Annual ANCA/Genocide Intervention Network Capitol Hill Advocacy Days Set For April 22-24

grassrootscapitol2Grassroots Advocacy Days | April 22-24, 2009 | Washington DC
Register TODAY!

WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) have teamed up, once again, for the third annual Capitol Hill advocacy campaign to encourage Congressional action to end the cycle of genocide.

The three-day program, titled, “End the Cycle of Genocide: Grassroots Capitol Campaign,” will take place from April 22nd-April 24th, in Washington, DC coinciding this year with the actual date of worldwide commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. The effort will kick off with a special breakfast briefing on the morning of April 22nd and will be followed by three days of Congressional visits to encourage U.S. action to stop the genocide in Darfur, to support the adoption of the soon-to-be-introduced Armenian Genocide Resolution, and, more broadly, to strengthen U.S. resolve to act against all instances of genocide.

“The Grassroots Capitol Campaign is an important opportunity for anti-genocide activists to demand that their elected officials take action to end the cycle of genocide,” said Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Mark Hanis. “Now more than ever, with the escalating tide of violence in affected regions around the world, we need to ensure that ending mass atrocities is a priority for Congress.”

The multi-faceted program will coincide with the annual Armenian Genocide Observance on Capitol Hill, organized by the Congressional Armenian Caucus, in the historic Canon Caucus Room on April 22nd. On April 24th, interested participants are invited to join in the annual protest outside the Turkish Embassy urging the Turkish Government to deal honestly with its past and end its campaign of genocide denial.

The End the Cycle of Genocide: Grassroots Capitol Campaign is one of the nationwide array of anti-genocide activities planned during the April 2009, Genocide Prevention Month.  This effort is organized by the Genocide Prevention Project, which was “founded in the Fall of 2008 to build the public will to call on the international community to take meaningful actions when ‘early warning’ indicators signal possible onset of mass-scale atrocity crimes, and to mobilize resources to avert or halt such ongoing crises and protect civilians from mass atrocity crimes.”  A full list of the group’s anti-genocide activities may be viewed at www.genocidepreventionmonth.org

“This April, as the world commemorates the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides ‘s in fact all genocides – it is imperative to send a clear message to our elected officials that genocide and its denial cannot be tolerated,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “Clear action in the face of genocide ‘s by the Administration and Congress ‘s is essential if we are to give real meaning to ‘never again.'”

For more information and to register to participate in Advocacy Days, activists can visit: http://www.anca.org/stopgenocide.

Over the past two years, hundreds of activists from some 30 states have participated in Advocacy Days, visiting all 100 Senate and 435 House of Representatives offices, meeting with Members of Congress, their staff and sharing information regarding pending Armenian and Darfur genocide legislation.  Video from the 2008 “End the Cycle of Genocide” Congressional reception may be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5638C69277000822

The need for continued and expanded advocacy to stop genocide has been underscored in recent months by the expansion of the Turkey-Sudan “axis of genocide”.  After the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, last week, multiple media reports have indicated that Turkey is seriously considering delaying or derailing the arrest of the Sudanese dictator.

Over the past year, the Sudan-Turkey relationship has broadened, as
marked by:

— Sudan President al-Bashir’s first foreign visit after his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on crimes of genocide was to Turkey.

— Sudan and Turkey have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen military relations and are discussing cooperation on military technology transfers and training.

— Turkey’s Minister of Trade projects that Sudan will soon be Turkey’s largest trading partner in Africa.

— Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has vocally denied the genocide in Darfur.

To learn more about Genocide Intervention Network visit:
www.genocideintervention.net

For more information or to register for the Campaign visit:
www.anca.org/stopgenocide.

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