Invisible Children made tangible
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Like the tsunami-rippling flap of a butterfly wing, Stillwater Global Affairs Forum is working to impact change regarding a situation out of sight and sound that many have called today's most neglected humanitarian emergency in the world.
To do so, the forum screened documentaries, "Invisible Children," and, "The Rescue," at the Stillwater Public Library. The group also alerted of a rescue event and happenings to take place on April 25, and appealed to the audience of about 20 people to take further action to resolve by traveling to the Oklahoma City Capitol to stage a protest.
On April 25, organizers are staging an international rescue operation. In 100 cities across nine countries, people will abduct themselves to draw attention and free the abducted invisible children.
Organizer Amanda Armstrong said, "We are organizing to sleep on the Capitol lawn and write letters to legislators about this issue."
She said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma City, has been a strong advocate of the Invisible Children movement and its efforts to stop the atrocities.
"Invisible Children has done an excellent job of bringing attention to a conflict that has gone nearly ignored," Inhofe said. "The Lord's Resistance Army and their leader Joseph Kony have brutalized thousands of children and continue to plague the region in southeast Africa. I am grateful to be a part of Invisible Children's tireless efforts to inspire young people and gain international attention in order to end this deadly conflict.
"In the past 18 years," said Inhofe, "The LRA has captured 20,000 children, left tens of thousands dead and forced over 1 million displaced."
The strength of LRA is founded on spiritual superstitions, lies, fear and unbridled violence to control a country. The Hitler- Goebbels teamwork is uniquely repeated by LRA principals Alive Lakwena and Joseph Kony. According to the group's Web site, Kony is the first individual in the world indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. As neighboring Republic of Congo is increasingly impacted by kidnappings the critical situation moves from regional to a critical level of human rights violations.
Meanwhile, thousands of children remain in Kony's army for whom he refuses to grant release.
Despondent, one distraught child cried to filmmakers that he no longer wanted to live under such conditions. Another pleaded to those watching the footage, "Don't forget about us."
Attendee Judy Varnum of the Elite Repeat boutique had read a book on the atrocities and said "Whether it's write a letter or buy merchandise to help, I want to do something."
The Stillwater Global Affairs Forum meets quarterly to discuss global issues impacting world communities.
The Forum will next meet at the Stillwater Public Library, 1107 South Duck Street, to discuss:
May 6: Immigration
Aug. 26: HIV and AIDS
Nov. 4: Terrorism
For more information about how to get involved with Invisible Children in Stillwater, go to www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52643748855.
To learn more about or sign up for Rescue events, visit therescue.invisiblechildren.com
A version of this story can also be read in the Stillwater NewsPress newspaper.