FIRST EVENTS in DC

Sep 17, 2007 at 3:20 am Leave a comment

Last night I had the opportunity to see a film called The Devil Came on Horseback and listen to Adam Sterling, an Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network speak about the situation in Darfur and what ordinary citizens can do to help. And I definitely urge everyone to somehow see this movie.

At first the images presented before the name of the film appeared were overwhelming and the music was overdramatic, which made wary that this film would exaggerate the situation in order to shame people into action. But once the opening credits rolled and the background story of Brian Steidle started, the film presented an honest picture of Darfur through the eyes of narrator Steidle. Throughout the movie the viewers can almost relate to the emotional struggles he goes through, from hope to anger to frustration to helplessness.

But the reason I write this is not as a review. I’d like to think that I’m not easily swayed, but perhaps I am when a powerful story about doing the right thing comes my way. I left the theater wanting to do more, hoping that I could realize my full potential as a reporter and human being. While in Washington, D.C. I can only hope that I will be able to use this opportunity to try to affect change in people’s minds and eventually politicians. I know I have a long way to go.

This brings me to another related event I covered today: a conference on an anti-war demonstration organized by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in conjunction with several other anti-war groups that will be held this Saturday on the mall. I went to the press conference in which four out of nine members had recently been arrested while trying to post flyers about the demonstration and for seeking out members of Congress at Capital Hill. Needless to say, the atmosphere became electric and the speakers became emboldened more and more about their beliefs. And it was hard to sit there trying to be an unbiased reporter when all I wanted to do was get in on the protest action (though in the end I will be able to, as a reporter of course).

I suppose the theme that ran through both the film with the discussion and the anti-war conference is that ordinary American citizens are the only ones who can make the kind of change that we want. Reverend Lennox Yearwood may have said it better at the conference today when he said, “ordinary citizens make history not the president.” When considering this historically, it’s true. It will take longer and require more people to get a response, but it’s really the only way change comes, and it starts with ourselves going out of our way to do the right thing.

So with that said…
if you want the genocide in Darfur to stop or troops to be pulled out of Iraq:
educate yourself by looking at all sides
write or call your local Congressman (Web site)
empower others by educating them about what you’re doing and why
donate to a non-profit, lobbying group

Helpful Web sites:
Genocide Intervention Network
Save Darfur
Global Grassroots

Iraq Veteran Against the War
Grassroots America
WhyNotNews.org
A.N.S.W.E.R.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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