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Clooney Unwittingly Stars in Postcard Drama

May 14, 2009
In our unending quest for increased scope and accuracy, we took a closer look into George Clooney’s recent-ish statements on Larry King Live regarding the Save Darfur Coalition’s “Be A Voice For Darfur” postcard campaign. And after thousands hundreds three days hours minutes of intensive research, we stumbled upon this little-known gem hidden in the deepest, darkest recesses of the “internets.”  Actually, it’s just a Save Darfur Coalition Press Release (February 24, 2009) that at first escaped our notice:

George Clooney Calls on Obama Administration to Appoint Full-Time Sudan Envoy

Clooney delivers names of 250,000 Americans calling on administration to take immediate action to help end Darfur genocide

WASHINGTON – In a meeting last night with President Obama and Vice President Biden, George Clooney delivered the names of 250,000 American activists calling on the president to fulfill his promise to pursue an end to the Darfur genocide with “unstinting resolve.” Clooney described what he saw on his trip last week to eastern Chad and called on Obama to appoint a full-time Sudan envoy in advance of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Sudanese President al-Bashir, likely to be issued next week.

“The coalition is grateful for Mr. Clooney’s unwavering commitment to advocate for an end to the violence that has plagued Darfur for six years,” said coalition president Jerry Fowler. “His message that the Obama administration should engage in a sustained diplomatic effort to bring peace to Sudan is all the more critical given the Sudanese government’s ominous threats of violence in response to the International Criminal Court’s impending arrest warrant for President Bashir.”

The 250,000 signatures delivered to the White House were collected as a part of the Save Darfur Coalition’s Darfur from Day One campaign. The names were a down payment for the one million signatures the coalition hopes to deliver by President Obama’s 100th day in office. The following organizational partners contributed to this effort: American Jewish World Service, Amnesty International USA, Conservative Judaism, Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy, Genocide Intervention Network, Jewish World Watch, the NAACP, Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition and Union for Reform Judaism.

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About the coalition – The Save Darfur Coalition – an alliance of 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit http://www.SaveDarfur.org. To obtain footage from the Darfur border region, coalition events, various interviews, and more, please visit the Save Darfur Coalition media gallery at http://media.savedarfur.org. All footage may be previewed in non-broadcast quality and may be purchased in broadcast quality by filling out the purchase request form provided on the site.

In case you missed it, because that’s easy to do, here’s the Money Quote:
The 250,000 signatures delivered to the White House were collected as a part of the Save Darfur Coalition’s Darfur from Day One campaign. The names were a down payment for the one million signatures the coalition hopes to deliver by President Obama’s 100th day in office.

As we’ve already seen, the coalition made no public announcement regarding their postcard campaign on April 29, 2009, Obama’s 100th day in office and the day the coalition hoped to make the final payment of postcards to the new administration. However, according to sources within the anti-genocide community, the campaign has failed to even approach the all-important 1 million postcard threshold, which begs the question: How will SDC handle this failure?  It appears that they plan to let it quietly fade away without fanfare. I mean, hey, Larry King viewers and grassroots activists will just assume that the 1 million cards have been (or soon will be) delivered, because the trusted SDC and much loved George Clooney suggested they would be, right?

In return for their trust, commitment, and hard work, grassroots activists across the country and around the world deserve an honest and accurate accounting of the once “top priority” advocacy tactic even if the results are less than expected. One thing is for sure, without trust between professional advocates and grassroots activists there is no Save Darfur movement, only bitter disappointment and an ongoing tragedy in Sudan.

Sorry, George, but this dramatic project looks less like mega-blockbuster Ocean’s Eleven than mega-bomb  Leatherheads…but, hey, look on the brightside, you’re not directing this fiasco. So you’ve got that going for you…

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