I guess it can be a positive thing if it gets people to pay a little closer attention.
Fasting for change
Inviting Mia Farrow to join a hunger strike may suggest a certain irony, but it's a deadly serious matter of conscience for the organizers of a 21-day fast to draw attention to widespread starvation in Darfur.
The actress has joined the Darfur Fast for Life, a three-week protest to draw attention to the world's continuing inaction on the crisis in western Sudan.
Farrow will consume only water for 21 days as part of a group that includes John Prendergast, co-founder of the anti-genocide organization Enough, and Save Darfur President Jerry Fowler. The group also plans acts of civil disobedience at the Sudanese embassy in Washington.
The activists want the Khartoum government, whose president is under indictment for war crimes in Darfur, to immediately restore all aid services in the region and to give aid workers free access to the 4.7 million refugees there.
"I hope human rights advocates and citizens of conscience around the world will join me in some form of fasting, even if for one day," Farrow said in a statement. "And when I can no longer continue, I pray another will take my place, and another, until finally there is justice and peace for Darfur's people."
Sudan cut off all international assistance to Darfur after its president, Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Farrow said she is undertaking her fast in the "hope that world leaders who know what is just and right will act immediately to end the suffering in Darfur and Sudan."
Other participants in the protest include Gloria White-Hammond, chairwoman of the Save Darfur Coalition; Pam Omidyar, founder of Humanity United; Shannon Sedgwick Davis of Bridgeway Foundation; Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service; Tzivia Schwartz Getzug of Jewish World Watch; Ellen Kennedy of Genocide Intervention Network-Minnesota; andGabriel Stauring, director of Stop Genocide Now.
You can get video and blog updates on the protest by going to www.fastdarfur.org.
By TINA DAUNT
April 29, 2009