Tens of Thousands Expected for DC Demonstration Against Darfur Genocide

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On Sunday, tens of thousands are expected to gather in Washington for a demonstration against the ongoing genocide in Sudan. We speak with Joe Madison president of the Sudan Campaign. [includes rush transcript]

  • Joe Madison, president of the Sudan Campaign. He will serve as the emcee for the Rally to Stop Genocide in Washington DC this Sunday. He is also the host of the radio show The Black Eagle.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Washington, D.C. We’re joined by Joe Madison. He’s President of the Sudan Campaign, served as emcee on Sunday for another major protest that will be taking place, the rally to stop genocide in Sudan. He’s also the host of the radio show The Black Eagle. He joins us on the line from his radio studio in Maryland. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Joe Madison.

JOE MADISON: Hi, Amy. Thank you for having me again. I really appreciate it.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Talk about the protests that you’re going to be a part of on Sunday.

JOE MADISON: It’s actually a rally. It’s a wake-up call. Here’s what the mission is. Several years ago, when this whole thing started, when we first started talking about it, long before anyone was even — even knew where Darfur was or Southern Sudan, the President of the United States had a briefing on Rwanda. And in the pages, in the margins of the briefing pages, he wrote “not on my watch.” Well, guess what. It has happened on his watch. Darfur is the 21st century’s first genocide.

And so, Sunday, individual members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, because they do have a unison agreement, a resolution saying that it is genocide. The administration has declared it is genocide. The problem is that we’re all disappointed that they really haven’t done enough to stop the genocide. So the purpose of the rally is to bring students together, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, to say, “Not on my watch. We will stop this genocide.” The U.N. has a responsibility. NATO may have a responsibility. We all have a responsibility.

AMY GOODMAN: And specifically, you’re calling for what, for Congress to do, for people to do?

JOE MADISON: Well, first of all, the survivors of the genocide have to be protected from this genocide, so that some two million of them can leave various parts of Chad. Many have now gone into Southern Sudan. As a matter of fact, I’ll be leaving Monday for a ten-day fact-finding mission to Southern Sudan and parts of Darfur hopefully, even though people aren’t allowed in. But we’ll be going into those regions of Sudan, because now Darfurians are filtering with their families down into Southern Sudan, which was torn up by a war 20 years ago.

There has to be justice for those who, in fact, who were involved in the crime of genocide. And there has to also — we have to also hold China and Russia accountable, because they have continually blocked efforts to try and end this genocide. China imports — I think Sudanese oil is like the seventh largest import that China has. And Russia is currently selling MiGs and other weapons to Sudan. These — and finally, there must be a special envoy, someone with a status that can go in and negotiate a peace for this conflict.

AMY GOODMAN: Joe Madison, we just have 30 seconds. The U.N. is saying today, it will cut food rations for more than six million people in Sudan, half of them in Darfur, due to a severe lack of funds.

JOE MADISON: This is absolutely amazing. Absolutely crazy. And I’m telling you, it is racist in nature. It is sad, because if I came on your show today and told you that there were two million people starving to death as we speak, right now, and that there are over 400,000 who are dead and counting, and this is happening in western Germany or the southern part of France, there would not be this type of reaction from the U.N. or any other governmental body.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Joe Madison, I want to thank you very much for being with us, President of the Sudan Campaign. He will serve as emcee for the rally to stop genocide in Sudan this Sunday. I want to thank you for joining us, and now you can go back to your radio show.

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