Posts Tagged Sudan

“Not On Our Watch”

Now here’s a book which gets at just what has been going round my head for ages.

Not On Our Watch

Not On Our Watch

Activist John Prendergast and actor Don Cheadle team up for a book which works, I think, on two levels. It tells quite a reliable account of the attrocities in Darfur and how they unfolded. It’s got lots of facts and info.

But far better it is a call to action. It tells us to get off our asses and not just let this happen ‘on our watch.’

Don explains how he was just focussed on his acting until his part in the film Hotel Rwanda, which opened his eyes to other attrocities still happening to this day.

They describe what they call the ‘four horsemen enabling the apocalypse’: apathy, inertia, indifference, ignorance.

Spot on.

The book could quite easily be a moan, but instead it is a call to action. It has practical advice on starting your own campaigns, and how to pressure political leaders and decision makers. Both John and Don seem convinced writing letters – lots of letters – and heaping pressure on the policy makers does work.

Maybe it does.

I have written quite a lot about the Darfur crisis – and in particular the media coverage of it – on a blog in a previous life.

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Getting educated

Old books

Old books

The first step to making a difference, I reckon, is to fully understand what’s wrong in the first place.

Sadly there are scores of big problems in the world today, from the global food shortage, to our dependence on oil, to human rights abuses.

As part of my personal campaign to rid myself of my apathy I’m going to get wise on these problems – find out what they’re about and what needs to be done.

That means a lot of reading, a lot of googling, and some emailing. But hey, I’m a journalist: that should be easy.

I’ve started on an issue I’ve written about several times before: Darfur and the (still) ongoing genocide.

Not On Our Watch by John Prendergast and Hollywood A-lister Don Cheadle is my first stop for a catch up.

In it, they try to breathe new life into the overused, and now hollow phrase, “Never Again”, by trying to inspire ordinary people not to let the genocide happen without action. They offer 6 steps to making a difference – just the sort of inspiration struggling apathetics like me need:

  1. Raise Awareness
  2. Raise Funds
  3. Write Letters
  4. Call for Divestment
  5. Join an organisation
  6. Lobby the government

Much to my own surprise, I’ve already done a couple of these things in the last couple of years. But I won’t let it stop there.

I’m also reading up on Climate Change – any book recommendations would be gratefully received!

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