Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Save Darfur: Carry the Torch

The following is the text of an email which I received today from Save Darfur:

One year from today, the Summer Olympic Games will begin in Beijing, China.

To mark this date, Save Darfur Coalition partner Dream for Darfur is launching its own Olympic torch relay in Chad, across the border from Darfur. The torch will tour the world, including sites of other genocides and many U.S. cities, until it reaches China's doorstep in December.

All nations must do more to stand up for the people of Darfur. However, China's economic, political, and military ties to the Sudanese government give it considerable influence over Sudan's decisions. China therefore has a tremendous responsibility to help end this tragedy. That is the message we sent two weeks ago when I delivered 42,000 Save Darfur Coalition activist petitions to the Chinese Embassy in D.C.

Unfortunately, so far, China's actions have not been enough.

As next year's Olympics draw near, we must ramp up world pressure on China. Click here now to sign our new petition and make sure China gets the message.

For many of us, the Olympic Games represent a world-wide celebration of hope for peace. That's why I decided to donate the entirety of the gold medal bonus I received in 2006 to humanitarian efforts for Darfur refugees -- and encouraged others to do the same.

Still, this Olympic dream has not yet reached Darfur.

Please join me in sending a message of hope and demanding that China use its influence to bring an end to the crisis. Click here to sign this petition now and remind China that it must set the tone for next year's Olympic Games.

China is more than Sudan's largest trading partner, foreign investor, and arms provider. China has also consistently defended Sudan on the world stage, even fighting to weaken last week's UN Security Council resolution that authorized the deployment of peacekeepers to Darfur.

Thankfully, global pressure is mounting, and ultimately helped force China to vote for the resolution. Join me in making sure China continues to get the message. Click here to sign the petition today.

Then please forward this message to your friends and family and ask them to join you in taking action.

Dream for Darfur, the Save Darfur Coalition, and STAND will be bringing the torch to 23 cities across the United States. Click here for more information about when the torch will come to your state.

All my best,

Joey Cheek
U.S. Gold Medalist, 2006 Winter Olympics
Founder, Where Will We Be

P.S. It doesn't take an Olympic athlete to help make a difference for the people of Darfur. Every month, the Save Darfur Coalition is profiling "Darfur Heroes," activists who have demonstrated exceptional drive -- and a little creativity -- in raising awareness in their communities. Check out this month's "Darfur Hero" at http://www.savedarfur.org/section/heroes.

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