OC For Darfur planning meeting with Tim Hardy on Burma | Tuesday, Dec 8th

Hi everyone,

Our next meeting (and last one this year) for OC for Darfur will be extra special. Tim Hardy, is a Carl Wilkens Fellow with Genocide Intervention Network will be joining us in a web conference call to discuss the deteriorating situation in Burma [1].

Born and raised in Rangoon, Burma, Tim grew up under multiple repressive regimes in the country. Part of a family that championed struggles for peace, freedom and human rights in Burma, he also witnessed friends and family members disappear, face imprisonment, flee the country, and be killed, for demanding the basic human rights that every person should posses. Tim has worked with the Uganda North American Association, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Amnesty International, and the UNESCO Chair’s Global Intergenerational Human Rights Leadership Forum.

Many of us do not feel educated enough about the situation in Burma and we are honored to have Tim shed light on this subject. Here are the meeting details.

OC for Darfur planning meeting on Tuesday, Dec 8th @ 6:30p
18 Elderwood
Irvine, CA

There is limited space for this meeting. If you’re planning to come, please let me know. Thank you.

I hope you will be able to join us.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | photos | shop | blog | facebook | twitter

PS: This is the inaugural week for Pledge 2 Protect. Have you pledged to join the movement to prevent genocide? Click here to join.

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OC for Darfur planning meeting is this Tuesday, Nov 24th

Hi everyone,

President Obama was in China earlier this week. Many of us in the anti-genocide movement were hoping he would discuss genocide and Sudan with President Hu Jintao. But he chose not to. This was disappointing. Undoubtedly, the President has a full plate with a whole host of important issues that need attention. However, genocide continues because of apathy and “business as usual”. The United States needs to live up to it’s ideals of justice and freedom and advocate for those whose voices do not get heard; who suffer through the consequences of genocide and such gross violations of their basic humanity.

To continue the pressure on the government, GI-Net, in collaboration with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is launching a national campaign to get people to join the movement and Pledge 2 Protect. The goal is to gather 100,000 signatures during the first week of December (1-7). Orange County for Darfur is participating in this effort. And we would love to have your support. If you’d like to help, please attend the meeting this week.

Our next planning meeting is this Tuesday, Nov 24th at 6:30p. We will meet at Patty’s office in Newport Beach. Here is the address.

Patty’s office @ 6:30p
2424 SE Bristol Street, Suite 300
Newport Beach, CA 92660

We will discuss:

  • Update on what’s going on in Darfur, Burma and the Congo.
  • Launch of the National Canvas in the first week of December.
  • Planning for the screening of The Greatest Silence in early 2010.

If you’d like to get involved and help with the planning of any of these activities, we would love to have you come and attend :)

See you on Tuesday.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | photos | shop | blog | facebook | twitter

Gration: We don’t have all the monitoring mechanisms that we need yet

Yesterday, Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration and National Security Council Director, Samantha Power sat down with Jerry Fowler of the Save Darfur Coalition and Layla Amjadi of STAND.  They discussed a wide range of topics regarding the recently released policy by the Obama Administration.

Click here to watch the complete webcast.

Gration:  We don’t have yet all the monitoring mechanisms that we need.  When the NGOs were expelled, we lost some very valuable NGOs that we have not gotten back in yet…  And the fact is that while we’ve been able to compensate for food and water and healthcare and sanitation, some of the protection NGOs have not been able to get back in…

For us to objectively verify, we’re going to have to have different types of NGOs on the ground and more of those NGOs on the ground. And we’re going to have UNAMID with more freedom of movement and the ability to monitor better what’s happening on the ground, so that we can take action.  And those are the things we’re working on right now.

Other highlights that stuck out at me in this illuminating conference include:

  • Samantha Power mentioned that  everytime President Obama has sat down with Chinese President, Hu Jintao,  “this issue has been discussed”.
  • And Scott Gration mentioned that “a major impediment to [Darfuri] people returning home is the ‘pschological stuff’.”

I’m glad senior officials in the Administration recognize the deep impact of such trauma and how that affects peacemaking.

OC For Darfur planning meeting is this Tuesday, Nov 10th

Hi everyone,

Right now, Barbara and I are in Washington DC attending the Pledge 2 Protect conference. Yesterday we heard a panel discussion on the recently released recommendations from the Genocide Prevention Task Force which includes former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. I was surprised to learn that President Obama has not issued a presidential policy directive on Sudan. The message so far has been that on a critical issue like genocide, we need the clear leadership from the President himself.

Also, Jewish World Watch is expanding their focus on the massive atrocities being committed against women in the Congo. Currently some of their members are on a fact finding mission there. You can follow their progress and personal moving stories on their blog.

Our next planning meeting is this Tuesday, Nov 10th at 6:30p. We will meet at Patty’s office in Newport Beach. Here is the address.

Patty’s office @ 6:30p
2424 SE Bristol Street, Suite 300

Newport Beach, CA 92660

We will discuss:

  • Update on what’s going on in Darfur right now.
  • What else does the anti-genocide movement need?
  • Report from Barbara and Anshul’s trip to DC.
  • Planning for our upcoming talk at the "Walk in My Shoes" conference at UCI.

If you’d like to get involved and help with the planning of any of these activities, we would love to have you come and attend :)

See you on Tuesday.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | photos | shop | blog | facebook | twitter

Update from OC for Darfur

Hi everyone,

A lot of has happened in the last couple of weeks.  Here is a quickie update.

“In Darfur” play
–  We are currently in weekly rehearsals and hope to be ready for performances starting March 2009.
–  Right now we desperately need a Stage Manager.  Prior stage management experience or technical theatre knowledge is a plus, but is not required.  If you’re good at organizing people and tasks, love theatre, and want to help Darfur while working on a great project with an amazing group of people, please contact me.

Barbara selected as a 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellow
That’s right.  A couple of us applied for GI-Net’s Wilkens fellowship last fall… and Barbara got selected!  The fellowship is a training program for “emerging leaders to build lasting networks of citizens who believe that protecting men, women and children from genocide is everyone’s responsibility”.

I hope you will join me in congratulating her.  Btw, she’s leaving for Washington this weekend for the first workshop.

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StandFast on December 3rd

617Support the Genocide Intervention Network and take part in StandFast on 12/3/2008 by “fasting” from one luxury item for a day – be it a Venti frappucino with extra caramel at Starbucks, a movie ticket, or a dinner out. Donate the money you save to GI-NET’s efforts to bring much-needed aid to the people of Darfur and Burma.

On December 3, take a stand against genocide and encourage your friends and family to join you!