Pennsylvania Congressman and Senate candidate Joe Hoeffel gains several points in my book for getting arrested in protest outside of the Sudanese embassy Wednesday. Today he explained why he did it: Yesterday, my wife Francesca and I decided to engage in a small act of conscience by agreeing to be arrested in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington . You might think that’s an unusual thing for a Member of Congress to do. In fact, I was not the first Member of Congress to carry out this traditional form of civil disobedience in order to bring greater attention to the horrible ethnic violence and avoidable humanitarian catastrophe now taking place in that east African nation. I certainly hope I will not be the last. Why now? The answer is simple. Refugee children are dying of disease and malnutrition. Women are being raped. Men are being murdered. The clock is ticking and every day that passes means the loss of more human life. Americans of all faiths do not want to stand by and simply let this kind of ethnic warfare and humanitarian crisis happen again. I came to the conclusion that simply passing resolutions and sending letters would not do enough to bring about the kind of quick action needed to save lives...In a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing reminiscent of Rwanda a decade ago, the Sudanese government has supported and encouraged Arab militias in the slaughter of black Africans in the Darfur region of the country – killing and raping thousands of innocent black men, women, and children. Already more than 30,000 people have been slaughtered and more than a million others displaced. Entire villages are being destroyed and families are being torn apart. Sudan is witness to brutal crimes against humanity – hateful genocide, plain and simple. The longer the international community waits to react, the more terrible the human cost will be.


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