Make Darfur a Topic

I'm sure you've all heard, and half of you are on, Twitter right now. As social media becomes increasingly relevant in today's culture, it's interesting to see how it can be used to help social activism.

I've made no secret of the fact that the genocide in Darfur is something I feel strongly about; the lack of empathy and regard for human life is ridiculous and needs to stop. However, it can only be stopped if attention is brought to it. And we're going to make it a topic.

How Twitter works is by using a #, it defines a word and sets it apart as a topic. All statements also have to be in a 140 character limit. So I've prepared for you 100 statements, hashtag included, about Darfur that are under 140 characters. 85 are posted today, and more will be on Monday.

On Wednesday, July 29th, (and the days after) I want you to tweet as many of these messages as you can.. space them out, come up with them of your own, tell your friends to... basically, make Darfur a topic. It's an easy way to make a change using the internet an bring attention to something that so desperately needs it.

If you repost this article in your blog, tweets & explanation, let me know and I will link you at the bottom of this post.

I have nothing to say about the facts, except that they are all verified and pretty much speak for themselves... when ironically, the Darfuri people can't.



1) What do 400,000+ people have in common? They were all murdered in the genocide in #Darfur.

2) Ignoring the Holocaust didn’t make it go away. Save #Darfur.

3) To call #Darfur anything less than a genocide is ignorant to both the definition of genocide and the suffering of the victims.

4) The most meaningful characters you could type today: Save #Darfur.

5) There are currently 2.5 million refugees because of the genocide in #Darfur. Demand action.

6) Imagine living in a country where a girl is as likely to be sexually assaulted as she is to be able to learn to read. Save #Darfur.

7) Government using helicopters to light their own people on fire? Sounds like a movie, for some it’s reality. Save #Darfur.

8) The Sudanese government hired a private militia just to kill its own people. Save #Darfur.

9) Isn’t nine years of genocide in #Darfur enough? Call 1-800-genocid(e)

10) In #Darfur elders are sent to get water at night because girls are will be raped and men shot. There is no guarantee the elder is safe.

11) The famine in Sudan killed a lot of people, but the genocide it caused killed more. 400,000 more. Save #Darfur.

12) What do we want? A stop to genocide in #Darfur. When do we want it? Nine years ago.

13) Rape and genocide go hand & hand in #Darfur:

14) If a government is killing its own people, why on earth would they be allowed to chose where the refugee camp goes? Save #Darfur.

15) Water: we take it for granted, and yet a lack of it has lead to over 400,000 deaths in #Darfur.

16) Start a STAND chapter at your school today! Save #Darfur.

17) If the UN doesn’t call #Darfur genocide, they don’t have to stop the atrocities. Stop saving money and start saving lives.

18) When you invest in Sudanese oil, you are investing in genocide in #Darfur.

19) What kind of message does it send when we let a government kill its own people based on ethnicity? Save #Darfur.

20) A little apathy never hurt anyone... except the victims of #Darfur.

21) The people of #Darfur worry about famine& AIDS just like other 3rd world countries, but they also have to deal with genocide

22) Several current members of the Sudanese government have been charged with over ten counts of sexual assault. Save the women of #Darfur.

23) Many organizations currently consider #Darfur one of the most dangerous places on the planet.

24) "since the #Darfur Peace Agreement was signed in May 2006, attacks against peacekeepers and humanitarian workers have increased ninefold."

25) "90 per cent of the villages of Darfur’s targeted ethnic groups have been destroyed." Save #Darfur

26) re: "3.6 million people are dependent on international humanitarian assistance in #Darfur."

27) re: "A third of people [in #Darfur] in need are beyond the reach of humanitarian workers."

28) Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir states ‘there will not be any international military intervention in #Darfur as long as I’m in power’.

29) "The WHO has warned that a major health catastrophe could erupt if the necessary funds and supplies are not made available." Save #Darfur.

30) The ICC has "arrested" Sudanese president Al Bashir, but this is merely symbolic. Firm measures need to be taken. Save #Darfur.

31) "A hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping force is on the ground in #Darfur, although it remains underfunded, understaffed, and vulnerable to attacks."

32) Girls as young as eight are considered at high risk vulnerability levels for sexual assault in #Darfur.

33) People in #Darfur have an average of a three hour each way every night to get highly protected water.

34) Water is so heavily protected in #Darfur that night time trips are necessary to avoid being shot.

35) "For the first time since 2004, global acute malnutrition rates in #Darfur rose above the emergency threshold in 2007."

36) re: Unicef: "As of September 2008, 225 humanitarian vehicles have been hijacked or stolen during the year [in #Darfur]."

37) re: Unicef: “As of September 2008, 144 humanitarian compounds [have been] broken into [in #Darfur.]”

38) Attacks on convoys means that 180,000 people in #Darfur may not receive expected clean water supplies this year

39) How long the genocide in #Darfur has been going on for is disputed, but the fact that 100s of 100,000s have died isn’t.

40) Why should you care abou #Darfur? Why shouldn’t you care about #genocide?

41) Calling #Darfur a genocide is the difference between a UN intervention and political apathy. Call #Darfur what it really is.

42) Aid serves an important role in providing for the people of #Darfur, but it will not effectively address the root causes of the conflict.

43) Because Canada has no colonial ties to Sudan, it is in a prime position to help the people of #Darfur.

44) Because of the horrid conditions in #Darfur and the high rape rate, the infantcide levels have skyrocketted.

45) Sondra was a nine year old girl shot in the back of the neck when she was only two hours away from a refugee camp. Save #Darfur.

46) Machuk is a 12 year old boy who took care of 3 younger sisters. One day in #Darfur his town was lit on fire. He hasnt seen them since.

47) To see the damage done in #Darfur, check out google earth. It will show you what villages have been burned to the ground.

48) in #Darfur theres a religious belief that you cant kill a virgin. Unfortunately for young girls, the "solution" for this is rape.

49) In #Darfur, a girl wil sometimes have to go through a humiliating forced marriage before being raped several times and then shot.

50) Daoud was an elderly woman who was kicked so hard she died. She was trying to get water for her family. Save #Darfur.

51) #Darfur can be hard to understand because it is not a difference of skin colour, but the fact remains that people are still dying.

52) Genocide is the systematic killing of a people. #Darfur is the systematic killing of a people. Call #Darfur genocide.

53) Saving #Darfur will be difficult, but letting an entire type of people die due to apathy is unacceptable.

54) The Holocaust, Rwanda... didn’ we say never again to genocide? Save #Darfur.

55) As long as the genocide in #Darfur continues, it will be one of the biggest broken promises of the Western world.

56) Issa was a thirteen year old girl raped by four different soldiers, two from her own governement.

57) When two Canadian aids workers went missing, the news media mentioned Sudan but not the words genocide or #Darfur. Why the silence?

58) Demand more of your local media; write them and make them pay attention to what is happening in #Darfur.

59) Although Canada isnt a major world power, we are respected internationally for commitments to peacekeeping and human rights. Save #Darfur.

60) “Who the hell cared about Rwanda?” –Romeo Dallaire. Save #Darfur.

61) a collection of John Lennon covers with profits going to #Darfur!

62) Here’s how you can start a STAND chapter and help #Darfur!

63) "Having called what is happening in #Darfur genocide and having vowed to stop it, it is time for the West to keep its word" Romeo Dallaire

64) Why You Should Care: Save #Darfur

65) Genocide: See #Darfur.

66) "Dozens upon dozens of groups and organizations have prioritized stopping the killing in #Darfur before there is no one left to be killed."

67) "The UN has become a largely irrelevant, [...] and the just-released U.N. report on the atrocities in #Darfur, Sudan, proves the point."

68) "We all might ask ourselves why we tune in to these more trivial matters and tune out when it comes to #Darfur. " -Nicholas Kristof

69) "While Americans have heard of #Darfur and think we should be doing more there, they arent actually angry at the president about inaction. "

70) #Darfur is home to many races of farmers, who identify as African, and nomadic herders, who identify as Arab.

71) Janjaweed: an armed militia supported by the Sudanese Government to help the Sudanese army kill its own people. Save #Darfur.

72) "If a government shuts off all access to the country, how can we get a clear sense of the nature and extent of the violence?" Save #Darfur

73) How to get the Facts about #Darfur:

74) Every month I update my power point about #Darfur, yet the only thing that ever really changes is the death count numbers.

75) #Darfur is a region in Sudan that has been suffering from genocide for numerous years, yet is barely heard on the news.

76) #Darfur is one of the biggest tragedies of the 2st century -and one of the most ignored.

77) Take action in #Darfur, because the UN doesn't seem to be doing anything.

78) Unfortunately, because the UN Security Council has countries that trade with Sudan on it, it impedes action in #Darfur.

79) The people of #Darfur have enough to worry about without the genocide. This is unacceptable.

80) Support Bashir's arrest warrant, put strict trade sanctions on Sudanese oil, and return the displaced home.

81) Follow: @ExhibitDarfur, save #Darfur

82) Follow: @StandCanada, save #Darfur

83) Read: The Devil Came on Horseback, save #Darfur

84) Isa is a seven year old girl who will never know her parents because they both died when her village was lit on fire. Save #Darfur.

85) If the people of #Darfur aren't being shot at, they're starving from trying to escape being shot at.


Anonymous said...

i will talk about this. thanks for remdining us all. what a humbling post, after freaking out about the way i look or how successful i can be. in the face of these atrocities, does it really matter, if my body or soul are not perfect? instead of being so negative about myself (for which i have no real reasion; i should be more than thankful for my health, my education and the peaceful environment i grew up in), i can do positive things for others.
i will try to keep that in mind. it's empowering.

Isabel said...

Okay, so you're going to love me for this. University of Waterloo is planning on changing it's logo from a coat of arms to a big 'W' and there is a huge student uproar about this. Everybody hates the big 'W' because they think it looks like a laser show or something - and all I can think to myself is "If people cared about Darfur as much as they cared about this dumb logo, then something would actually get done."

Malena said...

I will definitely talk about this. You have no idea how happy I am that your blog talks about serious issues as well as fashion.

Danny said...

I will definitely be tweeting about this, and getting everyone I know to tweet about it too.

Amelia said...

Mary, you're amazing! Thank you for this.

bobb said...

Just linked to your post on my blog.

Kat said...

inspiring as always:-)

Eline said...

Sorry for being a bore and a pessimist here but how exactly will this do anything? Will the UN be influenced by a couple of thousand tweets? Not only that standcanada is only for Canadians and there's no way this will reach enough Canadians. Why only Canadians? Not only that but reading "genocide kills men, women, and children" makes me think standcanada is targeting or at least think they are targeting people who don't even know what the hell genocide is since the whole definition of genocide is pure murder. It makes me feel stupid to realise that they think I wouldn't know what genocide means.

I think they only way we can ever do anything is donate a lot of money and send it with a trusted political party (sadly there is none that will care for this) and make a stand and let people worldwide know what is happening there. Maybe then we'll convince the UN that their inaction is something to be shameful about. But tweets? Nah.

Trilby said...

Posted on my blog.

Shout out would be much appreciated, but that's not why I did it.

It's the equivalent of blogging about Tibet, but they don't kill you in your sleep for this.

*Seriously, some activist bloggers were killed in Tibet for being activist bloggers.

alexis said...

Mary, I just wrote a post about Darfur. You inspire me.

Jasmin Alexia said...

Thank you for this important reminder. most people cant remember what is going on in Africa over the issues we have going on in the world now.

I was wondering if I could repost this to my blog, so my followers can see this and join the act.

Once again thanks so much for the heads up. And we most certainly make Darfur a trending topic by Wednesday.


Karen said...

Just reposted this on the blog, deff. excited to get the word out on twitter. Utilizing social media/networks are an amazing way to start social activism.

Anonymous said...

Will keep on tweeting about it!

Erina said...

Reposting this on my blog and I'll definitely be tweeting about this. Very inspiring and empowering idea. Thanks.

Mary said...

Eline, I think you bring up an important point (there’s too much slacktivism and not enough activism going on lately) but I don’t think you're seeing things in a broad enough perspective.

When I plot out STAND projects I try to divide between raising awareness and then things that affect Darfur more directly. Things that benefit Darfur more directly are much harder to do as a large group over the internet, but awareness raising can affect people do that they take initiative to do things in their own life.

You see, it’s really great that you know the definition of genocide and know about Darfur, but unfortunately a lot of people actually don’t. You’d be amazed at how many groups, even of adults!, that I speak to who know an inkling about what genocide is but are lost for an actual definition, and they know Darfur exists but “what’s happening over there? Where?”

This is all about gathering attention and reaching people outside the activist bubble more directly and hopefully persuading them to take action, and if not, at least understand what’s going on, which unfortunately not everyone does.

The STAND Canada website links to all the other ones... I’m just gathering buzz for the relaunch. No matter what country you’re from, you can still read the facts just the same as had I put an American one and find how to start your own.

I think all and all is sometimes it seems like only money can help, but you have to look at all scopes of the problem from different angles and realize sometimes we need more.

Sophia said...

I'll definitely definitely do this. Ever since my mom introduced me to the Darfur issue a few years ago, I've done everything I can to promote the cause. Thanks so much for making it well known with your blog :)

Anonymous said...

reason no one cares u make it complicated.

what's the deal with dafur? in a nutshell

Anonymous said...

wow, you are absolutely amazing.
i will definitely be spamming my friend's twitter homepages with this, and... and- just, wow, you are really an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Of course I'm going to tweet about this all week! Anything to spread awareness, to make ignorant / unknowing people in the know.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to take some time too Thank all the people for doing what you do and make this community great im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.