April 30, 2009 Volume CXXV Issue 12

GC students abducted in world-wide protest

By TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON
News Editor
Around 20 Georgetown students met at 3 p.m. for the march around Lexington.

Around 20 Georgetown students met at 3 p.m. for the march around Lexington.

On Saturday, April 25, a total of over thirty Georgetown College students were taken hostage in downtown Lexington. These students, along with others from the surrounding area, voluntarily abducted themselves as participants in The Rescue, an event intended to raise awareness about the war in Northern Uganda, the longest- running war in Africa.

Participants marched for two milesaround downtown Lexington beforearriving in Triangle Park.

Participants marched for two miles around downtown Lexington before arriving in Triangle Park.

In 10 countries and 100 cities around the world, thousands participated in The Rescue, calling attention to the plight of Ugandan children who are taken hostage and forced to fight as soldiers for the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by the rebel Joseph Kony. The “hostages” in Lexington met on UK’s campus at 3 p.m. and proceeded on a two-mile march around the downtown area, all holding onto a rope and walking in a singlefile line. They often stopped traffic at crosswalks, and were greeted with honking horns and shouts.

Upon arriving at the campsite, volunteers explained the five phases of a successful rescue to the hostages. The media had to show up, as well as a “mogul” or a representative for a mogul. Each participant needed to write at least two letters to world leaders, and donate an average of $5 to the cause. Also, at least five percent of the participants had to sign up for a Lobby Days event in June. As participants completed each phase, the volunteers raised flags to mark this progess. Throughout the evening, hostages wrote letters and created art projects to be brought to world leaders on Lobby Days.

The Lobby Days event, which will take place on June 22 and 23 in Washington D.C., will bring together celebrities, state department officials, leaders of east Africa and headlining bands to lobby politicians to end the war in Uganda. Coleman Eldridge, a representative for Governor Steve Beshear, rescued the Lexington site. He delivered a letter from the governor, then spoke to the crowd about the responsibility that comes with power, and importance of the United States “matching [their] military strength with the strength of [their] humanity.” He also emphasized that party lines are irrelevant when it comes to the war in Uganda and the struggles of abducted child soldiers. “This is not a Democrat issue. This is not a Republican issue. This is an issue of humanity,” he said.

A second mogul, Councilwoman Diane Lawless, arrived shortly after Eldridge and made a donation to send one attendee to the Lobby Days event. After the moguls departed, Lexington hostages waited for the media to arrive, completing the final phase of their rescue. News teams were delayed due to an actual abduction and an armed robbery in the area, but they arrived at 9:45 p.m. Most particpants stayed throughout the night and left at dawn. Four GC students — Ariel Gutierrez Muñoz, Abby Watkins, Daniel Henson and Becca Thompson — traveled to Huntington as Rescue Riders, who would support the hostages at cities that were not yet rescued. Huntington was rescued by a representative from Congressman Nick Rahall’s office on Monday, April 27.

Coleman Eldridge rescued the Lexingtonsite.

Coleman Eldridge rescued the Lexingtonsite.

Celebrities who rescued other cities include: Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy in Washington D.C., Billy Boyd (Pippin from the “Lord of the Rings” movies) in Edinburgh, Paramore in Orange County, Switchfoot in Kansas City, Aaron Gillespie of Underoath in Orlando, Mel B (Scary Spice of the Spice Girls) in Las Vegas, comedian Jeff Foxworthy in Atlanta, and Chris Lowell of “Private Practice” and Yin Chang of “Gossip Girl” in New York City. Actresses Kristen Bell, also of “Gossip Girl,” and Kirsten Dunst, along with actors Ben McKenzie and Tom Arnold, rescued a crowd of 4,000 in Los Angeles, and Bell continued on to San Francisco as a Rescue Rider. Another rescuer of note was Donna Shalala, the President of the University of Miami and former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton, who rescued Miami.

As of Tuesday afternoon, two cities remained to be rescued: Chicago, Ill. and Richmond, Va. Chicago participants faced stormy weather, and both sites asked for help feeding those participants who stuck it out. Twitter users “tweeted” on Oprah’s page, asking that she come rescue the remaining hostages in Chicago, who had spent more than three days at their site. According to the Invisible Children website, the hostages in Chicago marched around Harpo Studios as well, and rumors swirled that participants in the city decided to hold out until President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or Oprah came to rescue them.

Among the GC students who attended The Rescue were Freshmen Chris Lord and Laura Strange, as well as Thompson and Henson, sophomores. Each reacted strongly to the event. “It is a tragedy that Africa’s longest war has gone on this long,” said Lord. “An equally big tragedy is that the world has ignored it this long. In order to end one of the world’s longest- ignored wars our generation has the chance to stand up and be present for these invisible children. We are involved because it is our duty to be visible for those children who are, who have, and will continue to go missing until we take a stand.”

Henson had similar comments to make. “It is of vital importance for the youth of our country to make known the plight of the youth of any country. Our nation has stayed silent too long and allowed the deaths of too many children. It is time for peace. It needs to be done now, for if it is not, more will die. And death is never acceptable.” Thompson had this to say: “What happens to those children affects me, it affects you, it affects all of us. Those children are my neighbors, they are my neighbors’ children. Their lives are valuable, are important…We are responsible for them, and thus we are the ones who are going to have to change things. Not the President, not other world leaders, not Congress, not celebrities. Those people represent the power and the influence, but they will not (and have not in the last 23 years!) [changed] this. We will change it, and we did.”

“It was really cool to be a part of the community that the event brought together, even just in the Lexington area,” said Strange. “It’s really re-inspired me to know the impact we can have in the world. That sounds cheesy and maybe we are just a bunch of idealistic college students, but I don’t think so; I think this is truly going to change the world.”


Quest Farm offers new skills for those with disabilities

By LAURA JOHNSON
Contributing Writer

Quest Farm is an independent, non-proitt organization out to make a difference. Derived from a special needs Sunday school class, it is a Christian-based establishment out to help those with developmental disabilities become productive citizens and contribute to society. Located just outside of Georgetown, it is the only facility of its kind in the state of Kentucky.

Programs like Quest Farm allow those with disabilities to lead normal lives and become “farmers,” who assist in the planting and harvesting of plants and crops year-round. Quest Farm is a non-profit organization; it relies on donations and volunteers to keep a successful business. Students looking for community service hours or ways to give back can contact David Waters, Director of Quest Farm.

More information can be found on the Quest Farm website at http://www.questfarm.org.


Congratulations to the Academic Team for winning their third consecutive State

Championship!

ateam

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