Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairwoman Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, was arrested this morning during a civil-disobedience protest organized by the Save Darfur Coalition outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.; other lawmakers arrested while protesting the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region included Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; John Lewis, D-Ga.; Donna Edwards, D-Md.; and Keith Ellison, D-Minn.
Here’s what Woolsey said just before her arrest:
“Thank you for being here today and for paying attention to the genocide occurring in Darfur as the world stands by and watches.
“After recognizing genocide in Darfur almost five years ago, it’s far past time for the international community to come together to end it.
“We’re here today to send a message to Khartoum, and to the world, that lawmakers in the United States Congress are making ending the genocide in Darfur a top priority. This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue – this is one of the moral issues of our time.
“I am also here on behalf of the activists in the Sixth Congressional District of California who have been working to bring and end to the crisis in Darfur from the very beginning. They created the group ‘Dear Darfur love Petaluma,’ which spread to ‘Dear Darfur love Marin, and then ‘Dear Darfur love Sonoma.’ They also created ‘Tents of Hope,’ which has brought together activists nationwide to highlight the genocide, and has provided relief to thousands of displaced people in Darfur.
“Under the leadership of Congressman Donald Payne, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, I know that this issue will be a top priority in Congress. I am also energized by steps taken by President Obama to reengage with the international community. But, it’s time to replace words with action.
“In particular, as China, already a permanent member of the UN Security Council, continues to emerge as a global power, they must use their influence over the Sudanese Government to hold it accountable for bringing this violence to an end.
“And to make sure that happens, the United States must not treat Darfur as just any other issue in our own bilateral relationship with China, but ensure that the Chinese follow through by putting this issue at the very top of our agenda in future negotiations.”