Thursday, September 21, 2006

A activist's prespective

With the impending crisis happening in Darfur and the looming disater that was about to unfold if the AU withdraws, I decided that now is the time to make my voice be heard by any means necessary. On Monday during class, I was looking for something when I saw some poster boards and suddently an idea struck my mind that would help me spread the word on Darfur. And so I made a poster that read ''Save Darfur'' on the front and ''400,000 dead and counting. Get up! Stand up! Never stay silent!'' The night before, I flet a bit anxious of what would be the reactions of people when I would wear the sign. But I knew I had to do it. So I went to school on Tuesday and added some photos to better make the point (graphic photos) As soon as I walked out of the library wearing the sign, people stared at me reading the sign which I felt it was working. At PE, i walked around the court with the sign, nervous as anything. As I was walking, I thought about those children in Darfur whom watched their parents be killed and are all alone with no one to love or care for them. I thought about Rwanda and the bodies rotting in the sun and of Senator Dallaire trying to warn the world of the genocide. That's what kept me going. Some students asked me about Darfur and I told them in which I had to make an example of the Holocaust and ''Hotel Rwanda'' but they seemed quite interested about Darfur. For the rest of the day my teachers were really impressed with me on Darfur and students came up and asked me about it.
On Day 2 of my campainge, I needed to speak with the teacher in charge of the school's newspaper. I had sent him a letter before and wanted to send another letter. As I handed it to him, he explained that he thought that anyone with a heart and a brain like mine, would care for such an issue and that was admirable. But, unfortunatly, he couldn't publish anything about Darfur because the newspaper only dealt with what's happening around the school. I understood completly, but as I walked out of the room, tears came streaming down my face. My heart was so full of sorrow for Darfur and I thought that it seemed so hopeless to be speak out on something that was happening millions of miles away. I quickly deleted that thought from my head because my voice was ten times stronger than those in Darfur and I HAD to speak out, or I would be guilty of the worst crime of all: Staying silent in the face of genocide.
Day 3 went really well. More students asked me about Darfur and I explained to them and told them to spread the word and do some research of there own. Teachers also came up to me and told me on what a great thing I was doing and I also told them to spread the word with there students. My creative writing teacher even invited me to address one of her classes since they were learning on the Holocaust.
I'll continue wearing the sign up until next week. I know what I'm doing is not much, but to me, it's sure beats the hell out of not doing anything. I just hope that the Darfurians know that the world and myself won't rest this genocide is stopped!


Unknown said...

This is such a very brave thing to do, Ruth. I'm sure the sign has made so many more people aware of the issues in Darfur and made them want to find out more.

Perhaps just submitting this article to the newspaper, as in explaining 'why was that girl going round with the sign on her' would be acceptable to the editor?

Jed said...

Ruth, it sound like you are doing brillliant things. Sometimes it takes extreme, yet mundane, acts to really grab people's attention. Keep at it, and keep at it in the ways you know how to. I often get accused of being a muckraker or a contrarian--but sometimes if it elicits a conversation, awareness or whatever then it is well worth it. The streets are calling my name.... be well.