Welcome to the Thursday, September 27, 2007 issue of this Peace&Justice action email!

This email is shorter than originally intended, in order to send an immediate action in support of a peaceful resolution to the demonstrations in Myanmar (Burma). As well there are brief reflections and actions on Darfur, and other actions that had already been prepared.




The world has been watching as the monk-led protests in Myanmar have grown to the point where a military crackdown is feared, and the first violent military actions have been started. Thus the following petition needs to be signed IMMEDIATELY, which will be sent to the Burmese government, the UN Security Council and China. The protests have been debated in the UN, with China and Russia threatening a veto, under the guise of it being purely an "internal matter." China is a close ally of Burma and is also aware of its image in this pre-Olympic year. It has been suggested that the restraint shown earlier was partly due to China's influence.

The world must be loud and clear in its position of a peaceful resolution. I personally support such action, even when history suggests the result will be violent, because it is the right thing to advocate, and I am not so all-knowing to be sure when a Berlin Wall may fall, or at least cooler heads prevail. The first petition is the major one; the second one was created by people in Myanmar and I offer it, if nothing else, to show them support.

Sign Primary Petition:
    Sign UN Petition

Sign More Local Myanmar Petition:




Due to the need to get this email out, there is only time to give two recent actions, below, plus a copy-and-paste action for Canadians (at the end of this email, asking the Prime Minister to take fuller action). I will postpone until next month an examination of the other African conflicts.




President Bush gave a speech at the UN this past week, urging quick action on Darfur. The following email action, which can be edited and signed by anyone, urges specific ways that the US can follow-through on that intention:

Take Action  (Open to all countries):
    Write to President Bush




If you were unable to attend the recent Global day for Darfur events, you can still sign a petition they have created, urging the UN to act quickly on its mandate:

Tell UN To Act Quickly:



3. NEWS: US House Passes The Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act

The Genocide Intervention Network wishes to thank all those who acted to pressure their representatives to the pass the bill, which it did by a vote of 418 to 1. The bill will ensure that Americans are not funding genocide in Darfur and will increase pressure on the government of Sudan to allow a robust UN peacekeeping force, disarm the Janjaweed militias and participate in peace negotiations.

This is welcome news as long as it is seen, not in isolation, but as part of the overall package of initiatives that need to occur - only a comprehensive approach regarding Darfur has any hope of achieving success, which is outlined at    http://www.untilall.org/darfur.htm





Giumarra is the world's largest table grape grower. Despite heat-related deaths among grape pickers, followed by heat regulations established by California's Governor Schwarzenegger, the company has still not acted to better protect its workers. The United Farm Workers Union is calling for the action below. [As a side-note, one of its co-founders, Dolores Huerta, will be given the International Peace Award by the Community of Christ, for her tireless efforts on behalf of the marginalized].

Take Action:



=== CANADIAN LETTER ON DARFUR: Copy, paste, edit & mail; no postage needed ===

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
K1A 0A2

Dear Primer Minister Harper:

The Darfur crisis in Sudan has killed over 200,000 and displaced over 2.5 million people, as well as threatening to destabilize to entire region. While Canada has provided support, most of it has been in the form of aid. That is necessary and good, but there is so much more that Canada should do.

While I am grateful that on August 2, the Canadian government pledged $48 million to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in order to facilitate its transition to the AU-UN hybrid force, I call on the Canadian government to take a fuller approach by:

1. Appointing a Special Envoy for Darfur;
2. Using all diplomatic efforts possible to:
   a. Assist in efforts to unify the rebels;
   b. Assist in the promotion of a Darfur-Darfur Dialogue;
   c. Join with any multi-lateral initiatives to persuade the government of Sudan to resolve the Darfur crisis, such as sanctions, asset-freezes, etc.
3. Commit all available resources - personnel and equipment - to help implement UNSC Resolution 1769, the UN/AU hybrid peacekeeping mandate to Darfur.
4. Commit some of our CF-18 fighter jets to create a No-Fly zone, as appropriate and thus only within the full package of initiatives;
5. Continue humanitarian assistance;

As a concerned Canadian, and one who is proud of our peacekeeping legacy, and our lead role in promoting "The Responsibility to Protect" doctrine, I urgently request your full attention to this matter.

Sincerely,                           Address:








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Rod Downing

Surrey BC Canada
(604) 535-6550