Following the shocking abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria, a number of protests under the banner #BringBackOurGirls have taken place worldwide to pressurize the Nigerian government and international community into prioritizing the girls’ rescue, as well as to raise awareness about the kidnapping.
Terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abductions, and in a recently released video, announced that they would be selling the girls into slavery.
On Thursday, 8th of May at 10h00, South Africa will hold a local edition of the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ rally in Johannesburg to bolster the groundswell of voices growing internationally. The protesters will march to the Nigerian Consulate in Illovo to demand that the government of that country place more resources, attention and focus on liberating the abducted girls.
Rally organizer actor and activist Rosie Motene comments “We’re tired of the rest of the world being silent about such an important issue. When it happened in Congo, we didn't step up to the plate. It’s important to understand that this isn't just a Nigerian issue - it’s a terrorism issue. It could happen anywhere in the world. It happened to Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan, who was shot in the head for pursuing an education, and now it’s happened in Nigeria. It’s also important to stress that Boko Haram is a terrorist organisation, not an Islamist one – this is NOT the way of Islam.”
To date, protests have taken place in Abuja, Nigeria, Washington DC, Houston, New York and London , and more are being confirmed on a daily basis. Gautengers are urged to attend Thursday’s rally in solidarity with the kidnapped schoolgirls. Protesters are also asked to bring placards, and wear a head-wrap, or ‘Gele’ , the signature Nigerian head-wrap as an identifying feature. As the World Economic Forum on Africa conference commences this week in Nigeria, we call on African leaders to commit to the effort of rescuing the girls.
The organizers call on media, private sector, schools, civil servants, religious formations, and artists to use their networks to support the call to rescue the girls. The #SATakesAStand action is citizen activism in direct response to the Nigerian crisis, joining a global network of activists who've raised their voice against this atrocity.
Details of the rally as follows:
Date: Thursday, 8 May 2014
Time: 10h00 am
Venue: Convene at Sandton City Rooftop Parking (by Tiger Wheel & Tyre exit) at 10am, Sandton – Johannesburg
Action: Rally will depart Sandton City at 10h00 to the Nigerian Consulate (3km distance)
We call on Nigerian authorities to ACT!