Teens “abduct” themselves for Ugandan child soldiers

Young people across the world rally during an event called “The Rescue” put on by Invisible Children

On Saturday, April 25th, over 100 cities in over 10 countries participated in “The Rescue,” which is the organization Invisible Children‘s new movement toward bringing justice in Uganda.  Crowds of mostly young people gathered at an “abduction” site in each city and then marched to another location where they waited to be “rescued.”

The goal of the event is to end the reign of Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel group in Uganda known as the Lord’s Resistance Army.  Children have been abducted and innocent civilians murdered for over the last 20 years by the Kony and the LRA and there has been numerous attempts to end the war with peace talks and military force.

"Abductees" outside the Capitol in Saint Paul, Minn.

"Abductees" outside the Capitol in Saint Paul, Minn.

Invisible Children’s goal of this recent event, “The Rescue,” is to bring Kony the forefront of the global media.  In order for a city to be “rescued” two things had to happen; first, the abductees had to gain the attention of some media outlet, be it a newspaper or television station.  Second, they needed to get the support of one cultural or political mogul and have that person speak at the event.  People will not stop rallying on the streets until those two things happen.

Just a few days after the event, local news stations and papers are covering the story, which means half of the mission was accomplished.  Stories from Arkansas, Colorado, Virginia, and Arizona all reported hundreds of teens gathering in specified locations and marching.  I, myself, attended the march and sleep-out with hundreds of others in Saint Paul, Minn. in front of the Capitol building.

During the event, while waiting for politicians to show up, participants wrote letters to congressional leaders and President Obama asking them to help in the efforts to bring home the near 3,000 children that have been abducted by Kony.  

Many young people across America follow this issue, but they are now asking for the whole world’s attention to end this war.  Ada Lacevic, political science student, told Arizona State Univeristy’s news that she believes awareness is the first step for change.  “I think there is a certain group of people that are aware of the situation,” she said. “But I think the average American and average citizen doesn’t know what’s going on, or isn’t interested or thinks that there is nothing that people can do to help.”

In Arizona the second part of liberation came when MTV celebrity Steve-O spoke to the people ASU.  Steve-O said, “Regardless of how much you know about the politics of Northern Ugandan, it’s wrong.”  Similar statements of support were issued across the nation by other celebrities and political leaders.  

Sen. Gilbert Baker spoke to teens in Arkansas and said, “We were put on this planet to do something for others.  Don’t stop here in Greenbrier.  You can make an incredible difference in this world, as you’ve shown tonight.”  

There will be much more to be reported from this event in the months to come.  Also, CNN made a small video discussing the use of social media used for this event.

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~ by margeincharge on April 30, 2009.

3 Responses to “Teens “abduct” themselves for Ugandan child soldiers”

  1. I invite you to see a new book on Kony and child soldiers, titled First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army, available at Amazon and bookstores. See more at http://www.firstkillyourfamily.com. Thanks.

  2. […] are forced to kill innocent people. The boys get used to the guns and the killing. Young girls are abducted, raped and forced to work as camp laborers, many end up pregnant and suffer ongoing sexual […]

  3. I had no idea about the depth of some of this stuff, thanks for the information it really helps to know more of the backstory so that change can be made. I really hope that the rallies like the one you attended work to bring those children home. How was your experience at the capital in St. Paul? Thanks for keeping us up to date this semester! Check out http://robbs2894.wordpress.com/.

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