“It is important to send a message not only to the people in
this country and our own government, but to the people
of the world that the genocide in Darfur must end,” Lewis
said outside a DC Metropolitan Police Department precinct
after his arrest. “What is going on there are crimes against
humanity.” (quote from the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Hundreds of thousands in Darfur have been killed and millions displaced by the Sudanese government since 2003. It is a deteriorating humanitarian crisis on an unimaginable scale. We had to act. That is why on April 27th, joining with millions of others from Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, California and Massachusetts, I vicariously demonstrated in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, was arrested by the US Secret Service and taken to jail. We can only hope that our government and the United Nations will take notice and let us act to stop the continuing tragedy.
This is not the first time that I have vicariously championed important issues. I am fortunate to live in Georgia’s Fifth District and am represented by the Honorable John Lewis. A true hero many, many times over. A champion of civil rights, the poor and the suffering.
Were it not for John’s courage, beliefs, votes and activitism, or if I lived elsewhere in the South, I might have vicariously supported the tea baggers; voted for the Iraq war; tried to deny women their rights; promoted discrimination; voted to reform welfare by ending it as almost everyone knows it; sought mass arrest of immigrants; denied people their right to vote; taken bribes disguised as campaign contributions; protected corporations at the expense of their employees, customers and taxpayers; favored dirty industries and oil over clean and green; denied science and commonsense; and sewn seeds of fear and hate by championing intervention against a host of other imaginary problems. Or maybe, I would vicariously just have had my head in the sand. So thank you, John. Again.
And, yes, I do believe that vicarious activism is an oxymoron.
This morning (April 27, 2009), Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Lewis (D-GA), Donna
Edwards (D-MD), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and activists Save Darfur Coalition
President Jerry Fowler, Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast and Rabbi David Saperstein,
director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism were arrested for civil disobedience outside
of the Sudanese Embassy while protesting the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Darfur.