WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America and Genocide Intervention Network have teamed for the second annual Capitol Hill advocacy campaign to encourage Congressional action to end the cycle of genocide.
The expanded program, titled the "End the Cycle of Genocide: Grassroots Capitol Campaign," will take place March 12 to 14 in Washington, beginning with a special breakfast briefing on the morning of March 12th and followed by three days of Congressional visits to encourage U.S. action to stop the genocide in Darfur, the adoption of the Armenian Genocide resolution (S.Res. 106 / H.Res.106), and the strengthening of U.S. resolve to act against all instances of genocide.
Activists will be able to share their experiences, exchange ideas, communicate with Members of Congress, and add new connections to the growing national anti-genocide coalition at a special Capitol Hill reception on the evening of Wednesday evening, March 12.
Last March over 100 activists from 25 states participated, visiting all 100 Senate and 435 House of Representatives offices, meeting with Members of Congress, their staff and disseminating information regarding pending Armenian and Darfur genocide legislation. Ten Members of Congress, including House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa Chairman Donald Payne (D-NJ), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Armenian Genocide Resolution author Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), David Dreier (R-CA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Jean Schmidt (R-OH), joined with advocacy day participants in urging continued grassroots advocacy to secure proper acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide and targeted divestment of firms aiding and abetting the ongoing genocide in Sudan.
The need for continued and expanded advocacy to end the cycle of genocide was never more stark than earlier this year when Sudanese President al-Bashir completed a three-day state visit to Turkey, at the invitation of President Gul. As the rest of the world tries to isolate Sudan’s genocidal regime, Turkey continues to embrace it, signing a memorandum of understanding to strengthen military relations and expanding cooperation on military technology transfers and training. Turkey’s Minister of Trade projects that Sudan will soon be Turkey’s largest trading partner in Africa.
Despite calls from human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Turkish President Gul did not pressure Sudan to end the atrocities in Darfur, but instead claimed that it was merely a "humanitarian tragedy" that "is not only a matter of politics, but also stems from poverty and environmental conditions."
"Al Bashir’s red carpet welcome in Turkey starkly illustrates that the cycle of genocide must be confronted," said Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Mark Hanis. "The world’s continued failure to unequivocally fight against genocide, in all its forms, encourages future despotic leaders to resort to genocide. For this reason, we are organizing to demand an end to this cycle in the halls of Congress."
"We are looking forward to joining forces once again with the Genocide Intervention Network to strengthen the anti-genocide constituency in the country," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Coming in a year when Turkey seems to be instructing Sudan in its denial tactics and providing political cover for its genocidal policies, our partnership with GI-Net could not be more important."
To learn more about Genocide Intervention Network visit: www.genocideintervention.net
For more information and to register for the campaign visit: www.anca.org/stopgenocide.