Friday, August 18, 2006

DARFUR HUNGER STRIKE: PRESS RELEASE. Hunger Strike Day 36, Vigil Day 88

For Immediate Release Contact: Jay McGinley, 484-356-6243
August 18, 2006

Darfur Hunger Striker to Abstain from Eating
Until UN Peace Keepers Deployed

Stand With Darfur-White House II

Washington, DC – A Philadelphia man who has been on round the clock Vigil for Darfur at the White House since May 14th 88 days, announced today that he will continue his Hunger Strike until 20-30,000 UN Peace Keepers are deployed to Darfur. “Our Darfur family is out of time,” said Jay McGinley, a 54 year old businessperson from Philadelphia. “I am throwing my lot in fully with them to attempt to bring the urgency of their need to Washington, and to my brothers and sisters throughout the US. We must make Sept. 9th at the White House, and Sept. 17th at the Word-wide demonstrations – their salvation. There will be no other chance, for them or us (below).”

In the last 2 weeks more aid workers have been killed than in the previous 3 years of war. This predictable escalation will drive the international aid workers away forcing in estimated 25,000-50,000 deaths per week among the 3,000,000 in the concentration camps along the border with Chad. According to, a coalition of 170 Faith, Humanitarian and Human Rights organizations, nearly three years into the crisis, the western Sudanese region of Darfur is acknowledged to be a humanitarian and human rights tragedy of the first order. The humanitarian, security and political situation continues to deteriorate: atrocities continue, people are still dying in large numbers of malnutrition and disease, and a new famine is feared. According to reports by the World Food Program, the United Nations and the Coalition for International Justice, 3.5 million people are now hungry, 2.5 million have been displaced due to violence, and 400,000 people have died in Darfur thus far. The international community is failing to protect civilians or to influence the Sudanese government to do so.

Darfur is at the final tipping point now:
1. With the aid workers now being killed and thereby driven away, death tolls will hit 30,000 per week.
2. The Sudan and the international community are three months overdue in enforcing the May 5 Darfur Peace Agreement,
3. The African Union force of 7,000 is departing from Darfur October 1, so even this pitiful fig leaf will be removed from the Genocide,
4. Sept. 9th Civil Disobedience at the White House is one of two huge opportunities we have left – (“Two years….”). Must be a massive success to spark the activism for Sept. 17th.
September 17th is our last chance ( as US Citizens to register our unmistakable, life-giving mandate for immediate rescue of the people from Genocide. September 17th is the day of international demonstrations, most importantly in NYC, as organized by the Day for Darfur and Save Darfur Coalition (,
6. At a news briefing last Friday State Department Sean McCormack signaled administration readiness to get the troops to Darfur. "The A.U. has said that they want that turnover to take place by October first. That date's coming up on us real fast. We support the A.U. in that, and we're pushing hard at the U.N. and elsewhere to try to make that happen. That ultimately is going to, along with the good faith steps by parties to the Darfur peace agreement and the comprehensive peace agreement, bring greater peace and stability to Sudan," he said. We must hold them, ourselves, to it. Sept 9th. Sept 17th.

McGinley has been Hunger Strike at the White House for 36 days this summer. He figures that based on his current body weight, he will be able to last long enough, until the end of September. “Darfur is my family. Darfur is our family. I am a man of anti-violence so Hunger Strike is the strongest method at my disposal to help my US brothers and sisters to rise to the level of humanity, of brotherhood that I know we aspire to. We must make the September 17th worldwide demonstrations the end of this atrocity, of this Genocide in Darfur. There is no more time.”

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