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“We flooded the White House with phone calls.”

By Katie Becker ’10

Anyone can call the anti-genocide hotline (1-800-GENOCIDE), enter a zip code, and connect to the office of state or nationally elected officials for free. In 2005, when GI-NET wanted Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, then chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to recommend the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act for consideration by the House, they looked up his donor list and contacted every church or school group in his district to ask these constituents to flood his office with calls. Two weeks after the calling began, Lugar placed it on the Senate’s agenda.

They made a similar effort after President Obama took office. “We flooded the White House with phone calls demanding that he nominate a special envoy to Sudan so there was a point person in his administration whose job—24/7—would be to stop the genocide in Sudan,” Hanis says. He attributes Obama’s speedy appointment of General Scott Gration to the pressure created by the hotline conjoined with efforts by other advocacy groups.

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