Congresswoman Edwards arrested in Darfur protest
Rep. Donna Edwards was one of five lawmakers to submit to civil disobedience arrest today outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington at a rally to protest detoriorating humanitarian conditions in the Darfur region.
“Last week we commemorated Holocaust Remembrance week,” the Prince George’s County Democrat said in a statement. “During the somber years of the Holocaust, 6 million Jews and approximately 6 million others were killed.
“These events left one of the darkest blemishes on our world history and shed light on the importance of acting swiftly and globally to stop mass atrocities and violence. We, in America, vowed to never let the Holocaust happen again; we vowed that we would not remain silent and complacent next time.
“And, yet, here we are today – the Darfur genocide has killed more than 400,000 civilians and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes. The people in this region of Sudan continue to live in abhorrent and unsustainable conditions – facing the threat of rape, starvation, and violence on a daily basis.”
Also arrested were Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a veteran of the struggle for civil rights in America, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the only Muslim member of Congress, and Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Lynn Woolsey of California. All are Democrats.
Edwards and the others called on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow the return of international humanitarian groups expelled from Darfur last month.
Edwards lauded the appointment of Scott Gration as special U.S. envoy to Sudan, and said the Obama administration must now “lead a truly international effort, using all available sticks and carrots as appropriate and necessary to make progress towards the shared goal of achieving peace for Darfur and all of Sudan.”
“We can no longer be silent and complacent, in the face of death, starvation and inhumanity,” she said.