Members of the GW STAND, a student organization advocating against genocide in Darfur, vehemently chanted “Disarm Darfur!” at a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy Wednesday to protest China’s arms sales to Sudan.
In addition to STAND, the protest included members from the Darfur Interest Group, International World Relief Service and several religious groups from the D.C. area – all expressing disapproval of China and urging the nation to stop its support of Sudan.
“Our big campaign going on this fall on a national level is our call to the candidates’ campaign to bring up the situation in Darfur,” said GW STAND communications director Kaden Trifilio, a sophomore who was arrested in front of the White House at a Darfur rally last spring. “We do whatever it takes to get the message across.”
The nearly 50 protesters present held signs reading “I stand with the People of Darfur,” “I stand as a witness to 450,000 dead” and “I stand with the victims of genocide.”
“In order to secure the supply of oil which (China) is voraciously using, they are selling arms to the Sudanese,” said Jay Silberman of the Adas Israel Synagogue. He and his wife, Judy, are both very involved in protesting the genocide.
“I want to do something to help the terrible situation so my husband and I contribute our money, time and efforts to try and make a difference,” Judy Silberman added.
An employee of the Chinese Embassy declined comment when he walked outside to observe the rally.
Protests simultaneously took place in New York, Chicago and San Francisco on Wednesday in anticipation of the United Nations Security Council meetings next week and to put pressure on the U.S. to address the situation.