Kony 2012: Emotions stirred, students spurred to act after video goes viral
The day after a short film about war criminal Joseph Kony went viral in an attempt to make him famous "for the wrong reasons," emotions have been stirred and thousands have felt compelled to act.
The video by the advocacy group "Invisible Children" details 26 years of atrocities by the Ugandan-born Kony, whose Lord's Resistance Army has been kidnapping children to use as child soldiers and sex slaves by the thousands. It has ignited the social web and passions worldwide.
At Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Natalie Andrasko and others in the school's Invisible Children club have been selling t-shirts in an attempt to raise money and awareness.
"Joseph Kony has to be stopped - that's the main goal," she said.
Meanwhile, some who knew and experienced Kony's violence firsthand are in town this week. Brian Odong, a Ugandan orphan whose father was murdered by Kony, is part of a musical troupe on tour to raise awareness.
"The world is realizing (that) something bad is going on," Odong said.
Kony is the top man on the International Criminal Court's most wanted list, and the viral video is exhorting America to help find him. The effort is supposed to culminate on April 20, when people are supposed to meet at sundown and blanket streets and cities with posters with posters of Kony.
"The next day, everyone is going to wake up and see it everywhere," Walt Whitman student Jamey Harman said. "It's supposed to just go viral, just like the video had."
Critics say the effort is all too simplistic and that Kony isn't the only bad guy in Africa. No one, though, argues that it's a tale that must be told and a horror that must be stopped.