WASHINGTON–On the eve of the April 1st arrival of Genocide Prevention Month, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Monday launched a nationwide online and print campaign urging concrete action to end the Darfur genocide and full U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Echoing Martin Luther King’s famous remarks at the Lincoln Memorial in August, 1963, the "Fierce Urgency of NOW" campaign urges anti-genocide activists across the U.S. to visit www.anca.org/change to learn more about the worsening humanitarian situation in Darfur and how this atrocity fits into the cycle of genocide that started with the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.
The website provides simple ways for citizens to call on President Obama to show "unstinting resolve" in the effort to stop the Darfur Genocide, by participating in Save Darfur "add your voice" effort. Activists can also call on the Obama Administration and Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide, putting to an end to U.S. complicity in Turkey’s international campaign of genocide denial.
On Monday, March 30, 2009, full page ads were placed in The Politico and Roll Call newspapers, primarily targeting Administration and Congressional decision makers in Washington, DC, with a powerful graphic bringing together child survivors of the Armenian Genocide and Darfur Genocide into a stark visualization of the ongoing cycle of genocide. The photos are juxtaposed with President Obama’s January, 2008 campaign pledge to the American people stating:
"Genocide, sadly, persists to this day, and threatens our common security and common humanity. Tragically, we are witnessing in Sudan many of the same brutal tactics – displacement, starvation, and mass slaughter – that were used by the Ottoman authorities against defenseless Armenia’s back in 1915. I have visited Darfurian refugee camps, pushed for the deployment of a robust multinational force for Darfur, and urged divestment from companies doing business in Sudan. America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President."
Companion internet ads will be running on the key political news websites www.politico.com, www.thehill.com, and www.rollcall.com–which will coincide with President Obama’s upcoming two-day trip to Turkey on April 6th and 7th.
This past weekend, over 100,000 postcards were distributed to communities and campuses across the U.S. urging activists to visit http://www.anca.org/change and take action. These will be accompanied by a nationwide mailing program to activate the growing anti-genocide constituency across the United States.
The ANCA’s campaign coincides with efforts to have the White House designate April as Genocide Prevention month, an initiative spearheaded by the Genocide Prevention Project. With successive genocides–from the Armenian Genocide and Holocaust to the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda–commemorated in the month of April, GPP has worked with a nationwide coalition of organizations, including Save Darfur, the Genocide Intervention Network, Enough Project and many others, in spotlighting a month-long campaign of activities commemorating past genocides and urging action to stop the killing in Darfur.
The official kick-off for Genocide Prevention Month will take place on Tuesday, March 31st, at 7:00pm at the 6th & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street NW, in Washington, DC. After a 20-minute preview of the documentary, "The Last Survivor", former CNN anchor Andrea Koppel will moderate a discussion among a group of survivors, anti-genocide advocates, policy experts, and the filmmakers.
Among the Genocide Prevention Month activities is the "End the Cycle of Genocide" Advocacy Days, organized by the ANCA and Genocide Intervention Network–bringing activists to Capitol Hill from April 22nd through 24th to urge recognition of the Armenian Genocide and concrete action on the Darfur Genocide. The effort coincides with the April 24th worldwide commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. To participate in ANCA / GI-Net Advocacy Days, register at www.anca.org/stopgenocide.
Individuals can help expand the "Fierce Urgency of NOW" campaign by asking friends, family and coworkers to visit www.anca.org/change and take action. The effort can be publicized through a number of online sharing tools reaching the vast array of social networking sites including Facebook and LinkedIn, among others.
To promote the campaign on college campuses or local communities, contact Garo Manjikian at [email protected].
Organizations can join the ANCA campaign as "Fierce Partners" against genocide and genocide denial by contacting [email protected].