November 12, 2012
Students joining up for Move:D.C.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, K-State students gathered in Town Hall to view Invisible Children’s latest film, "Move," which explained the Kony 2012 movement, the current situation in Central Africa, a explained a feasible end to the war and bringing Joseph Kony to justice. The room was packed, and at the conclusion of the screening, many students were inspired to join Invisible Children for their next global event: Move:DC.
Freedom Alliance and Coalition teamed up to make the event possible.
“It really was a collaborative effort between several student organizations. We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful volunteers from Freedom Alliance and Coalition, our co-sponsors, and student support,” said Kristen Tebow, a coordinator of the event and public relations officer of Freedom Alliance.
Coalition leaders Caleb Amundson, freshman in architecture, and Nate Bozarth, a senior in anthropology, also assisted in planning the event. In addition to Freedom Alliance and Coalition, K-State Women’s Center, Wildcats Against Rape, Student Governing Association, University Life Café and Social Work Organization all sponsored the screening.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, students from K-State will team up with thousands of individuals from across the world in Washington for Move:DC.
“I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was blown away by the response to 'Move',” Amundson said.
Sixteen students registerred to attend Move:DC after the screening.
“I had already planned my trip a few weeks ago, and thought I would be going alone, but now I get to meet up with Kristen and a bunch of other K-Staters,” Amundson said.
Invisible Children is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in San Diego, Calif., dedicated to ending to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and atrocities they commit. Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, was the first criminal to be indicted by the International Criminal Court and has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. His capture or surrender is a major step in ending Africa’s longest running civil war, which began in 1986.
The war started when Alice Lakwena, a woman who claimed spiritual powers, gathered forces to violently protest the appointment of Uganda’s new president, Yoweri Museveni. When Lakwena was exiled from Uganda in the late 1980s, Kony took power and turned to kidnapping children to fill his depleted ranks. The LRA has since moved into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan where they continue to displace, abduct, and murder people. The African Union has dedicated 5,000 troops to the capture or forced surrender of Kony, but these troops do not have the munitions necessary to accomplish their task.
On Friday, Nov. 16, one day before Move:DC, 1000 committed activists will gather on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of congress and demand that they take concrete action to help end LRA violence. The goal is to make sure that the representatives follow through on their promises.
At 9 a.m. Nov. 17, leaders from the conflict area and from global institutions will be represented on stage in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. These countries and institutions can stop the LRA conflict; this is their chance to talk about how they’re going to do it. Saturday afternoon, thousands of attendees will surround the White House wearing red Kony 2012 shirts. This will show the U.S. president and leaders around the world that citizens of the world are committed to seeing an end to LRA atrocities and that we promise to hold them accountable for their promises. The night will end with a dance party back at the convention center to celebrate the global community.
“We aren’t really asking for much — Just that our students open their eyes and realize what we are doing and the impact we are making,” Tebow said. “We will be using social networking to blog about our efforts and it would be really cool to see our students supporting us while we are there.”