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Sunday’s Compassion Forum Focus: Darfur

I was down at the San Francisco Olympic protests this week, and while Tibet was the biggest draw, the green-shirted Save Darfur folks were a strong presence. Mix in Burma, the Vietnamese fishermen and it’s pretty clear that the next U.S. president will have to take some serious leadership in addressing the human rights abuses fueled by run-away Chinese capitalism.

Learn more about this Sunday’s Compassion Forum here. Faith leaders, presidential candidates and Jon Meacham of Newsweek this Sunday. 8PM ET/5PM PT on CNN.


Here actor/activist Don Cheadle discusses the deteriorating situation in the Darfur region of Sudan at the launch event for the ENOUGH! Project in Washington DC with John Prendergast

The Save Darfur coalition has produced a 20 min. video: A Call to Action. The film provides background on the genocide in Darfur and explores what the major religions tell us about our responsibility to our brothers and sisters there.

It features interviews with Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, President Elect of the National Council of Churches USA; Bishop John Ricard, chairman of the ad-hoc committee for the Church of Africa of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America; Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, M.D., Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston and founder of a humanitarian women’s group in Sudan, and Darfuri survivors of the genocide, the film implores viewers to take action and join the Save Darfur community.

On Monday, Nicholas Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, spoke as part of the Dream for Darfur: A Two-Day Academic Symposium on the World’s Darkest Olympics, an event sponsored by Ithaca College.

The Ithacan reports:

The event emphasized the role that China, Sudan’s chief diplomatic sponsor and major weapon’s provider, could play in the ending of the genocide. The speakers told of international pressure on China and the possibility of boycotting the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.

Kristof said though China would feel pressure if many nations boycott the opening and closing ceremonies, it may also lead to more problems. Kristof said his suggestion is to wait until closer to the start of the games to make a decision about boycotting.

“People … not going to the opening and closing ceremonies would be a huge embarrassment to China,” Kristof said. “My fear will be that a boycott of the opening and closing ceremonies will tend to boost Chinese nationalism, push China into a corner and create less cooperation.”

A question for the presidential candidates is: If diplomatic pressure on Sudan and China does not succeed in ending the genocide, do you think the US military has a role to play in stopping it? If so, what role, and what criteria would have to be met before you would seek to deploy US forces in response?

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