Coloradans Hold Rally To Support Kidnapped Nigerian Girls
DENVER (CBS4) – The Nigerian extremist group Boko Hara abducted nearly 300 school girls a month ago, threatening to sell them into slavery as a protest against educating women.
Nigerians are complaining their government is not doing enough to find the girls.
The United States is preparing to send a team of hostage negotiators. There are British reports the kidnappers are offering to trade some of the girls for their jailed comrades. Still, rallies are popping up around the world, including in Denver.
Students organized a rally on Denver’s Auraria Campus on Thursday to show support for the kidnapped girls. One of the organizers said they decided to host the rally about a week ago, but clearly it’s an issue important to the people because of the size of the crowd.
Many at the rally wore red because it’s the color of protest in Nigeria.
Much like the world’s cry for the safe return of the girls exploded on social media, the Auraria Campus event was also spread through a Facebook group. While the role social media is playing in the campaign can’t be overemphasized, similar rallies around the country are also popping in cities such as Washington, D.C. and New York City.
One of the organizers in Denver said part of the reason it was important to have a rally in Colorado is because there’s a sizable African community in the state, and even more importantly, Colorado is a place where human rights issues are priority.
“The connection that Colorado has made as being a welcoming state to a lot of refugees. So, as a community that accepts refugees here and accepts a lot of people from different countries, it’s really important that we pay attention and say that we’re here, yes, we’re a part from back home and still care about the things that happen and affect us and why a lot of us are here in the first place,” rally organizer Riham Bakhat said.
“I think it sends the message to this group and other groups in the future that this is not okay, and the world united together will not stand for this violation of human rights,” rally organizer Ratibah El-Gazzar said.
The rally was scheduled to last until 3 p.m.