This is the 5th day at the White House. This Stand is positioned across from the House, next to the Peace Vigil that has been perpetual since 1981. Thomas, the original in that Vigil, has been extremely kind, providing me food, his home (to recharge my bateries) and friendship. An angel. The Stand, just me and the posters so far, is on station here between 20-22 hours per day.
There is no place else I would rather be. There is nothing open to me that I know of that I would rather do. I am so glad to be here, Standing with our Darfur Family, to encourage others to do the same. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
No more trouble with the park police since last time. Frankly, I am surprised, and glad. I can't explain it. Are they cutting this Stand some slack because of the nature of the mission, and commitment? As a whole, they are nice, respectful people. Thanks.
Yeseterday the head of a leading Darfur NGO saw the stand and said, "Thank you for what you are doing; I'm so-and-so." I recognized him from last summer and April 30. "I'm Jay McGinley," he recognized me before my name was out. We had the type of encounter that is my mission here. Due to the commitment of this stand I was able to bypass his defenses briefly. "I respect and appreciate your efforts Mr. so-and-so, but something breaks my heart. WE NEED TO BE PLANNING THIS DIFFERENTLY, WE NEED TO BE STARTING WITH A DIFFERENT QUESTION: WHAT WOULD WE HAVE TO DO TO RESTORE DARFUR NOW?" To my surprise, and happiness, he acknowledged that "what we do is to try to see what we can possibly do with our resources, and to try to make that happen. Yes Jay, we need both."
Wendel stopped by and introduced himself. He lives near by, works in a hotel; he was getting off late the other night. He at one point was living on the streets (like me) and manned the Peace Vigil for 3 months till he got fleas. He was very kind. Another Angel? Told me where I could get food, and even shelter. Thomas and a few passers by have been providing food. The idea of a shelter, in by 9:30pm, out by 7am, is tempting. REALLY COLD OUT HERE!!! But, my little friend (poster) wants, needs, me to do more. The shelter is too easy. Not unless it comes to the point where the Officers could bar me from the park.
Let's Stand WITH Darfur, and act accordingly. September is TOO LATE for the UN to be in place. WE NEED THE 20,000 in place NOW.