Civil Disobedience and Arrests at Sudanese Embassy on Eve of Massive Rally to Save Darfur

“No American of conscience should stand by while genocide occurs in the Sudan,” says Messinger, American Jewish World Service President.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28th 2006)-
Ruth Messinger, President of the American Jewish World Service and co-founder of the Save Darfur Coalition, was arrested today in front of the Sudanese Embassy to protest the genocide in the Sudan. She was participating in a direct action alongside Save Darfur Coalition leaders, religious leaders, and Members of Congress, who were also arrested.

“The Sudanese Government continues to murder, rape and mutilate their own people in Darfur. I am being arrested today because no American of conscience should stand by while genocide occurs in the Sudan. We must not stand idly by and let the violence continue. As Jews, we have a special connection to genocide. We are a community that knows well the dangers of silence. We’re here today to demand that America pays attention. The situation in Darfur is desperate and calls for desperate measures. Today I am being arrested, on Sunday I will march, and American Jewish World Service will continue our humanitarian work in Darfur and advocacy work here in the United States until we stop this genocide. We owe it to all who have died to ensure that honoring and remembering them inspires us to give meaning to the words ‘never again,'” Messinger said.

Every day in Darfur, women are gang-raped by soldiers, unarmed men are hunted down, beaten and brutally murdered in front of their families, and children are robbed of their parents. This genocide has raged for years, and it is now getting worse – spreading to Chad and threatening that country’s stability as well.

The American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is co-sponsoring a demonstration in Washington D.C. called, “Save Darfur: Rally to Stop Genocide,” to take place on Sunday, April 30, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., on the national mall between the Capitol and Washington Monument.

Two years ago, AJWS launched a humanitarian aid and advocacy campaign within the Jewish community to stop the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. AJWS also helped found the interfaith Save Darfur Coalition, the major sponsor of the rally. The Coalition is mobilizing all Americans to act and hopes to attract thousands of people to the rally. Additionally, AJWS is partnering with other Jewish organizations and synagogues to load hundreds of buses with supporters to join the rally.

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Tim Lessick
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