Cover the Night, April 20, 2012. is when everyone is to go out and put up the posters everywhere. November 3, 2012 will be the world's largest simultaneous dance marathon in cities across the US that will last all night and raise money to rehabilitate the children who have escaped the LRA. Goals of the Kony 2012 campaign include: 200,000 people wearing the awareness bracelet, 200,000 signatures on the pledge by May 1st, 500,000 online views of the film, 1,000,000 campaign posters and stickers around the U.S.,100 campaign events attended, and 100 local lobby meetings attended.
Joseph Kony is the world’s worst war criminal. In 1987 he took over leadership of an existing rebel group and renamed it the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 campaign aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.
The LRA has earned a reputation for its cruel and brutal tactics. When Joseph Kony found himself running out of fighters, he started abducting children to be soldiers in his army or “wives” for his officers. The LRA is encouraged to rape, mutilate, and kill civilians–often with blunt weapons.
LRA Stats: 26+ Years of violence, 30,000 Children abducted, 440,000 People currently displaced across 3 countries
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for Kony’s arrest, made public in October 2005, which accused him of human rights violations that included some 10,000 murders and the abduction and enslavement of more than 24,000 children. The action brought Kony and the LRA under international scrutiny, and Sudanese support for the rebels was soon withdrawn.
The LRA left Uganda for good once the Juba Peace Talks began in 2006. Since 2008, they have carried out their attacks in the border regions of northeastern Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic.
In May 2010, the US Congress passed a law, the Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, which called for comprehensive US efforts in mitigating and eliminating the threat posted by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.
Using information sourced from Invisible Children’s Early Warning Radio Network, UN agencies, and local NGOs, the LRA Cristis Tracker allows for better response from governments, policy-makers, and humanitarian organizations. This joint project, developed by Invisible Children and Resolve, marks the first time data surrounding the crisis has been comprehensively aggregated and made publicly available.
Invisible Children's publicity machine is immense. Aside from the millions of internet users it has reached, and Kony 2012 already being described by some as the most effective viral campaign in history, it must also be the first ever Youtube video to be publicly screened in the northern Ugandan town of Lira. A local charity, the African Youth Initiative Network, thought that the communities worst affected by the LRA, when it operated in Uganda, also deserved an opportunity to see what all the fuss was about, and so organized the event.
After heavy publicity, crowds of thousands arrived at the Mayor’s Gardens in the center of the town of Lira to see the latest portrayal of Ugandan life after war. But the audience was “puzzled,” as Al Jazeera describes, on why their plight was narrated by an American and his young son. The confusion soon turned to anger toward the end of the film, which concluded with audience members chucking rocks at the screen and reproaching the video for its inaccurate portrayals.
Critics argue that the film relies on footage nearly ten-years-old of children fleeing the LRA in northern Uganda, implying the situation remains the same to this day, and so failing to represent the real issues now facing post-conflict Northern Uganda. The LRA now operates in the Central African Rrepublic, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, and is now thought to number no more than 300 fighters.
He often forced children to kill their parents or siblings with machetes or blunt tools. He abducted girls to be sex slaves for his officers. He brainwashed and indoctrinated the children with his lies and manipulated them with his claim of spiritual powers.
With more than 100 million views in six days, Kony 2012, a 30-minute documentary about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, has become the most viral video in history.