Scream for Darfur rally


Protestor Mahmoud Bashir

Rather belated, but I was having some computer troubles that prevented me from posting this photoset. These were taken at Queen’s Park this past Sunday (April 30), in a rally that urged the government to take action in Darfur. In a nutshell, genocide and civil war has resulted in the deaths of 180,000 and the displacement of more than two million civilians – and the Western world has done nothing because it has no vested interest in an African nation lacking diamonds and oil. More photos after the cut.

I took these for One-80 Youth Newspaper, but since I was under the (faulty) impression that it was for the print edition, and the editor hadn’t bothered to clarify that the deadline was yesterday, they used the writer’s photos instead. I can’t be too mad, though, because it turns out it was Ali Zafar’s story – he’s a friend of mine from the School of Journalism. He has an ongoing blog on the Darfur crisis, peep that noise!

To keep this somewhat timely, the Globe and Mail reports that this morning the Sudanese government and the primary rebel force in Darfur reached a peace agreement. Two rebel groups rejected the accord, but they plan to go ahead with implementing its provisions anyway. I’m excited because the peace agreement is a revision of a peace draft written by the African Union (AU). Khartoum had effectively refused UN intervention unless a peace accord had been put in place, which makes a rally like this even more urgent… now is the time for Canada to pool its resources and contribute as a UN member in the rebuilding and peacekeeping processes. Furthermore, African-centred democracy and self-reliance is the only effective way for Africa as a continent to get back on its feet (as seen with organizations like the AU) – but what do I know, I’m no pundit.


David Fradkin, my high school “let’s go get samosas” partner-in-crime.


Emily Krehm dancing


Adam Abdallah, protestor


Dr. Acol Dor speaks to a 1,000+ crowd.


JACK LAYTON YEAH!


Organizers David Berkal and Leora Smith (in red), speakers (L-R) Jonathan Laski, Elfadil Elsharif, Maurice Vellacott, Norman Epstein and Irwin Cotter. They’re screaming. For Darfur.


Queen’s Park

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One Comment

  1. Ryan Christopher
    Posted May 7, 2006 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why Canada can’t get a contingent of troops in there. We have 3 Infantry regiments with very commendable combat and training in interaction with the local populations, as well as Support groups who can deal with relief and rebuilding. Only a tenth of the Army itself is in Afghanistan, so I don’t see why the Federal government can’t get its act together and give the UN a manifest of dedicated resources. Someone needs to get into Sudan quickly and not only show thugs like the Janjaweed that there’s a bigger dog in town, but to train the Sudanese to deal with conflict and disaster, and implement treatment and support facilities.

    I agree that it’s up to the AU to get on their feet and deal with continental crises, but it’s up to us as a first world nation to help them get there and pass on some of our learned experience. You can’t keep peace until you make it.

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