Save Darfur rallies set for Sunday
New York City, September 15, 2006--Thousands of Americans will gather in cities across the country this Sunday (Sept. 17) calling on nations to prevent further genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Save Darfur Coalition (SDC) is supporting rallies in more than 18 states. The National Council of Churches USA is a founding member of the SDC.
A rally here in Central Park (East Meadow, 2pmEDT) is the centerpiece of this global day of action. Rallies are planned throughout the world.
"This is a critical time in Darfur," said Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC's associate general secretary for international affairs and peace. "The government of Sudan has told the African Union troops to be out of the country by October 1," said Kireopoulos, who is speaking at Sunday's Central Park rally. "But while the United Nations has already passed a resolution authorizing a peacekeeping force, the United States and other countries need to press the Sudanese government to allow U.N. peacekeepers in, otherwise there will be no protection for the people of Darfur," said Kireopoulos.
It is estimated nearly a half million people have been killed in Darfur by roving militias--called the janjaweed--with the support of the Sudanese government. Several relief agencies have expressed grave concern that further genocide will continue unabated when the African Union troops pullout.
Film and television actor George Clooney challenged the U.N. yesterday to prevent any further genocide. Clooney told the world's diplomats that this is happening "on their watch" and it is up to them to act. Clooney, who recently visited Darfur, said many of the 2.5 million displaced residents of Darfur will die if relief workers are forced to withdraw.
Information on Sunday's rallies can be found at the SDC website [http://www.savedarfur.org/content] or you can link from www.councilofchurches.org.
The National Council of Churches USA is America's leading ecumenical voice of 35 member denominations of Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, historic African American and peace churches with 45 million members in 100,000 congregations.
Latest NCC News at www.councilofchurches.org
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Save Darfur Coalition media advisory
UPDATED MEDIA ADVISORY FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th AT 2:00 PM
Save Darfur Coalition Rally in New York's Central Park to Call for U.N. Peacekeepers
Suzanne Vega, Former Canadian Minister of Justice to Join Madeleine Albright, O.A.R., Lupe Fiasco and Big & Rich in international call to stop genocide in Darfur
WHAT: "Save Darfur Now: Voices to Stop Genocide," will bring together musicians, celebrities, activists, faith leaders and key decision makers to call for world leaders to take immediate and clear action to end the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Coinciding with a meeting of the 61st United Nations General Assembly, the rally will be the centerpiece event in a global day of action. More information is available at www.savedarfur.org/now.
WHO: MUSICAL PERFORMANCES BY: - O.A.R. - Suzanne Vega - Lupe Fiasco - Big & Rich - Berklee College of Music Ensemble
SPEAKERS (Note: Additional speakers and entertainers expected to be announced) - Dr. Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State - Dr. Irwin Cotler, former Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General - Joey Cheek, 2006 Olympic gold-medalist speed skater - Jeff Johnson, BET, Hip Hop 4 Darfur - Joe Madison, host, "The Black Eagle" radio show - Larry Cox, executive director, Amnesty International USA - Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs - Imam al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, The Mosque Of The Islamic Brotherhood - Representatives from 11 national Darfuri organizations - John Prendergast, senior advisor, International Crisis Group - Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, MD, chairwoman, Million Voices for Darfur campaign - David Rubenstein, coordinator, Save Darfur Coalition
NOTE: Speakers, entertainers and spokespeople are available for advance interviews.
WHERE: "East Meadow" of Central Park, New York City Press entrance at 97th Street and 5th Avenue (PRESS ONLY)
WHEN: Sunday, September 17, 2006, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
TRUCKS: Non-live feeds: 102nd Street Transverse, immediately west of 5th Avenue Live Feeds: 5th Avenue at 97th Street (RSVP ? see below; limited parking available)
LIVE FEEDS: Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for press riser space and for truck parking for live feeds.
SDC CONTACT: Jeff Kovick: 202.478.6147-o, 202.487.6655-c, email@example.com Dan Klotz: 917.438.4613.o, 347.307.2866-c, firstname.lastname@example.org