human?

Download the June ebook here.

Thankyou to everyone who participates in raising awareness on the 27th of each month and on every other day for our human siblings
bearing the weight of corrupt and procrastinating governments. Our voices make a difference.

Be persistent. Be creative. Be heard.

crossposted at UltravioletUnderground.


We're accepting art and poetry dedicated to our suffering human siblings for the next ebook. You can send your submissions to: RootsofHumanity at

Sunday, June 22, 2008

President Bush: Please LEAD on Darfur

We now have less than two months until the Beijing Olympic Games begin on August 8.

I urge all villagers to write a letter to President Bush asking him to lead on Darfur. The UN Security Council has just returned from its trip to Africa, where it visited the Darfur region.

During June, as President of the Security Council, the United States is in a unique position to exert its influence to ensure that the peacekeepers and civilian police authorized almost a year ago by the UN are deployed immediately.

Write to President Bush now and tell him how crucial his leadership is in urging China and other Security Council members to deploy the peacekeeping force to Darfur.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Burma, It Can't Wait

Watch More Videos at:

Crossposted at UltravioletUnderground

National Day of Action

Today on United Nations World Refugee Day activists and
community leaders across the country are protesting the non-activity of corporate sponsors who have the leverage to make change in the lives of the
the 2.5 million displaced from their homes in Darfur. Activists will gather at the
stores and headquarters of Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola, General Electric,
Swatch and Volkswagen intent to hold these companies accountable for their
silence on the genocide in Darfur.

If you can't make an event.
Write to them and let them know you protest them in spirit and are actively boycotting their products.

Quick template you can use:

As an aware citizen, I am appalled that you have not taken a stand on the human rights abuses in Darfur that are directly funded by China's gun trade with the Sudanese government. Due to my inability to physically take a stand on this particular day, I am protesting you in spirit. This protest is in solidarity with my human siblings who are protesting you in person.
I am spreading the word, and may even post an open letter or blog about it in solidarity with other activists doing the same. It is deplorable that you have not taken an active stance against genocide and crimes against humanity. By now you must realize consumers will continue with loud and bold activism for Darfur and other areas affected by crimes against humanity and genocide. Aware consumers are growing and will be supporting companies that engage in humane practices, partnerships, and fair trade. This is the time we are in, because it is time for all of us to wake up and take a stand for humane and ecologically sound living.


-------(insert your name here)-----

note: Yes, the template has an angry tone, but aren't we tired of the softspoken excuses corporations are giving us? If they don't realize by now we will continue to be vocal and the voices will grow against corporate funded genocide and crimes against humanity, they might want to hire some people who can see more clearly for them.

The Direct Links To Online Contact Forms For Some Of The Major Corporations Non-Active In Darfur Leadership:


General Electric

If you haven't already sent a mass letter announcing your boycott directly to China's corporate sponsors click here as well.

Thankyou for your active solidarity. Your voice is saving lives.

Watch daily videos from Chad, here.

Crossposted at UltravioletUnderground.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More weapons, more lives lost in Darfur

A Call to Action from Amnesty International

The current U.N. arms embargo in Darfur has not stopped the government of Sudan from assisting allied militia in smuggling prohibited weapons into Darfur.

This June, expand the U.N. arms embargo to cover not just Darfur, but all of Sudan

Weapons enter the country of Sudan; increased bloodshed follows in Darfur.

The relationship between weapons transfers and increased violence is easy to see. Stop the flow of weapons into Darfur. Call on Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. representative to the United Nations, to lead the U.N. Security Council in expanding the arms embargo to cover not just Darfur, but all of Sudan.

Despite the current U.N. ban on weapons to Darfur, arms continue to find their way into this conflict-torn region. The government of Sudan in particular continues to violate the embargo by delivering prohibited arms to allied militia. The proliferation of arms and militarized vehicles in the region has led to an increase in violent attacks on civilians and humanitarian convoys.

Heavy weapons, small arms, ammunition, and other military equipment, including Antonov planes and M-24 helicopters, have been entering Darfur from other countries and other parts of Sudan. It is clear that the limited scope of the U.N. arms embargo cannot effectively restrain the arms flow from reaching Darfur. Urge the U.N. Security Council to broaden the arms embargo to cover all of Sudan.

Ambassador Khalilzad, as president of the U.N. Security Council for the month of June, gives the U.S. a unique opportunity to shape and lead a renewed commitment to halt the flow of arms into Darfur. Write to Ambassador Khalilzad and ecourage the U.S. to take the lead in expanding the arms embargo to cover all of Sudan.
Stop the arms flow into Darfur.
Take Action Now!
Urge the U.N. Security Council to expand the arms embargo to cover not just Darfur, but all of Sudan.
©Scott Nelson/Getty Images

More weapons means more lives lost in Darfur. Stop the arms flow into Darfur.


Meredith Larson
Darfur Campaign Director
Amnesty International USA

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© Copyright 2008 | Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza | New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400

Monday, June 16, 2008

Darfur: National Day of Action, 6/20/2008

I encourage all villagers to join the Nationwide Day of Action on June 20. Please join Dream for Darfur and Save Darfur Coalition for a nationwide protest against the silence of Olympic corporate sponsors on the Darfur crisis.

To mark United Nations World Refugee Day on June 20, students, activists, and community leaders in cities across the country are gathering at the stores and headquarters of sponsors that have failed to address the Darfur genocide - despite their responsibility as stakeholders of the Olympics. Click here to attend an event in your community.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lakers and Darfur

Lakers forward Ira Newble takes stand on Darfur conflict

LOS ANGELES — The children drew pictures of women with babies being shot in the back by soldiers, of helicopters and planes dropping bombs.

Those pictures and the faces of the children who drew them remain sharp in the mind of Ira Newble, the Los Angeles Lakers forward who visited two refugee camps in Chad last August and heard stories from victims of the deadly conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

"They watched their family members being shot. They drew what they saw," Newble said. "It was emotional. What helped me keep my emotions under control was the fact that these kids' spirits were still high. I couldn't believe it. Maybe it was because they were excited to see a refreshing face."

Newble, a seldom-used reserve on a Lakers team playing in the NBA finals, has become one of the most outspoken athletes in drawing attention to Darfur. An estimated 400,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced in the last five years, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Newble knew very little before reading a newspaper account in February 2007, while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That was just the beginning for the 33-year-old Detroit native, who learned that China is a major trading partner and a supplier of weapons to the Sudanese government.

That summer he travelled to Africa to witness the devastation himself. Newble said one camp had about 20,000 refugees, the other about 25,000. There were many more camps in Darfur, some with as many as 100,000 refugees.

"The lack of food, water, shelter. I felt horrible and almost powerless," Newble said. "There's so many people, you want to help everybody, but you can't."

He spoke with some of the women and was told horrific tales of being kept for weeks by members of the militia, called the Janjaweed, and being raped every night by 10 to 20 soldiers.

"I was surprised at how strong these women were and able to tell their stories," he said. "They want the world to know what's happened to them."

Government troops and militia units have been battling rebels opposed to a government they say persecutes the non-Arab population. The militia units, believed to be government-funded, have targeted civilians.

Newble has been joined by several NBA players in bringing attention to Darfur, including teammates Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum.

Along with Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Tracy McGrady, Matt Barnes and Emeka Okafor, those players have made public service announcements about Darfur that can be seen at the Web site

"It's devastating to know of the atrocities Darfur has faced," Nash said. "Using a little of my time to help those in dire need and heighten the awareness of the situation so the innocent in Darfur can have a better life is the least I can do."

Hunter Payne, who founded Aid Still Required with his wife, Andrea, contacted the NBA players and produced the videos.

"This is just the beginning," Payne said. "We're moving on to athletes in other sports."

Activist actress Mia Farrow, who plans to make her 10th trip to Darfur this summer, called Newble "a man of conscience."

"It gives me hope when I see somebody like Ira," she said. "Out of nowhere, there's this basketball player who does a phenomenal thing. He's doing his utmost to bring an end to the suffering he's witnessed."

Beijing will host the Olympics in August, and while Newble isn't necessarily in favour of a boycott, he wants the world to know what's going on.

"I just want to focus on trying to get as many of the Olympians to figure out how we can show some form of solidarity at the Olympics without disrespecting the games," he said.

Newble said his inspiration came in part from former athletes like Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

"In 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos used the Olympics as a platform," Newble said. "In hindsight today, they're heroes for what they did."

Newble, whose website is, said he might go to Darfur again this summer.

"The one thing that's been missing from different political and social issues was athletic presence," he said.

Newble said former teammate LeBron James wanted to take a role in getting other Olympic athletes involved.

"I don't always talk about this in the locker room or pressure guys," Newble said. "My focus first is doing my job and winning a championship. I have to take my hat off to Kobe and give him my respect because he did do a (public service announcement) about it. At the time, it was not (done by) high-profile athletes."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

World Day Against Child Labor

Today is World Day Against Child Labor.
Learn More here

Read an article about the Modern day slavery of child workers that you may unwittingly be contributing to here.

Take action to make change here and here.

*World Day Against Child Labor was established in 2002 by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as a way to highlight to plight of children exposed to the worst forms of child labor. This year's theme is "Education: The Right Response to Child Labor." More information available here.

-From ILRF

crossposted at UU

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Great African Scandal

Do you wear, purchase or create in gold?
Do you eat American grown rice?
Do you eat, purchase or create in chocolate?

I did. That is until I watched a film by Dr. Robert Beckford who visited Ghana and meets with three families involved in extracting the natural resources needed for gold, rice and chocolate.

This film is a strong argument for Fair Trade items.

Yes, Fair Trade costs more and with the skyrocketing of food prices globally it is hard to consider going for pricier fair trade chocolate, for instance. If we are to truly calculate costs, however, no price is great enough.

Buying fair trade insures that no child labor is used, that schooling is mandatorily provided and that worker's conditions are monitored and maintained for safety.

According to the Fair Trade Federation:
"Children’s school fees are paid; nutritional needs met; health care costs are covered; the poor, especially women, are empowered; the environmental impact of production, sourcing, and transport is mitigated to the fullest extent possible. Such an impact is created, because fair trade approaches development as a holistic process."
If we are not conscious of the processes and consequences of the goods we purchase we are agents of destruction. With awakened knowledge however, we will be found to be Agents of Rejuvenation.

Watch The Great African Scandal.

Will you alter your purchases after viewing this video?

A Contribution of Danielle Vyas

Monday, June 9, 2008

'On Our Watch' Airs On PBS

Watch the full program online through this website:

PBS' June 2008 update

Nearly a year has passed since the U.N. Security Council ordered the creation of a joint U.N.-A.U. peacekeeping force of 26,000 troops. The force still has only 9,000 troops, lacks equipment that it has requested from member states and continues to be stymied by political obstacles.

Meanwhile, two men indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court remain at large: Ahmad Harun was named minister of humanitarian affairs -- giving the suspected janjaweed organizer oversight of peacekeepers and refugees -- and Ali Kushayb was captured but released. Another suspected janjaweed ringleader, Musa Hilal, was named as a special adviser to the Khartoum government. Sudanese ambassador to the U.N. Abdelmahmood Abdelhaleem has denied that the government is interfering in peacekeeping efforts and insists that the charges brought by the ICC are false.

Experts continue to debate the wisdom of intervention: Sudan scholar Alex de Waal, who critiqued the peacekeeping plan when he was interviewed for FRONTLINE's report, On Our Watch, wrote in his essay "Why Darfur intervention is a mistake" that "UN patrols around the displaced camps could stop many of these [civilian] killings and monitors following army operations can deter others. I am all for this. But let us not pretend that they would stop the war." And in a piece for The New York Times, Warren Hoge considers Darfur's wider implications for the United Nations' "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine.

Read More

Thankyou to Yobachi for sharing the link.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Luis Moreno-Ocampo Sees No Military Justification For War Crimes

Luis Moreno-Ocampo as the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in the Hague, expressed intolerance for war criminals, in a speech to the UN Security council. Darfur: A Hell on Earth brings us a quote from that speech, where he points out very clearly that the Sudan has refused to relinquish Ahmad Harun (Indicted Minister), and Ali Kushayb (Janjaweed Leader), both war criminals:

“There is no military justification for bombing schools, no legal excuse for raping women. Those crimes have been carefully prepared, and efficiently implemented. Those are not mistakes. Those are not inter-tribal clashes. Those are not cases of collateral damage. Those are, simply, criminal acts against civilians, unarmed civilians."

Read the full story here: