More than 100 people have signed up for an "invisible children" rally on Saturday, April 25, at Burlington's Battery Park. That's the word from Brittany Gendron, a Middlebury College freshman who is co-organizing the event.
Titled "The Rescue," the event will be one of 100 mock rallies happening around the world, according to a press release from the California-based sponsoring organization Invisible Children Inc. Protesters will voluntarily kidnap themselves to raise awareness about "child soldier" kidnappings that are actually taking place in Uganda. (For information about who the child soldiers are and who is kidnapping them, see Invisible Children's website, this 2006 Time magazine article or this United Nations report.)
Gendron, 18, says Saturday's demonstration starts at 3 p.m. with a mock "abduction" outside the Waterman Building at the University of Vermont. Protesters will then march to Battery Park for an open-mic gathering and politicized sleepover. Gendron asserts that protesters won't leave Battery Park until they are symbolically "rescued" by politicians or reporters.
There are human rights violations happening all over the globe, Gendron adds, but Uganda's child-soldier problem "is something that should have been brought to a stop a long time ago."
Ed. Note: This is Mike Ives' last blog post as a Seven Days staff writer. He's leaving in a few weeks to spend the summer in China and Vietnam. We'll miss you, Mike!