Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nearly 300 supporters of an Uganda resolution to sleep at Capitol

Imagine walking from Ewa Beach to Pearl City. Now before you go, remove your socks and shoes, and leave behind your Ipod and water bottle. Pretend that there aren't any urban structures from point A to point B, only brush and dirt roads. Okay, now imagine partaking in this trek at age 13 while militia hunted you down, eager to chop off an ear - or two - , force you into sexual slavery, or arm you with machine guns and prepare you to kill.

There are those who don't need to imagine it. There are those who've lived it.

They're called "night commuters," and they're the children who have been most affected by the humanitarian disaster in northern Uganda.

Students and supporters from across the state want everyone to be aware of the atrocities against the children and families in northern Uganda, and they hope to cause a stir of progressive action and awareness at the State Capitol, Friday, Feb. 15, 2008.

Rep. Mizuno will host a candle light vigil, silent march and sleep over in the Rotunda. He will be joined by more than 250 participants who are in support of a bill that will prohibit the ERS from acquiring securities of companies that have active business operations with Uganda.

Participants hope to make lawmakers aware of the situation and encourage them to pass a resolution, introduced by Rep. John Mizuno, condemning the genocide and violence in northern Uganda and urging congress and the President to engage the international community to take action to protect the children of northern Uganda.

Invisible Children Hawaii encourages everyone to join them that evening to raise awareness about the children of northern Uganda.

6:00 p.m. Check-in
6:15 p.m. Introduction and Welcome from the Legislature
6:45 p.m. Candle Light Vigil, Silent March
7:15 p.m. Booth opening
7:30 p.m. Entertainment
8:30 p.m. Student's personal stories
9:00 p.m. Uganda history presentation
9:30 p.m. Invisible Children documentaries
12:30 a.m. "Quiet Time"

Over 20 years of battle between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GOA) has displaced over 1.8 million of its citizens - over 80% of the region - into scurvy camps that lack sufficient protection from the LRA and appropriate resources for survival.

More than 40, 000 children have walked up to 12 miles from internal displacement camps to nearby towns to avoid getting kidnapped by the LRA and forced into battle or, in the case of girls, made sex slaves.

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