Newry community playing their part to stop Joseph Kony
“If the world knows who Joseph Kony is, it will unite to stop him.”
At first glance, the above statement might sound a bit ambitious, slightly naive or unrealistic. Three days later though, the whole world does indeed know who Joseph Kony is. Whether we will all unite to stop Kony is however, open to debate.
When something appears on your Facebook news feed it either interests you and you read on, or it doesn’t so you bypass it. However, if it keeps appearing on your news feed constantly then chances are – out of sheer curiosity – you’ll check it out. That’s just what I did. All day yesterday I kept seeing the words ‘Kony’ and ‘Invisible Children’ dominating my news feed so I decided to find out what it was all about. Friends were posting links to a You-Tube video and although it was 29 minutes long, I wanted to watch it so I would know what everybody was talking about. After 29 minutes I understood exactly what ‘Kony’ and ‘Invisible Children’ meant.
So, who is Joseph Kony?
Joseph Kony was born on 18th September 1964 and is the leader of a Ugandan guerrilla group called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Kony’s reputation precedes him in Uganda; he is synonymous there for abducting children and turning them into child soldiers, sex slaves and is also responsible for displacing an estimated 2 million people in two decades.
In 2005 at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, Kony was indicted for war crimes and is also Number One on their ‘Most Wanted’ list. Like all war criminals though, Kony has proven elusive to the authorities. Invisible Children is the organisation who posted the video about Kony and their aim is simple: to bring him before the courts and get justice for the victims of Kony’s horrendous campaign of intimidation, torture and murder.
‘Make Kony recognizable’
The filmmakers claim that they want to make Joseph Kony as recognizable as an A-List celebrity. They want his infamy on You-Tube, Facebook, Twitter and various other social networking websites to be instrumental in his capture. The aim of Kony 2012 is to make him famous, “not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice”.
And it’s working. The video has gone viral and has already amassed over 12 million views on You-Tube. In Australia, the hashtag #stopkony was one of the highest ‘trending’ terms. #InvisibleChildren, #Uganda and #LRA followed closely behind in the league table of what the hot topics of discussion were. Just hours later and people across the world in Newry, Northern Ireland are sharing on Facebook, re-tweeting on Twitter and changing their status to ‘Stop Kony’ on their Blackberry BBM instant messenger service.
Newry City: Playing a part in stopping Joseph Kony
So, what can we in Newry City do to help the victims in Uganda? What can we do to bring Joseph Kony to justice? Probably not a great deal. But we can log on to the official Invisible Children website and pledge money on a monthly basis towards bringing Kony to justice. Or, you could simply share the video below on your own Facebook and Twitter pages to raise awareness. It’s a free way of doing something which could potentially save lives in the future.
An easier way to increase awareness is to click ‘Like’ at the bottom of this article to share it with your Facebook friends and then click on the Twitter icon to tweet it to all your followers. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing at all. Newry can and will play its part in history. Kony is number one on the wanted lists, let’s make him number one on the lips of every person in the Newry and Mourne area over this next seven days. Let’s do our bit for the world.
As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”
Watch the Kony 2012 video:
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