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The Coalition for Darfur : Blogger war ends with partnership


Aug 21, 2005 (New York) — This story begins with a Northern liberal and a Southern conservative engaging in a war of words - and ends with a joint effort to stop real-life violence.
The liberal, who calls himself Eugene Oregon, first E-mailed the conservative, Feddie, to tell him that he was flat-out wrong. Feddie, a Georgia lawyer whose real name is Steve Dillard, had written on Southern Appeal (southernappeal.blogspot.com) in support of federal judicial nominee William Pryor.

Oregon, who writes for Demagogue (demagogue.blogspot.com), was vehemently opposed to it.

As the pair carried out a point/counterpoint dispute over Pryor in their blogs, they delved further into each other’s blogs and discovered something in common. They were both alarmed at the killings in the Darfur region of Sudan, and frustrated at the international community’s lack of response.

Feddie describes what happened next: "In February 2003, Eugene read an op-ed by Eric Reeves in The Washington Post called ’The Unnoticed Genocide’ and started writing about the situation in Darfur on a regular basis. I started linking to Eugene’s posts on Darfur and began writing my own. Eventually I suggested that we work together on a blog that would reach out to all bloggers, regardless of their political views, in hopes of raising awareness of the genocide taking place in Darfur."

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Together, last March, they created the Coalition for Darfur (coalitionfordarfur.blogspot.com). Partners agree to post a link to the coalition’s home page on their blogs, and to post a piece that the coalition provides to them once a week. The coalition also raises money for Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services.

For grass-roots activists, partnerships like the Coalition for Darfur represent a new kind of activism, one that reaches people who are put off by petitions and sign waving.

NY Daily News / ST

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