Thousands Rally Against Genocide

A rainbow of communities of conscience unite to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2006)– The words “never again” resounded from Washington’s National Mall yesterday, as the first anti-genocide rally in American history drew thousands upon thousands to the nation’s capital.

“We can become the leaders we have been waiting for,” said American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger, speaking to a rainbow sea of faces and ‘Stop Genocide’ signs assembled on the long green lawn.

As co-founder of the Save Darfur Coalition, AJWS organized hundreds of buses from Jewish congregations and interfaith groups from across the country. Boxes of more than 750,000 postcards urging President Bush to act to end genocide, an effort coordinated by the Save Darfur Coalition, were hoisted onto the stage to a cheering crowd. Nearly a dozen leading members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Senator Barack Obama appeared onstage, joining George Clooney, Eli Wiesel, Hotel Rwanda manager Paul Rusesabagina, and others to demand immediate action, not words, to counter the genocide that continues to this day.

Dozens of Darfurians, resettled in Maine, arrived at the rally on a bus sponsored by AJWS. They were joined by thousands of other protesting Africans and African Americans, including a spontaneous Save Darfur march by scores of chanting Washington-based Sudanese.

The rally followed more than 100 public appearances by Ruth Messinger, as well as her arrest Friday outside the Sudanese Embassy.

“In less than six months we have built a bridge connecting communities of conscience across the country. I want to thank the Jewish activists who stood against genocide today and the thousands of Africans, African Americans, Christians and Muslims who joined with us. It is time for the world to take notice: we are on the march. And together, we will end the genocide in Darfur.”  

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