Friday, May 19, 2006
Some James Logan High School students are asking fellow students and staff members to contribute to the Million Voices for Darfur campaign. A table has been set up outside during lunchtime in Colt Court next to Jimmy's, where people are welcome to sign mini-postcards that will be sent to President Bush. The postcards urge the president to take more direct action in helping to stop the current genocide in the Sudan.
In early 2003, warfare broke out when the Sudanese Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement attacked military infrastructures. From then on the rebel Janjaweed militias have launched massive attacks on anyone who is deemed to be disloyal to the Sudanese government. The acts of violence commited in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention include looting, rape, and indiscriminant killings. More than 400,000 people have died, and 3.5 million
are hungry, according to reports by the World Food Program, the United Nations, and the Coalition for International Justice. These numbers are estimated to climb higher due to the obstuction of civilian aid, inadequate supplies, the spread of contagious disease, and the increasing tensions
between Chad and Sudan.
During the first year of his presidency, President Bush wrote "Not on my watch" in a report on the Rwandan genocide. Many past leaders of the have also promised, "Never again" will another genocide go unchecked without the United States taking action to cease it. However, the Bosnian and Rwandan genocide both played out right before our eyes. And in the end, the only thing
we had to offer was our sympathy and remorse as a response for our lack of action. Today, savedarfur.org and fellow Logan students are asking the president to live up to his words and establish political intervention or at least to send more aid to ease the tension.
This campaign reached Logan when students from Ms. Papas' Honors Modern World Studies class were inspired to take action after learning about the Holocaust and watching a documentary on Darfur. They and many others have seen the consequences of remaining silent during a time of crisis and injustice. Those who allow the actrocities to be carried out, regardless directly or indirectly, are just as responsible as those who commited the crime. On the other hand, those who speak out and voice their opinions, as many Logan students have done, can potentially generate
As of last week, more than 400 postcards were already signed by Logan students and ready to be sent to Member of Congress Pete Starks, who will hopefully pass them on to the president. Post cards ran out at the tables last week, but more are being made in the printshop this week. "We only have 400, but we still need more support," urges Krystal Emanuel, a sophomore helping
out during lunchtime. She and other students hope that the postcards will help give Logan High School a voice in the community and add to the impact of the cause. Many students readily signed the cards and some even promised to come back this week when the cards ran out the previous week. As Junior Devina Lopez, a student who signed a card, said, "Just because it doesn't directly affect us doesn't mean we shouldn't care about it."
If readers want to become more involved in this effort, scouts are currently needed to pass out more postcards and spread the word. Readers can contact Stephanie Papas in room 464, or ask one of the volunteers at the tables during both lunches in Colt Court. Or simply go online and visit
www.savedarfur.org for more information.