‘Bring back our girls!’

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

Chicago—Joining actions across the U.S. over Mother’s Day weekend, several hundred people here rallied on May 10 in support of the over 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram on April 15. At the rally, which was overwhelmingly African-American and Nigerian, we called for the return of the girls and for the Nigerian government to do more for their safe return.

Bob McGuire/News & Letters

Bob McGuire/News & Letters

Speakers included Nigerian activists Kemi Olumuyiwa and Adeyinka Dada, rally organizer Lande Sanusi, Representatives Danny Davis and Bobby Rush and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Many there were clad in red, the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign color. Signs spoke to Nigerian President Jonathan, urged to do much more to rescue the kidnapped girls. One read: “President Goodluck Jonathan, Stop Boko Haram, Protect Your Citizens!” “Bring Back Our Girls” was the simple caption to many other signs, while others powerfully contained the names of some of the captive girls.

Speaker Lande Sanusi said, “They’re still out there somewhere…We don’t know where…The only thing that we know is their families miss them, we miss them and we want them to come back home.” And speaker Adeyinka Dada said, “We Nigerians in the diaspora, we have to liberate our people back home.”

After the rally we marched in the Loop to Michigan Ave., chanting the names of the kidnapped girls and “Bring back our girls.” As we gathered once again for the closing rally at Daley Plaza, drivers passing by honked their horns in support.

Among its objections to democracy, Boko Haram opposes the education of girls. Amnesty International states that they have killed about 1,500 Nigerians this past year.

To participate in the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, their Facebook page or go to website http://bringbackourgirls.us.

—Elise Barclay

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