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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

STAND planning meetings from across the region

Published: March 9, 2007
Section: News

Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND) is planning to meet with activists from across the northeast in New York City on March 10 to help bring attention to the issue of genocide in the Sudan. In protest to Chinas support of the Sudanese government, the activists will make a human chain linking the Chinese and Sudanese missions to the United Nations (UN), a chain that will require about a thousand people to complete. The minds behind the human chain, which will be symbolic of how the Chinese government is indirectly funding the genocide with its investment in the region, hope to utilize Chinas vulnerability in the international media due to its hosting of the 2008 Olympics next year.

The event comes off of a busy semester for STAND at Brandeis as numerous events were planned and organized by the group last semester. STAND hosted Darfurfest in Boston last year, where over a hundred people showed up to listen to singers, speakers, and other people discuss the situation in the Sudan.

In November, the group executed a call-in, where students were urged to contact their local representatives and petition them to assist in ending the genocide. The group also co-hosted a Boston-area Darfur conference and set up gravestones around campus to remind the community of the death toll in the Sudan.

The main reason for this unique type of protest is to emphasize the link between China and the Sudan. China has much investment in the region, and STAND believes that this money may also be going to finance the genocide. China is essentially funding the genocide by providing money to the Sudanese government, explained Leila Alciere 09, one of the coordinators of the event. With this specific type of protest, the group hopes to provide attention to the indirect methods of supporting the genocide.

Besides this event, STAND at Brandeis has a number of events they are planning for the rest of the semester. The group is working on a Women in Conflict event, where they will be focusing on rape as a method to execute the genocide. They are also hoping to plan a die-in, or staged death scenes, at the Boston Commons in order to promote the cause of Massachusetts divestment from the Darfur region. On April 20, the group will once again mobilize activists to travel to New York City in order to again protest and bring awareness to the circumstances in the Sudan.

The human chain will be constructed March 10, and everyone who wants to get involved can either contact STAND at Brandeis or go to the website,, where they can find out more information.

Im hoping that this event will motivate and empower students, stated Alciere about the upcoming human chain. I hope to prove how much college students can achieve if we work together.