Act for Sudan, Activism, aerial bombardment, Blue Nile, Church, Faith J. H. McDonnell, genocide, Institute on Religion and Democracy, IRD Blog, Islam, Nuba Mountains, Obama, Politics, Presidential debates, presidential race, religious freedom, religious liberty, Romney, starvation, Sudan
Dear President Obama, Dear Governor Romney: What about Sudan?
Act for Sudan, an alliance of Sudan advocacy groups and individual activists that includes IRD, hopes to challenge the Presidential contenders with this question in the days leading up to the election. We are challenging you to join us in raising thunderous support for Sudan. It’s easier than you think with Act for Sudan’s four-part campaign.
1. ASK THE MODERATORS
The first part of the What about Sudan? Campaign was described here. This is a simple online petition to the three debate moderators requesting they ask the candidates how they propose to revamp U.S. Sudan policy. In addition, you can sign this similar petition sponsored by some great college students in Pennsylvania who are Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors.
2. BE AT THE DEBATES (OR AT LEAST OUTSIDE)
And speaking of colleges…the second action you can take to help raise the thunderous support for Sudan during the election season is to be present at the college campuses where the debates will take place. The Vice Presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, KY on October 11 is quickly approaching. If you live in the area, and want to take a stand for Sudan, please contact IRD.
The two remaining Presidential debates are at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY on October 16 and Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL on October 22. If you are in the area, or have friends or family in the area that you think may be interested in helping out, please contact IRD.
We are focused on the debate at Hofstra right now, where we already have a team that will be present in the public free speech area on campus, so you would not be alone! There will be “What about Sudan?” signs and red and blue t-shirts featuring the same message, addressed to the candidates. Our Act for Sudan coordinator adds that we hope to:
- have someone taking photos and uploading them real time
- be tweeting with #WhatAboutSudan
- have enough people to grab media’s attention but also making our own grassroots media through social media
Everybody who wants to go must register by OCTOBER 12 at (http://www.hofstra.edu/Debate/debate_publicarea.html).
3. ASK THE CANDIDATES
You can ask the Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to explain their plan for Sudan at the upcoming debates. Act for Sudan wants to know how each of the candidates would act to stop the continuing mass atrocities against civilians by the government of Sudan. If you are on Twitter, you can also tweet this message: Will next US president stop #Sudan’s regime from killing its people? Ask @barackobama & @mittromney, #WhatAboutSudan? http://bit.ly/UUCFib to encourage others to sign the petition and to retweet your message.
4. THUNDERCLAP THE MESSAGE
Finally we get to the reason for my post’s title. It would be wonderful if our efforts to ask the moderators, show up on campus, and ask the candidates were thunderous, but Thunderclap will help us make noise. Thunderclap describes itself as ”the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps users be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, that rises above the noise of your social networks. By boosting the signal at the same time, Thunderclap helps a single person create action and change like never before.”
Act for Sudan has created a Thunderclap for this message. But we need to reach at least 100 supporters of the goal (this just means that you allow Thunderclap to share the message on your behalf by your Facebook and/or Twitter) by 1PM, October 15 in order to share the message. Right now we have 68 supporters. Will you help? The Act for Sudan action page also allows you to change your Facebook and Twitter pictures to support the message.
All of us have many concerns about our country and our world and wonder how the next President will address them. But there is room in the Presidential debates, and among the urgent issues of the next term, to take a stand against genocide and impunity in Sudan, and to change the current U.S. Sudan policy of moral equivalence that always benefits the Khartoum regime.
Genocide is taking place in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State. The Sudanese regime is regularly bombing innocent civilians and orchestrating the starvation deaths of hundreds of thousands. On September 27, at the very hour at which the Sudanese government was signing yet another agreement that it does not intend to keep with South Sudan, it was dropping 6 bombs on the town of Heiban in the Nuba Mountains, where market day was taking place. One woman was killed and six other civilians injured. Two of the bombs landed in the farmland outside Heiban Church where the young mother who was killed was helping with the peanut crop. Nuba Reports says, “The bombs in Heiban are just six of more than thirty to fall in the region in September alone.”
Please help us to make a thunderous response to this outrage, and a thunderous clamor to our government to stop its pathological enabling of the Sudanese regime.