J.K. Rowling Joins Children’s Authors to Urge Intervention in Darfur

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Apr 12, 2008

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, along with other leading children’s book authors including Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, Cornelia Funke and Louis Sachar, today published an open letter “demanding the world wake up to childhood under attack in Darfur.”

The letter comes on the eve of Global Day for Darfur, marking the fifth anniversary of the conflict, and is signed by 14 children’s authors from North America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, demanding action from the international community.

The letter says: “Children barely old enough to walk, let alone run, have seen their homes burnt and razed to the ground, their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Most are now holed up in sprawling camps, traumatised and living in fear…It is time to change the narrative. It is time to tell a different story. This April many children in Darfur will be reaching their fifth birthdays without ever having known peace. The world needs to wake up. For too long it has let these children suffer. Our politicians need to act on Darfur….The children of Darfur didn’t ask for this war, but are living their days caught in the crossfire of reverberating bullets. They must be allowed to be children again. Despite the daily terror they face, they still have hopes and dreams. The world needs to act now to give the children of Darfur a future.”

It calls for an immediate ceasefire, full deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping fore, action against anyone blocking such deployment, and support for a just peacae process.

The full text of the letter follows:

In Darfur there is a story that is being told, re-told, and told again. It is a story of loss, fear, and trauma. Of children’s fates being dictated by armed men. It is a not a story that we want to tell you. But it is a story you must hear.

Today is the Day for Darfur, which marks the fifth anniversary of one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Over 200,000 people have been killed and over two million have been forced to flee from their homes and villages. Children barely old enough to walk, yet alone run, have seen their homes burnt and razed to the ground, their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Most are now holed up in sprawling camps, traumatised and living in fear. Children in Darfur draw pictures of bombs and guns. It is all they have ever known. Childhood is under attack in Darfur.

It is time to change the narrative. It is time to tell a different story. This April many children in Darfur will be reaching their fifth birthdays without ever having known peace. The world needs to wake up. For too long it has let these children suffer. Our politicians need to act on Darfur. It is time they demanded an immediate ceasefire, fully supported by the peacekeepers, and punish anyone who tries to block their deployment. They must also do more to support a peace process based on justice and human rights, so there can be hope of an end to the suffering.

The children of Darfur didn’t ask for this war, but are living their days caught in the crossfire of reverberating bullets. They must be allowed to be children again. Despite the daily terror they face, they still have hopes and dreams. The world needs to act now to give the children of Darfur a future.

Signatories:

Mike Berenstain

Judy Blume

Gillian Cross

Anne Fine

Cornelia Funke

Julia Golding

Michael Morpugo

J.K. Rowling

Louis Sachar

Rawya Sadek

Amanda Sthers

R.L. Stine

Tracey West

Daniel Pennac

For more info, visit SaveDarfur.org, and to use your love of Harry Potter to get involved in this effort, visit The HP Alliance, who works with many of the organizations who organized Global Day for Darfur.





27 Responses to J.K. Rowling Joins Children’s Authors to Urge Intervention in Darfur

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i am soo proud of these authors for making this letter. it is about time our politicians stand up and do something for people who REALLY need our help. i am shocked that nothing has been done yet.

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unfortunately a lot of politics comes into play here. China is notoriously unhelpful on the issue (they get mineral resources from some terrible african governments).

Regarding the UN force, there is a small UN force in existence, but they are thoroughly undermanned and ill equipped to deal with the situation. And even if they are properly resourced at some point in the near future, there is the issue of restrictions that nations impose upon their contingents.

For example, many nations impose limitations on their soldiers serving overseas, like no fighting at night (which of course would leave the militia’s free reign to terrorize at night), or they have to avoid situations where there is combat already going on.

A large part of the reason for this is the fear of the various nations political leadership that if soldiers start dying their public and legislatures will quickly sour on the mission. Take the case of the Afghanistan in the present day, or Somalia in the 90’s.

There may also be other considerations. Germany, for example, has a fairly good military, but continued guild over their actions in WW II still hampers their willingness to get involved in overseas conflicts. Afghanistan is the first time they have sent combat ground troops outside of Europe since WW II, but even they have pretty severe restrictions placed upon them.

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I am so proud of JKR, and all the other authors for taking a stance. The fact that Jo continually takes stances supporting Human Rights make me prouder than ever to be a Harry Potter fan.

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like woah. these authors are bieng wonderful through their writing and their helping of the world. You Go Jo, R.L., Cornelia, Judy, Louis, and other authorss!

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This is amazing.

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This is unacceptable. How would you like me to help?

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wtg JK something needs to be done to stop this as it is rapidly becoming another Holocaust or Rape of Nanking and those two things that should never be repeated, no more innoccent child should have to grow up in such a horrorific place

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FINALY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People are starting 2 tacke a stand after years of neglect!!! Oddment , Blubber & Tweek.

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I’m so proud of Jo and the other authors for doing this. It’s about time somethting gets done to fix this situation.

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It’s great that these people are taking a stand against all the horrible things happening in Darfur. It’s about time someone did something about Darfur, it’s been going on for so long. So proud of you Jo!

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Its great to see authors doing good with their power and status amongst children. Once again JK rocks, but lets not forget all the other great authors. Love Louise Sachers Holes too =]

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We need to fight the Voldemorts of our world, whoever and wherever they may be. Cheers, Jo!

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Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Let’s hope this letter and these author’s influence actually make a dent and are actually heard. This letter has an unfortunate grand possibility of being tossed in the O file by politicians. Just like the do with all reports they just don’t want to deal with or think will cost too much money to even think about.

Avatar Image says:

so many famous people are now asking questions about Darfur, for instance George Clooney recently stopped in Downing Street whilst promoting ‘Leatherheads’ to talk to Brown about it, not to mention Mia Farrow’s continual work and now these famous authors, and still nothing is moving something has to be done to make the governement see that people care about these issues instead of titting about trying to solve problems in places like Iraq and making it worse. I’m not saying Sudan should be next on the invading list but Darfur has to be at the forefront of their policies

Avatar Image says:

Kiwi Mc I, famously won’t drive any kind of policy change on this. All the George Clooney’s and Mia Farrow’s of the world won’t achieve much here.

All they can do is get attention. The ones who can drive a policy change are the regular people (who often vote). And it has to be quite considerable support for a consistent amount of time. Not just a a few things here or there.

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It’s sad that people don’t realize the more Hell there is in the world. People complain about boyfriends or not being able to buy a video game for example—well imagine yourself in the position of these helpless children? These children would rather cry over not having a video game than cry over the fact that starvation may be their death.

People are so blinded by pleasure and profit that they don’t care about children who lay in critical conditions. Why can’t we have more people, instead of authors, help out and shout to the world? Why can’t the government do more than what they are doing? This will ALL pay off if we work together, and it’s just so crazy how we don’t even have troops in Sudan trying to stop this, yet we have over thousands of troops in Iraq.

We all need to stop and work together.

Avatar Image says:

I also want to say that I am very proud of Jo to be able to be part of this. Jo is an amazing person, in the same time she’s working hard as a philanthropist and also writing amazing novels—she’s amazing.

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There’s a really short on video on BBC now about the campaign (they pronounced her name wrong again): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7343935.stm

I’m with you J, that was my argument, that more than a pretty face is needed to get things moving

Avatar Image says:

It is nothing short of wonderful that all of these renowned authors are bringing attention to this problem. Hopefully their sentiments are considered properly by the authorities, as it is about time that politicians adopted a much more proactive approach to resolving this dreadful situation. Much more can – and needs to – be done.

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http://www.harrypotterforum.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=65&page=1#Item_0

First look at Narcissa Malfoy!

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It’s amazing to know so many famous people getting involved. It’s time that the government did something to stop the horrors in Darfur. It’s been so long, all the world needs is some peace, it’s heartwrenching to hear some of the things happening out there. I’m so glad all these authors, and Jo of course, took a stand on the issue. Why can’t people in power just keep their power to themselves and let innocent people live in peace?

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The U.N. has a need for this push from the prominent members of society and these well-renowned authors fill that gap. There are so many wonderful praises I could say right now, but I am, to say the least, deeply moved. I was at a rally for Darfur about a year or two ago so I am waiting for many more movements by people like these authors.

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I have been thinking about this thread, and this is what I think: It is our precious right as the free citizens in this world to ask our leaders to help those who are not. However, we should do this deliberately, and thoughtfully as we are ultimately asking ourselves, siblings or children to stand in the gap between what is and what should be. Should we? Of course we should! Keep in mind that sometimes the debt is paid in full with a folded flag and a thank you. By the way, my son and son-in-law did come home from Afghanistan.

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Oh Funke gets the taste of charity and related actions, too.

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Amazing.

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Wow great action and value. I hope that this will contribute to more peace in this region. The things are real terribles

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Yay! It makes me even more proud to be a Harry Potter fan!! :) Great job Jo!!

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