Thursday, July 31, 2008

Join Us for the Darfur Olympics

From's email newsletter:
Dream for Darfur

Dear Friends,

Terror continues for the people of Darfur. Despite our efforts and yours, China has not used its unique influence with Sudan and its role as Olympic host to try to address the Darfur conflict.

China has ignored the people of Darfur. Next week you can send Beijing a message by refusing to watch Chinese propaganda during the Olympics.

Every time China touts itself as a responsible world power during the Games, tune into our alternative Olympic programming on the web. Watch
the Darfur Olympics -- Mia Farrow's daily webcast from a Darfurian refugee camp from August 8 to 15.

Sign up for alerts about Mia's broadcast.

You can also find out more about the other major events in Darfur over the past few weeks -- in particular the
murder of seven peacekeepers in Darfur and the International Criminal Court's charging Sudanese President Bashir with genocide. For more information, click here.

We hope you will stick with us for the rest of the campaign. As we enter this final stretch, we need your help.
Donate today to help us show the world what is really happening in Darfur.


Jill Savitt
Executive Director, Dream for Darfur

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Courtesy of

July 29, 2008 · Print This Article

On eve of Beijing Olympics, Tibetans and their supporters ask athletes to support Tibet

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2008

Contact: Tenzin Dorjee +1 917 289 0228
Han Shan +1 917 289 0228

New York – Less than two weeks before the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, Tibet supporters have placed a full-page ad in the New York Times, appealing to Olympic athletes to show support for Tibet while in Beijing. The ad reads in part, “ At every Olympics, there is one athlete who ends up inspiring the world with their courage and character. We’re hoping that athlete is reading this.” The ad appeared in the Times today, July 29th, on page A9.

The New York Times ad was sponsored by Students for a Free Tibet, whose recent dramatic protests at Mt. Everest base camp, the Great Wall of China, and the Golden Gate Bridge have grabbed worldwide headlines. Listed at the bottom of the ad is the web address, a website sponsored by Students for a Free Tibet and the International Tibet Support Network, a global coalition of over 150 Tibet support organizations.

Tibet groups in North America, Europe, India, and Australia have been reaching out to Olympic hopefuls and athletes from many participating nations, providing information and materials to encourage them to show support for Tibet while at the Games in August.

“Olympic athletes have the platform and the power to inspire the world,” said Tenzin Dorjee, Deputy Director of Students for a Free Tibet. “At the Beijing Games, we believe athletes have the opportunity to inspire not only with their athletic performances, but also by standing up for what is right by supporting human rights and freedom for Tibet.”

The website lists ideas and resources for showing support for Tibet in Beijing this summer. The website suggests raising a Tibetan Flag, wearing ‘Team Tibet’ clothing, and other creative, nonviolent statements of support.

“The Chinese government is using the Olympics as a pretext for an ongoing campaign of brutal repression targeting Tibetans,” said Han Shan, Olympics Campaign Coordinator for Students for a Free Tibet. “We are searching for an athlete to show the Chinese government the true Olympic principles of friendship, solidarity and fair play by standing up for Tibet at the Beijing Olympics.”

“At a time when Chinese authorities are ruthlessly silencing Tibetan voices, it means more than ever when free people speak up for Tibet,” said Yangchen Lhamo, a San Francisco Bay Area-based spokesperson for Students for a Free Tibet. “We believe many athletes compete in the Olympics not just for themselves and their countries, but because they believe in the values of liberty, justice, and human dignity that the Olympics represent. These are the ideals that Tibetans are struggling and dying for at this moment.”

Ms. Lhamo has been involved in outreach activities to U.S. Olympic athletes undergoing processing at San José State University before heading to Beijing. Tibetans from the Bay Area have been on the campus of San José State University and at San Francisco International airport to meet athletes as they arrive.

Tibetans from a coalition of San Francisco-area Tibet groups called “SF Team Tibet” are handing out packets to athletes containing a copy of the New York Times ad, flyers with information about Tibet and the current crackdown by Chinese authorities against freedom protests, ideas of nonviolent actions athletes could take to show support for Tibet at the Olympics, a small Tibetan flag, and a “Team Tibet” embroidered patch. Tibetans have reported being repeatedly threatened with arrest by San José police for being on the campus of San José State but continue their outreach efforts.

Tibetans across the Tibetan plateau continue to suffer under a massive clampdown by Chinese authorities in the wake of protests that began in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on March 10th, anniversary of the 1959 uprising against China’s occupation, and rippled across the Tibetan plateau. Hundreds of Tibetans were killed in China’s violent crackdown against Tibetan protests, and thousands of Tibetans remain detained, according to conservative estimates from a variety of sources. Buddhist monasteries and nunneries have been sealed off, and Chinese officials have touted political indoctrination campaigns designed to break Tibetan resistance to Chinese rule.

Recently, reports have emerged that at least 1,000 Buddhist monks from the major monasteries around the capital city Lhasa have been shipped more than 1,000 kilometers away to prisons and detention camps in northern and eastern Tibet. The Times of London reported that family members of the monks have been told they will be released only after the Olympics, and forced to return to their home villages. A large majority of the monks studying in Lhasa have traveled there from other parts of Tibet to study at the renowned monasteries around the capital. With a few limited exceptions, international media remain effectively barred from Tibet.


Written by ft08editor · Filed Under Press Releases

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hope and Peace

Crossposted from Modern Musings.

Purple Zoe of the UltraViolet Underground and co-collaborator for the Am I not Human campaign has once again done a remarkable job on this month's E-Book entitled Art 4 Humanity.

Click on the image to access the free download.

The Olympic Games are fast approaching with opening day falling on August 8th which also happens to be my second son, Sanjay's fifth birthday. We started this campaign to educate, motivate and activate on behalf of our Darfurian and Tibetan families both of whom are affected by the policies of the sponsor country of this year's Olympics Games, China.

Let's take a wholistic look at the Olympic Games and what this ritual represents. The Ancient Greeks established the Olympic Games in 776 BC where physical strength and stamina were displayed in honor of Zeus. Until 393 AD, the games were highly ritualized with the games being a part of the whole festival, until the Roman Christians decided that the polytheistic Greek culture was pagan and the games were banned.

The Modern Olympics was reinstated in 1870 as a world wide sporting event designed to be secular in nature. The traditional prize awarded to the winner of a competition was a crown of olive leaves symbolizing hope and peace.

Beijing, China will host the games this year and have displaced over 1.5 million Chinese people for the effort. 1.5 million people illegally evicted from their homes with no available option to protest. Ye Guozhu was sentenced and imprisoned for trying to organize peaceful protests for the forced evictees. Did those Chinese have any hope or peace?

In Sudan, China holds the largest share of the country's oil reserve and when the current depopulation campaign starting in Southern Sudan, Darfur, in 2003, marked an increase of arms sales between China and Sudan. China is Sudan's largest arms supplier. China's oil pipeline from Southern Sudan brought in the international oil market.

In Tibet, China wrongfully claims this territory that historically enjoyed a autonomous relationship with China. With a new train line into Lhasa, Tibetans in Tibet are becoming a minority. After the cultural revolution in China in the 1950s when Mao declared all religion to be the opium of the masses, Tibetan Buddhism has been on the attack. The Chinese government openly declares the Dalai Lama to be a ruthless and clever terrorist, yes terrorist. It is illegal to carry or display his photograph. The recent barbarism of the Chinese government against Tibetans cannot be swept aside.

The Am I not Human Campaign is not anti-Olympics and in fact the Electronic Village another co-collaborator of the campaign highlights Joseph Lopepe "Lopez" Lomong a Sudanese native who through hard work and dedication has secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. He is utilizing the platform for more than showing off his physical skills. As a member of Team Darfur, he is educating the world on the plight of the Southern Sudanese.

What we do have a problem with is any corporate profiteering of the Beijing Olympics without acknowledging the role that the Chinese government plays in the Tibet and Darfur.

So I encourage you to Turn Off:

Pledge to turn off the commercials of Olympic Sponsors during the Games.

Olympic corporate sponsors have been silent about China’s financing of the Darfur genocide, even as the sponsors are spending billions to enhance China’s image as Olympic host. If sponsors continue to ignore China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide, we will ignore their million-dollar ad campaigns.

Hope and Peace is what the Olympics should stand for.

Suggested Actions:

Email or call the Olympic Corporate Sponsors.

Send a letter to companies sponsoring the 2008 Olympics, hosted by China. (Dream for Darfur’s email system will let you do this with the touch of a button.)

Write to the UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace.
Mr. Adolf Ogi represents the UN Secretary-General in contacts with international sports bodies. Tell him you are concerned that the world will gather for the Olympics while the people of Darfur are being slaughtered.

Petition the International Olympic Committee.
Urge the IOC to work with the international community to ensure that China uses its leverage with the government of Sudan to help stop the genocide in Darfur, and avoids tarnishing the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Organizations dedicated to ending the genocide in Darfur

More from Modern Musings on Darfur, Am I not Human and Tibet.

Home Portal of the Am I not Human Campaign at Roots of Humanity.

From the Internets and not necessarily directly involved in the Am I not Human Campaign:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Am I Not Human?

We are one.

Download the Am I Not Human ebook for July.
This ebook explores the suffering of our human
siblings through the arts.

Download link:

crossposted at UltravioletUnderground

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ICC Calls For Arrest Warrant For Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir

Justice and Peace In The Sudan

In a welcome step, today the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur.

In a report released today, ENOUGH Executive Director John Norris, Co-Chair John Prendergast, and Research Associate David Sullivan argue that the call to arrest Bashir is not only based on sound evidence, but that it can be a step forward in the path to secure peace. “The status quo in Sudan is one of the deadliest in the world. Until there is a consequence for the commission of genocide, it will continue. This action introduces a cost, finally, into the equation,” says Prendergast. Using examples of past indictments of war criminals Slobodan Milosevic during the 1999 Kosovo conflict, and of Charles Taylor in 2003 in Liberia, the report argues that introducing accountability for crimes against humanity can break the cycle of impunity and improve prospects for peace in seemingly intractable conflicts. Norris notes “with more than 300,000 dead and millions displaced in Darfur, it is shocking that these charges are even remotely controversial. President Bashir has orchestrated the Darfur tragedy from day one, and any efforts to sweep his actions under the rug are both shameful and counterproductive.”

Read the report here.

-Enough Project

PZ says:
The call for an arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Bashir, is an immense victory. Your calls for action are making a difference that will set a precedent for other countries like Uganda and the Republic of Congo that are in similar situations. Thankyou for taking a stand.

Tremendous Thanks to Cooper for the intel.

Read More from Darfur: A Hell On Earth

Related Intel:

Sudanese President Accused of Genocide

Announcing the request, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said that Mr. Bashir “masterminded and implemented” a plan to destroy the three main ethnic groups in Darfur, the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.
“His motives were largely political,” the prosecutor said. “His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency. His intent was genocide.”
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, of Argentina, charged that, having failed to defeat a rebellion, the Sudanese president turned against civilians. “Al-Bashir organized the destitution, insecurity and harassment of the survivors,” he said. “He did not need bullets. He used other weapons: rapes, hunger and fear. As efficient, but silent.”

Dirma, The Sudanese Thinker, writes of his misgivings in Sudan Not Afraid of the ICC

Read More

crossposted at UltravioletUnderground

Friday, July 11, 2008

Letter from Olympic Corporate Sponsor * Microsoft

I recently joined other villagers in sending messages to Olympic corporate sponsors asking them to use their influence over China to make things better in Darfur.

Here is response that I received from Microsoft:

Thank you for your recent letter to Microsoft regarding the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Beijing Olympics present an opportunity for countries to come together in athletic competition, and to draw attention to universal values such as individual and team endeavor, fair competition, excellence and achievement. The Olympics have the power to transform global relationships, create unity and accelerate positive change in the world.

Microsoft respects the International Olympic Committee’s decision to select China as the host country of this year’s games and is pleased to be able to support the games as a softw
are supplier and a distributor of licensed Olympics coverage through our partnership with NBC Universal.

Like people all around the world, we are shocked and horrified by the violence and human rights violations in Darfur. We commend Dream for Darfur and other organizations for their leadership in casting a spotlight on this atrocity and the need for immediate international resolution. Governments and international organizations – the United Nations chief among them – as well as humanitarian relief organizations - will need to continue to work together locally and globally to address the problems in the Sudan. Microsoft will continue to support these organizations in their mission through technology assistance and other resources.

We appreciate having this opportunity to clarify our position and activities and thank you again for taking the time to share your views with Microsoft.

Daniel T. Bross, Director
Stakeholder Engagement
Microsoft Corporation

Have you heard from any of the corporate sponsors that you wrote to about China's role in Darfur?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering will not attend Olympic Games opening ceremony


[Wednesday, July 09, 2008 20:09]

Strasbourg, July 9 - The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has noted with great regret that the meetings between the envoys of the Dalai Lama - Mr Lodi Gyari and Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen - and the Chinese authorities at the beginning of July in Beijing have not led to any result concerning Tibet; as indicated in a press release from the Dalai Lama’s envoys.

President Pöttering recalled the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 10 April 2008, with regard to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 8 August which calls for “the option of non-attendance, in the event that there is no resumption of dialogue between the Chinese authorities and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

Hans-Gert Pöttering added:
“Given that these talks have to date proved inconclusive, I have decided not to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

“But I very much hope that the dialogue between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities will soon be pursued in a constructive way aimed at achieving results.

The Dalai Lama has always called for non violent protest and has rejected calls for Tibetan independence. He has instead proposed the middle way of cultural autonomy and religious freedom for Tibet and has never questioned China’s territorial integrity. He has the full support of the European Parliament for his approach.

We expect that China will respect its own public commitments to human rights and minority rights, announced when the decision to allow China to organise the Games was taken. This is a great opportunity for China to open itself up to the world and to demonstrate that it is committed to internationally-recognised fundamental rights.”

July 27th is approaching and that means another installment of the Am I not Human Campaign a collective work of the Roots of Humanity. This will be the last installment prior to the Olympic Games and therefore extremely important. Keep a look out for action items on and off line. Our Darfurian and Tibetan families deserve to be recognized as a viable segment of humanity. If brutal repression of human rights and obscene violence will not be addressed by a country that is sponsoring an international sporting ritual, yes a ritual, What does that say?

Click here to subscribe to recent posts from Roots of Humanity born from the Blogblast In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur.

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

crossposted from

Countdown to Beijing Olympics

Source: Students for a Free Tibet Update

Today marks the one-month countdown to the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

And with only one month to go, the Chinese government is intensifying its campaign of repression in Tibet, aimed at preventing protests during the Games. Just over two weeks ago, journalists who joined a government-controlled tour of Lhasa during the Olympic torch relay reported that the maroon-robed Buddhist monks they had seen on previous visits had seemingly disappeared from Lhasa and nearby monasteries.

Through our own sources and from a shocking article in The Times (UK), we have learned more about the lengths the Chinese government is willing to go for a protest-free Olympics.

Chinese authorities have reportedly rounded up more than 1,000 monks from the main three monasteries in Lhasa, shipped them more than 1,000 kilometers away, and are holding them in prisons and detention centers until the end of the Olympics. Read the article in The Times and read SFT's press release in response to this shocking travesty.

We can only imagine the level of security – and repression – Chinese authorities will implement during the Games themselves. At this moment when the stakes are highest, Beijing is doing everything it can to suppress the voice of the Tibetan people by imprisoning thousands of Tibetans, deploying tens of thousands of additional Chinese troops in Tibet, intimidating families and implementing a campaign of political indoctrination on all Tibetans. The situation inside Tibet is dire and it is more urgent than ever for the world to speak up on behalf of the Tibetan people.

As history has so often illustrated, it is usually ordinary people who do extraordinary things that demonstrate the true meaning of courage and character.

Join us in appealing to athletes going to the Beijing Olympics to show the true meaning of courage and character by standing up for Tibet at this critical time. For more information on reaching out to athletes in your community, please click here.

At every Olympics, there is one athlete who ends up inspiring the world with their courage and character. At the Beijing Games, we believe this athlete may be the one who is an example not only of determination and athletic skill, but also of standing up for what is right by speaking out for human rights and freedom in Tibet. Together, Tibetans and their supporters and people of conscience worldwide can ensure the Beijing Olympics shine a glaring spotlight on the Chinese government's ongoing violent crackdown inside Tibet. With your help, we will be a force for change in Tibet and in China.

Please visit to stay up to date on everything related to SFT's Olympics campaign.

One World, One Dream: Free Tibet!
The SFT HQ Crew

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Video Satire on Beijing Olympics

The video is by award-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore. He introduces the world to the Olympic mascot Beijing wanted to keep a secret: "Gengen Genocide."

With less than 30 days left until the Olympics, the window of opportunity to pressure China is closing. But we still need China to use its influence with Sudan to stop the Darfur genocide.

I encourage villagers to join the Switch Over campaign.

We want to send a message to Olympic corporate sponsors; they have influence with China as host of the Games. Tell sponsors of these Genocide Games to use this influence and end their silence on Darfur.

We are not asking you to boycott the Olympics. With Switch Over, you ignore sponsors that ignore Darfur -- by pledging to change the channel during the Olympics when certain sponsors' commercials come on.

Villagers, what say u? Are you willing to participate in this effort of individual protest on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Darfur?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Call on Investors: Stand Up for Human Rights in Darfur

We all know how our nation's dependence on foreign oil is bringing our economy to its knees. It turns out that the U.S. isn't the only country with a troubling dependence on oil.

In Sudan, the dependence on oil is literally a matter of life and death. We can use that dependence on oil to our advantage in the continuing struggle to end the human rights violations in Sudan.

I encourage all villagers to press some of the most powerful companies in the world to use their influence to help end the human rights catastrophe in Darfur. We need corporations to help ensure the speedy and full deployment of the UN-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) in Darfur. Khartoum must hear from key economic interests, including the oil companies that they depend on for revenue. To convince these oil companies to act, we must enlist their investors as our allies.

In the past year Amnesty International had success working with several top U.S. investment firms, including Morgan Stanley and T. Rowe Price, who have committed to raising concerns about Darfur with oil companies in which they are invested.

Perhaps it is time for us to add our voices. Perhaps, we can convince even those companies that ignore us to take a similar stand.

I encourage you to send email or letter to investors in Sudan’s oil industry. Ask them to follow the lead of companies like Morgan Stanley and T. Rowe Price to take a stand for the people of Darfur.

NOTE: This is a cross-post from the Electronic Village.

The next step is yours. What say u?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

China's Anti-Protest Drills Have Commenced One Month Before Genocide Olympics

Determined to oppress any dissent whatsoever, China has been running anti-protest drills, which they are calling 'anti-terrorist' drills. China and American alike need to calm down with the usage of the word terrorism, because dissent and terrorism are two very different things.

China’s armed police operating a flame sprayer for an "anti-terrorist"/anti-Tibetan Protestor drill held in Jinan on Jul 2 2008 for the Genocide Olympics.

Source: Street Knowledge,Xinhuanet

Friday, July 4, 2008

Switch Over to Darfur

NOTE: This is a cross-post from the Electronic Village.

We get tied up in our day-to-day existence and sometimes don't think about others on Mother Earth. That is one of the reasons that I support the 'Am I Not Human?' campaign initiated by the brothers and sisters of the Roots of Humanity blog.

This month I want to invite all villagers to take a moment to think about the atrocities committed in Darfur ... especially as you prepare to watch the 2008 Olympics in August. Truth to tell, I invite you to tell the Olympic sponsors to help end genocide in Darfur.

After all, in a little over a month, China and the Olympic sponsors will kick off the Beijing Olympics. With your help, we can make sure the world, the sponsors, and specifically China do not forget about the people of Darfur.

I encourage you to learn about a new campaign, 'Switch Over to Darfur,' sponsored by Dream for Darfur, which will help keep the pressure on China and Olympic sponsors leading up to the Games in Beijing.

Click here to check out the new campaign and take the 'Switch Over' pledge.

Earlier this month, advocates held nationwide protests outside the offices of Olympic sponsors that have remained silent about the genocide in Darfur. These events were covered by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and many other media outlets. We believe that the privileges of Olympic sponsorship come with responsibilities. Sponsors are eager for access to China's consumers and have been working to enhance China's image as Olympic host. Sponsors are also associating themselves with all the positive values represented by the Games -- but not working to uphold those values.

When asked to take action for Darfur, 16 out of 19 top Olympic sponsors chose to remain silent.

On the new 'Switch Over' website, you can let the Olympic corporate sponsors know that you intend to ignore companies that ignore Darfur.

Villagers, we have brothers and sisters all over Mother Earth who ask the question, 'Am I Not Human?' Isn't it time that we answer them? What say u?