"To sin by silence, when we should protest,
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, "Protest," Poems of Problems (1914)
According to a December Genocide Intervention Network poll, a majority of Americans now see ending genocide as a high foreign policy priority. Despite the predominance of Iraq and terrorism in US media and foreign policy discussions, we now have proof that strong majorities feel that the United States should take action to bring about peace in Darfur, and favor doing so in cooperation with the international community.
The survey indicates that there have been large changes in awareness about the conflict, the result of sustained campaigns by activists like yourselves and organizations like the Save Darfur Coalition. Over half of Americans -- 59 percent -- now say they know "a lot" or "some" about the conflict in Darfur, compared to levels reported in 2004, when a similar question commissioned by the Program on International Policy Attitudes found only 14 percent familiar with the conflict. Knowledge is the vital first step in getting people to take action to end the genocide. This is further proof that your hard work has paid off -- congratulations!
Among the 1,018 adults surveyed in the poll, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) believe taking action to stop humanitarian crises like genocide should be a high (42 percent) or the highest (19 percent) foreign policy priority for the country. Among respondents who had heard "a lot" or "some" about Darfur previous to the poll, support climbs further to 71 percent.
Not only is this news encouraging by itself -- simply as an indication that Americans increasingly care about the Darfur genocide -- but it also gives the activist community useful ammunition to use when we are advocating for more forceful intervention from our government. Whether it's to call for the enforcement of the provisions of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, to lobby states to divest their public pension funds from companies supporting the genocidal government of Sudan, or simply to add weight to a letter written to a local newspaper, these statistics will become a powerful new tool to help end the genocide.
You can read the complete results of the poll on our website, at http://www.GenocideIntervention.net/Poll
Students call for divestment from Sudan at UC-San Diego (photo courtesy of Nishma Doshi).
Activists rally for UN peacekeepers at the Save Darfur rally in Central Park, New York City, in September 2006.
Get the Word Out!
You can make a huge contribution to the anti-genocide cause by promoting the results of this poll. It will reinforce the value of all the work that we are doing -- both our Darfur-related activities and our long-term goal of creating the world's first permanent anti-genocide constituency.
SEND THIS MESSAGE TO 10 FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS
Help the anti-genocide movement grow by demonstrating the wide public support for taking action to end the crisis in Darfur.
WRITE A BLOG ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS POLL
Link to the survey results and spread the word about public support for action on Darfur.
WRITE YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS OF THE POLL
Use Congress.org's media tool to write a letter to the editor explaining why you -- like so many people -- support ending the genocide in Darfur.