Thousands attend "The Rescue" in D.C.
The global organization Invisible Children held a mass sleep-in on Saturday to raise awareness about child soldiers in Uganda who have been abducted by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Participants from 10 countries and 100 cities participated in the event, according to the Invisible Children website. Locally, approximately 3000 people, including 70 Blazers, rallied at the Reflection Pool in Washington, D.C. to voice their concerns. The D.C. site was able to raise more than $6,000 for Invisible Children from donations alone.
Invisible Children members started planning for "The Rescue," the organization's third global event, on Feb. 13, according to Eugene Kim, the East Coast director of Invisible Children. The aim of "The Rescue" was for protesters to camp out at their specified sites until media moguls or public officials "rescued" the participants by speaking out about the Invisible Children cause. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and celebrities Pete Wentz and Val Kilmer addressed and rescued the D.C. participants, according to Tsion Gebeyehu, a member of Blair's Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) club, which helped to publicize the event.
On the day of the event, Blazers first congregated at the Silver Spring and Takoma Park metro stations at 2 p.m., according to SGR event coordinator Laura Moya. They then arrived at the Ellipse, a park in front of the White House, at 3 p.m. to assemble with all Invisible Children participants and proceeded to walk silently in single file while holding onto ropes. The marchers continued to the Washington Monument and circled around the Capitol pool, Moya said. After settling on the east end of the Mall, they took part in various activities, including writing letters to senators and sleeping-in on the mall.
As a follow-up to "The Rescue," Invisible Children has planned a lobbying event called "How It Ends" for June 22-23 in D.C. Kim estimates that there will be around 8,000 participants, which would make the effort the largest lobbying event for a African cause in the United States. Because the event is taking place during the summer, SGR does not plan to arrange a group gathering like it did for the Invisible Children occasion. However, Moya does intend to create a Facebook event in order to encourage Blazers to participate in the cause. "This generation, we're labeled as people who don't care, but we need to prove that we are empowered people who can make a change," Moya said.
Kim agreed with Moya, asserting that Invisible Children is an especially notable group that helps youth take steps towards social responsibility. "I really believe in 30-40 years, we'll look back at this day and wonder how people ignored the war in Uganda, the same way people look back at segregation and wonder how it was tolerated," Kim said. "At the same time, people who participated will be compared to those who took part in Freedom Rides and those who sat in during the Civil Rights movement," he added. "We will admire the way they took action."
Sophia Deng. Sophia was the Managing Editor of SCO during the 2009-2010 school year. When not laughing or chilling to OWL CITY, Sophia can be found oil painting, playing volleyball, doing sudokus and sprinkling happy fairy dust over everyone. She loves folk/pop/electronica indie, Harry Potter, Burt's Bees … More »