Click on thumbtacks to see which members of Congress are fasting
View Congress Fast Map in a larger map
Congressman Donald M Payne joined Darfur Fast for Life, fasting for four days staring May 11. He was so moved by his experience that he invited other members of Congress to join:
On Monday, I joined the Darfur Fast for Life because I wanted to stand in solidarity with the people of Darfur and to express my outrage at the ongoing crisis in the Sudan. In addition to my personal fasting, I am launching a Darfur Fast for Life Campaign on Capitol Hill to urge my colleagues to join me in voicing opposition to the mass atrocities al-Bashir and his regime have orchestrated against the Darfuri people. It is my hope that our fasting will compel decision makers to act more decisively to put an end to the suffering of millions of innocent men, women and children in Darfur. We must do all we can until the violence, suffering, and displacement have ended.
— Congressman Donald M. Payne
View Congress Fast Map in a larger map
Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, Executive Director, and Janice Kamenir-Reznik, J.D., President and Founder of Jewish World Watch, fasted alongside Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and in solidarity with the women, men and children of Darfur. Schwartz-Getzug reflects
Today I am fasting for Zanuba, my sister from Darfur. I am fasting for Zanuba, whose village was destroyed and whose eyes and ears witnessed atrocities no human being should ever witness. A day of hunger is such a small sacrifice for me, one that is made involuntarily by Zanuba and her family every day. But it is a reminder to me, in a small and physical way, that the pain of genocide is real and that it continues. We have fought to stop this genocide through rallies and marches, letters and phone calls, meetings and conferences – yet we still have not succeeded in bringing peace to Sudan, bringing aid back to the refugees and bringing justice to the perpetrators. How do we have the energy to continue to fight? Because as long as they suffer, we must continue. Why do we continue to fight? Because we must NOT STANDL IDLY BY. We must have hope, just as they have hope.
Today I am fasting for my brothers and sisters in Darfur.
(photo: Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Rachel Andres, Zanuba, and Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Remarks on Darfur
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I met briefly this week with the actress and activist Mia Farrow, who has dedicated so much time lately – and even put her own health at risk – to raise awareness of the atrocities in Darfur.
Like Ms. Farrow, my good friend Pam Omidyar – the Founder and Chair of the Board of Humanity United – has also fasted for more than a month in solidarity with the Darfurian refugees.
Mia Farrow and Pam Omidyar enjoy liberty and wealth. They do not need to do this. But through their actions, they both so generously speak for those the world ignores.
The terrible situation in Darfur deteriorates with each passing day. But we don’t hear much about it. It has long since faded from the front pages in the face of everything else going on in our economy and the two wars we wage in the Middle East.
We cannot ignore this crisis. The United States has officially and appropriately recognized that what is happening in Darfur is genocide. For the more than 2.4 million people who have been displaced against their will, we cannot look the other way and cannot stand idly by.
Most of the people of Darfur depend on international aid to survive day-to-day. The United Nations has agreed to send 26,000 peacekeepers to Darfur, but they face an uphill fight – they have struggled to get the resources they need to ensure the safety of those who live in Darfur and to end this crisis.
Making matters worse, when the International Criminal Court recently issued a warrant to arrest the President of Sudan – President Bashir – for war crimes and crimes against humanity, he responded by expelling 13 non-governmental organizations that had been distributing food and medicine to the people in Darfur.
Because of its economic investments, China has unique leverage with Sudan. It is important that China uses that influence to help the people of Darfur.
I appreciate the work of Major General Jonathan Scott Gration – the President’s special envoy to Sudan – but we must do more to put Darfur at the forefront of our foreign-policy agenda. And we must be clear about our objectives.
The Sudanese government has repeatedly proven untrustworthy at the negotiating table. As the administration and our special envoy develop a new policy, we must consider how we can get Khartoum to change its behavior.
There have been too many people in too many camps for too many years – and the world has been silent for far too long.
We have no excuse do anything short of all we can do to ensure aid groups are on the ground in Darfur, and that they can do their jobs – to ensure a political process is in place, and that it can work – and to help save the lives of millions.
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) today joined with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, actress Mia Farrow, and social activist Marcia Dyson, to launch a fast to protest the ongoing violence in Darfur. Rep. Edwards committed to fast each Friday until this Congress adjourns.
“The Darfur genocide has killed more than 400,000 civilians and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes. The people in the Darfur region of Sudan continue to live in abhorrent and unsustainable conditions—facing the threat of rape, violence, and starvation,” said Rep. Edwards. “We must raise awareness of the level of suffering taking place in Darfur so that action will be taken. We ask President Obama and his Administration to use their political capital to lead a truly international effort, using all available carrots and sticks as appropriate and necessary to make progress towards the shared goal of achieving peace for Darfur and all of Sudan. I hope by taking part in this fast with my colleagues from the Congressional Black Caucus and other concerned individuals, we will be successful in bringing some relief to Darfur. I urge residents of Maryland’s 4th Congressional District to join me in fasting each Friday in solidarity with the people of Darfur.”