Starting today, the Enough team is joining the Darfur Fast for Life fasting chain to raise awareness about the ongoing suffering of the people of Darfur, who for six long years have lived under the genocidal regime of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. We are taking up where prominent activists and leaders like Mia Farrow, Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel, and Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ) left off; we want to contribute to the momentum generated by this movement and help build a strong resolve within the United States and the international community to find a comprehensive and lasting solution to Sudan’s conflicts.
As our executive director John Norris explained:
The Darfur Fast for Life is a powerful message that the situation on the ground in Sudan remains simply unacceptable and demands a much stronger response from our political leaders than we have seen to date.
We join more than 500 people in 33 countries who have fasted for one day or more, consuming only water or the 1,000 calories-per-day rations that are fed to residents of refugee camps.
Enough’s senior advisor Omer Ismail pointed out:
The commitment of people from 33 different countries to the fast is remarkable, and demonstrates the tremendous grassroots support for a comprehensive solution not just to Darfur, but Sudan’s multiple conflicts.
Since the Darfur Fast for Life project began on April 27, it has attracted members of Congress including the Congressional Black Caucus and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); prominent philanthropists and entrepreneurs including film producer Abigail Disney, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin America, and Pam Omidyar of Humanity United; and nonprofit leaders including Jane Wales of the World Affairs Council and Ruth Messinger of the American Jewish World Service. Singer Jon Foreman and record producer David Hodges also fasted, along with a three-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, Josh Davis.
Enough’s co-founder John Prendergast, who was an early participant in the Darfur Fast for Life and will also join in this weekend’s fast, noted:
As activists, we must, of course, press our government do everything it can to address these crises of the day. But we must also keep our eyes on the longer-term prize: a peaceful, democratic Sudan. That should be President Obama’s top priority and his administration should work assiduously to achieve that objective.
Darfur Fast for Life created this powerful slideshow of some of the fasting chain’s first string of participants.