Save Darfur Rally At Chinese Embassy In Los Angeles

Who knew so many hotties would show up for an anti-genocide rally? Pictures

Sure, the cops and politicans and clergy were there, but so were 200 youngies and cuties (along with the requisite oldies and uglies).

I need to go to more of these things. I care deeply about my fellow man and even more deeply about my fellow woman.

"Hey baby, I was thinking of going to the North Korean embassy after this to protest its human rights violations. Perhaps you’d like to join me? I’ve got some great genocide videos back at my place — The Killing Fields, Hotel Rwanda, Schindler’s List, The Pianist. Let’s make tonight count! It could be our last!"

Jewish World Watch organized the rally. Here is its press release:

Today, approximately 100 activists, clergy, and elected officials once again gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate to call on China as Sudan’s chief diplomatic sponsor, major weapons provider, and largest foreign investor and trade partner and as host of the 2008 Summer Olympics – to use its unique position to lead the world in bringing an end to the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in Darfur.  In light of recent allegations that China continues to sell aircraft and weapons to the Sudanese government in violation of the arms embargo, activists said the situation is untenable.

 

“The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics are quickly approaching,” said Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Co-Founder & President, Jewish World Watch. “With it, our window of opportunity to use the leverage of the Summer Olympics on behalf of the people of Darfur is closing fast; however, China must understand that we will continue to raise our voices month after month to make the statement that a country that chooses the theme, “One world, one dream” for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, must “dream” of ending genocide and, more importantly, stop funding it – especially in flagrant violation of the arms embargo.”

 

Rabbi Ari Leubitz of Bnai David, a Modern Orthodox congregation added, "China has the chance to win international applause and gratitude by taking action on Darfur … by taking positive action on human rights before the games.  It’s not too late."

 

China is Sudan’s leading foreign investor, one of its largest oil exporters, and one of its closest allies. An estimated 70% of Sudan’s crude exports go to China. China is also one of the greatest sources of Sudan’s arms – including not only guns and leg irons, but also heavy equipment, such as helicopters and fighter aircraft. In the meantime, Chinese investments soften the impact of sanctions that individual countries have imposed, and China has blocked major efforts to impose international sanctions on Khartoum for the atrocities it is carrying out against its own people.

 

Activists have had four demands for China that have not been fulfilled. They are:

 

·         Immediately provide half of the transport helicopters that UNAMID requires, with support from Europe and the United States for maintenance and contracting arrangements.

·         Support punitive measures, such as UN Security Council targeted sanctions, against Khartoum officials, until peace and security for Darfur is achieved.  UN targeted sanctions should be imposed immediately against government, rebel, or militia officials who are responsible for undermining UNAMID’s deployment, the North-South peace deal, or regional stability, such as attempting to overthrow the government in neighboring Chad.

·         Verifiably suspend all military cooperation with the Khartoum regime, including weapons transfers, until peace and security for Darfur is achieved.

·         Work with the United States, France, and the United Kingdom in a quartet supporting UN and African Union initiatives in Darfur, Southern Sudan, and Chad.  This cooperative work on the peace process needs to be comprehensive.  The problems of Darfur, Southern Sudan, and Chad are intertwined, so unless peace is advanced on all of these fronts it will be unlikely to be achieved on any of these fronts.

 

“As we all know, China has had a deplorable record for human rights violations,” continued Kamenir-Reznik. “The Olympics gave China the opportunity to enter the world stage and create a new image for itself as a world leader that refuses to be party to a genocide. Unfortunately China chose not to do so and instead has refused to meet its responsibilities as a world citizen or use its influence on the Sudanese government to assist the peace process. Recently, China revoked the visa of Olympic Champion Joey Cheeks, whose only crime has been to co-found the organization Team Darfur – an organization that helps athletes speak out about the genocide. China’s actions show us that it will do anything within its power to stifle voices of conscience. But until China recognizes its part in this atrocity, we will continue to hold its feet to the fire.”

 

Jewish World Watch is a coalition of almost 60 synagogues working together to mobilize synagogues, their schools, members and the community to combat genocide and other egregious violations of human rights around the world.  In response to the 400,000 civilians that have been murdered and the nearly 2.5 million people who have been displaced in the Sudan, Jewish World Watch chose Darfur as its first advocacy campaign.  Since its inception, these synagogues have actively mobilized to stop the genocide in Darfur and have allocated more than $1,000,000 in direct assistance to the people in Darfur.

 

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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