Saturday, March 22, 2008

Juneau DIE-IN Raises Awareness

Despite heavy wet snowfalls throughout the day, about 100 people attended the DIE-IN FOR DARFUR. The 30-minute event included chants, sign waving, and multiple speeches calling for targeted divestment from Sudan. A group of protesters lay at the bottom of the capitol steps for the duration of the event as a symbol of the lives lost in Darfur while divestment legislation languishes in committee.

The DIE-IN got a lot of local radio and newspaper coverage in Juneau. The Juneau Empire even published an editorial in favor of the legislation a couple days after the DIE-IN. Excerpts were also televised throughout the state on KTUU. The Associated Press' story about the event was picked up by a South Carolina paper and by

While in Juneau, Kelley Nixon, a member of Save Darfur Anchorage met with available legislators or their staff to find out how legislators stand on the divestment legislation. Of the legislators/staff interviewed, 7 legislators were not familiar with the legislation at all or they did not have a current position on the legislation. These included Senators Cowdery, Green, and Huggins, and Representatives Gardner, Holmes, Olson, and Salmon. Six were decidedly against the legislation: Senator Wilken and Representatives Coghill, Johansen, Johnson, Roses, and Stoltze. Fifteen were in favor of divestment: Senators Davis, Ellis, Elton, French, McGuire, and Wielechowski and Representatives Cissna, Doll, Gara, Gatto, Gruenberg, Guttenberg, Kerttula, Lynn, and Ramras.