Thousands Rally for Darfur

 

Thousands Rally for Darfur

September 29, 2007

New York City’s Central Park rang with the chants of “We want action now!” at Sunday’s “Rally to Save Darfur: Voices for Genocide” rally, which drew more than 30,000 people demanding an end to the genocide in Sudan. Amidst green shirts, symbolizing solidarity with Darfur, and blue hats, symbolizing the need for U.N. peacekeepers in the region, people from all different walks of life raised their voices to spread this vital message. The rally was the centerpiece of a global day of action, with 57 other events in 41 countries calling on governments and the U.N. Security Council to pressure the government of Sudan to accept U.N. peacekeepers in the region.

A diverse mix of activists, students, concerned citizens, and communities of faith assembled to support action for Sudan. 5th Avenue was lined with buses, which carried the many people who came from across the Northeast states to make their voices heard.

“The world has to act, and it has to do so now,” said former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who kicked off the rally. “This is not about politics. This is about people. We need to get the U.N. in there. President Bush at the U.N. General Assembly has to make clear that the U.N. has to go inside.”

Ethan Rafal, a journalist who recently returned from a trip to Darfur and Eastern Chad where he was detained and jailed, painted a vivid picture of life for refugees and internally displaced persons, adding: “As long as we are human, as long as there are human rights violations in Darfur, we must act!”

Actress Mira Sorvino spoke of how her love for her children motivates her to fight for Darfur. “I love my children more than anyone on earth. It is this that I think of when I think of Darfur. These are families, mothers with small babies, parents who love their children as much as I do.” She then asked the crowd: “How have we let thousands die on our watch? Never again? This is again!”

Musical performances by Suzanne Vega, Big & Rich and O.A.R. added spirit and an extra dose of energy to the crowd.

Simon Deng, a Sudanese man who was enslaved in Sudan while still a child, thanked the audience for standing up for Darfur. “Today, we here in New York City are telling the world community, loud and clear, that we want action now! Having all of you here today shows us, as victims in Sudan, that we are not alone. We have brothers and sisters all over the world.”

Even if you couldn’t attend the rally, you can still make a difference for the people of Darfur. Visit our Darfur Action page to learn more.