Saturday, December 22, 2007

Save Darfur Anchorage to Meet with Governor Palin's Office

On December 26th, representatives from Save Darfur Anchorage will meet with Governor Palin's office to ask that she reject Sinopec's bid for the AGIA contract on the grounds that Sinopec is helping to fund the Darfur genocide and not using its influence as the leading oil field services provider in Sudan to petition the Government of Sudan to end its brutal campaign against Darfuri civilians.

Save Darfur Anchorage will also ask Governor Palin to publicly support the divestment campaign that will take place in the State House and the State Senate next session. Although legislators will determine whether or not Alaska adopts a policy of targeted divestment for the duration of the genocide, it would be great to also have the Governor's support.

Friday, December 21, 2007

In the Spotlight: The Darfur Wall

There seem to be as many ways to raise awareness (and money) for the people of Darfur as there are creative people. Check out and see how one father and his two sons have answered the call to action. All donations (the minimum is $1) are split evenly among Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, Save Darfur Coalition, and Sudan Aid Fund.

One of the best features of the wall is that you can click on any of the white numbers and see the name and location of the person whose money lit that number. The names are from all over the United States and beyond. It's a great feeling to instantly see how widespread the love, concern, and compassion for the people of Darfur truly is.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Federal Government Takes Aim at Sinopec: Will Alaska?

The following is the press release sent out to all Alaska radio and television news stations to announce the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act and to call on the Alaska Government to follow the Federal Government's lead and reject opportunities to do business with Sinopec. Governor Palin is likely to announce the accepted bidders for the AGIA contract on Monday, December 24th, so there's still time to contact the Governor's office and let her know we want her to reject Sinopec's bid on the grounds that they are helping to bankroll the Darfur genocide.

Company fueling genocide still in the mix for pipeline contract.

Today, in a bipartisan show of force, the United States House of Representatives passed the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act by a vote of 411 to 0. Last week the Senate unanimously approved the measure which now needs only President Bush’s signature to become law. The bill would prohibit federal contracts with companies fueling the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, including current Alaska Gasline Inducement Act bidder, Sinopec. The bill also authorizes individual states to independently enforce a similar prohibition.

More than two weeks after the Genocide Intervention Network sent a letter to Governor Palin urging Alaska to reject the Sinopec bid because of the company’s involvement in Sudan, the bid is still pending. In a poll conducted last Tuesday by Channel 2 News (KTUU), 80% of the poll’s respondents said the state should reject a gas pipeline bid from a company with known ties to the Darfur genocide.

Sinopec is the largest oil field services provider in Sudan, where the government has been accused by President Bush and Congress of committing genocide.

“The pipeline is an investment in Alaska’s future and should be built in a way that is consistent with Alaskan and American values. We should not allow a company that is currently bankrolling the 21st century’s first genocide to bid for this very important project. Governor Palin should immediately reject Sinopec’s proposal for the AGIA pipeline on these grounds.” said Save Darfur Anchorage member Kelley Nixon.

The links between foreign direct investment in Sudan’s oil industry and the Darfur conflict have been extensively documented by numerous governments, non-governmental organizations, and foreign policy experts. Roughly 90% of Sudan’s export revenue comes from oil and despite the country's enormous foreign debt; Sudan funnels as much as 70% of that revenue into its military.

In a letter addressed to Governor Palin, Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Mark Hanis said that awarding the contract to Sinopec would amount to support for the murderous Sudanese government at a time when others are divesting from the company, and that Sinopec’s bid presents a significant opportunity for Alaskans to stand up against the world’s worst crime.

Twenty-two states and over fifty universities have passed divestment measures from problematic companies in Sudan. As a result, many of these entities have sold substantial stock holdings in Sinopec. A number of Alaskan state legislators are also preparing to introduce Sudan divestment legislation in the upcoming legislative session.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Local Artist Paints to Raise Funds and Awareness for Darfur

Anchorage artist, Katie Sevigny, recently painted a beautiful depiction of Sleeping Lady under a Van Gogh-inspired sky for a silent auction held at the Anchor Pub and Grill through the end of December. Half of the sale proceeds will go to the Save Darful Coalition to continue our fight to bring a resolution to the Darfur genocide.

Bids will be accepted at the Anchor Pub and Grill -- where Katie's painting currently hangs -- through the end of December. The Anchor is right next to Katie's own gallery on 4th Avenue, near G street. We hope you will be able to stop by the Anchor and see or even bid on Katie's incredible handiwork. Katie's artwork is also accessible throught the web at

Katie, thank you so much for donating your time and creating such a lovely piece!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act Passes the U.S. Senate

The Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act has finally made it through the U.S. Senate! The bill authorizes states and local governments to divest from companies that support the Khartoum government at the expense of marginalized populations and it prohibits federal contracts with those companies. Although the State Department and the Bush Administration have repeatedly voiced opposition to this bill and stalled it in the Senate multiple times, last night the Senators united and held their ground. Be sure to thank Senators Stevens and Murkowski for consenting to this bill's passage.

The bill will return to the House for consideration and then go to the President for final approval. The House passed a similar bill in July by a vote of 418-1 so the House should be no problem. (It's more a procedural mater than anything.) We'll see what President Bush does when he is asked to sign it into law.

To read more about the bill, see articles from

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sinopec Should Not Build Our Pipeline

Save Darfur Anchorage, along with other anti-genocide groups, are urging Governor Palin to reject Sinopec ZPEB's bid to build the Alaska gas pipeline. Sinopec, whose majority shares are owned by the Chinese government, is the leading oil-field services provider in Sudan and a major revenue source for the Sudanese government. In fact, 90% of Sudan's export revenue comes from the oil industry and 70% of that is used to finance the government's military. Despite repeated pleas from anti-genocide groups, Sinopec has refused to alter its operations in Sudan despite the link between the money Sinopec provides to the Sudanese government and the atrocities happening in Darfur.

We urge all to contact Governor Palin and ask her to please reject Sinopec's bid. Ask her to please use this opportunity to take a clear stand against genocide on behalf of all Alaskans. Click on the following for Governor Palin's contact information:

To review articles covering Sinopec's bid and some local editorial sparring on the issue, check out these links:

Friday, December 7, 2007

Presidential Candidates Share Views on Darfur

Two-minute YouTube videos of leading candidates talking about their views and policies specific to the Darfur genocide can be viewed at

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

UAA Chapter of STAND Presents DarfurFast Event

Tonight, the UAA Chapter of STAND welcomes all to a showing of The Devil Came on Horseback in Room 101 of Rasmuson Hall on the UAA Campus. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for The Genocide Intervention Network's (GI-Net) Civilian Protection Program. The first of its kind in Darfur, this program works with Darfuri community leaders, displaced women and girls, and the African Union Mission in Sudan to protect women and girls in internally displaced persons camps. In Darfur, women and girls are forced to wander in search of firewood for cooking, exposing them to rape and attack from militias. GI-Net's Civilian Protection Program offers safer cooking options by providing alternative-fuel stoves, guarded firewood patrols, and income-generating projects for women so that they can afford to buy firewood from the robust firewood market.

A question/answer session will be held after the movie and Save Darfur Anchorage will be there to show support and offer any information needed. We will also be there to help attendees write their legislators to ask for divestment of Alaska funds from companies that assist the Sudanese Goverment in its genocide campaign and to write Governor Palin to ask her to reject Sinopec's bid to build the Alaska Gas Pipeline.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gift Ideas that Help Raise Awareness

The Holiday season often means a lot of gift buying, why not purchase some gifts this year that will also help raise awareness about the Darfur genocide. Amnesty International has put together Instant Karma, a CD of John Lennon songs performed by contemporary artists such as Aerosmith, the Black Eyed Peas, and Christina Aguilera. You can check out the CD website by visiting You can purchase it at for convenience.

The Save Darfur Store offers a limited selection of items (e.g., ribbon decals, t-shirts, yard signs) sold by the Save Darfur Coalition. For a broader and more creative selection of Save Darfur items, check out They sell hundreds of designs on everything from buttons, to tote bags, to t-shirts for humans and animals!