Friday, May 1, 2009
Hundreds of people from across the globe gathered in Chicago on Thursday to spread the word about children's rights in Uganda, Africa. The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers event hosted by Invisible Children was held Saturday in 100 cities across the world, including Huntington. However, Chicago is the last city to be officially rescued, and Invisible Children supporters rallied to the city to help. Brittney Withrow, sophomore international affairs major from Charleston and vice president of the Marshall Invisible Children subchapter, elected to miss all of her classes this week to travel to Chicago to help the city get rescued. "I am the only one from West Virginia here," Withrow said. "There are people here from all over the country. So many college students are here, and they have skipped classes, moved finals and have had papers pushed back. Some have even lost their jobs already. We aren't leaving until we are rescued." Cities must secure media, a government official and a celebrity in order to be rescued. Withrow said the group of about 450 supporters wants either Oprah Winfrey or President Barack Obama to rescue them. Withrow said the group posted a video on YouTube that called for Winfrey to address the cause and rescue the city. The supporters sang, "Oprah, come rescue us in the name of love" in the video. They also rallied outside of Winfrey's office building and broadcast a live newsfeed on www.invisiblechildren.com. The site received more than 1,000 hits per minute, Withrow said. Withrow said she hopes Winfrey or Obama will address the situation soon and said the crises in Uganda are often overlooked. Ian Sullivan, junior history major from Huntington and subchapter president, said Huntington was rescued Monday by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall. Withrow said she chose to head to Chicago after Huntington was rescued. Withrow said a group of "rescue riders" from various U.S. cities helped rescue Huntington and said she wanted to do the same thing to help out another city. She said the group plans to stay for as long as possible to show its support and encourage others to acknowledge General Joseph Kony's injustices toward children. The group is mimicking what children in Uganda hope for every day - to be rescued. "Giving up on doing this would be giving up on the children," Withrow said.