TED 2008: Samantha Power on American responses to mass atrocities and genocide

(I'm liveblogging from TED 2008, in Monterey, CA)

Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, is a global leadership and public policy professor at Harvard. She's talking about American responses to mass atrocities and genocide.

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Rwandan genocide in 1990s: 700,000 people died. The 1994, the NYT reported between 200k and 300k people had already been killed. Patricia Schroeder, US Rep from Colorado, told the paper that hundreds of US citizens were calling about ape and gorilla deaths in Rwanda, but nobody was calling about the people who were dying. "There wasn't an endangered people's movement."

Today, universities and high schools have started an endangered people's movement. Anti-genocide groups. These student driven groups have launched divestment campaigns, launched a 1-800-Genocide number. Type in your zip code and it will refer you to your representative. Genocide grades for members of congress. This movement has put bottom up pressure on Bush leadership to take action Rwanda, and it's working.