Displace Us.

TeamJaded was fortunate to participate in Displace Me in San Francisco. Above is short documentary about the event and our experience.

Some may say this generation is apathetic. Often it is believed the privileged youth hibernate in their comfort; carefully sheltered by cell phones, wireless Internet, and Starbucks. However, on April 28th, 2007 that theory was shattered.

Local News networks may have briefly covered a glimpse of what happened that night. But the stories, the experiences and the aftermath of the evening still penetrate deep in the hearts and minds of those who raised their voices for Invisible Children.

About 2 months ago, over 68,000 people across the US attended “Displace Me,” an event to change Northern Uganda. Why Northern Uganda? And why did tens of thousands of youth and young adults care enough to leave the comfort of their homes and sleep on the ground?

Simple. They are not apathetic. They care about people they’ve never met. They rally to end a war they’ve never experienced. They raise money to create schools, they speak to congressmen to raise awareness, they contribute to a cause they desperately believe in: To end a war that’s ravaged a nation for over 21 years. It’s a war the US media and the US government have thrown aside ignorantly unable to establish a rationale to become involved. A war that has gone on longer than most who participated in Displace Me, have been alive.

For over two decades citizens of Northern Ugandan have been subject to war. The nature of what one UN official calls “the world’s worst neglected humanitarian crisis,” is complex. According to the Uganda Conflict Action Network:

The war is essentially two conflicts in one: first the fighting of the LRA [the Lord’s Resistance Army], which is waging war against the Ugandan government and terror against civilian population in the north, and second, the real grievances of Ugandans in the north against the existing government.

The statistics are appalling:
-1.7 million civilians have been displaced
-1,000 people die every week due to inhumane living conditions
-30,000 children have been abducted by the LRA and forced to join its army
-Tens of thousands of people have be maimed or killed since the war started

Invisible Children, Inc. was formed after three young filmmakers set out in search of a story. In 2003, they found a tragedy that “not only disgusted but inspired them.” Four years later, a movie, a mission, and a movement have led a nation of youth to end a war. Through compelling podcasts, national events, short documentaries, fundraising campaigns, video diaries, house parties, cross-country road trip screenings, and a mind-blowing multimedia, interactive website, Invisible Children is a non-profit that’s changing the world- literally (physically, emotionally, and mentally).

The evidence is plastered all over their site. From the detailed homepage to a microsite dedicated solely to Displace Me. There you will find everything and anything from the historic event- pictures from across the nation, attendee’s YouTube Videos, movies from the evening… the list goes on.

And it didn’t stop after April 28th. The leaders of Invisible Children, Inc. have met with Senators and Congressmen. They’ve delivered to our countries leaders the thousands upon thousands of letters written from the Displace Me attendees. They are doing everything in their power to encourage our nation and our President to become involved in the Juba peace talks.

Displace Me: The Aftermath

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The hope? To end the war. Invisible Children will not give up. The thousands of people who support their vision will not give up. They will persist until it is over. They know that every war has an end.

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2 Responses to “Displace Us.”

  1. Sakira says:

    I was at Displace Me in Pittsburgh, and I an a little envies that every other city that I have seen had clear skies. Of course we all got rained on and probably used near two tons of duct tape to keep our huts together. But it was still the best experience I have ever had – being wet, being cold, and though physically miserable, spiritually lifted and proud. I’ve never found an inner peace and a sense of worth quite like what the Twenty-One minutes of silence brought. My school this year is raising money to rebuild a school, and it’s become the main factor shaping my out of school activities. Thank you for finding this event and reminding adults today that we are not a lost cause and that we are humans, and have potential beyond what even we know.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am, not I an. Sorry.

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