On April 29, thousands of people across the country will take a new approach to ending a devastating war abroad — they'll take it lying down. Invisible Children Inc., an organization committed to ending the war in northern Uganda where more than 50,000 children have been brainwashed to fight as soldiers, has organized a "Global Night Commute" in 136 cities across the globe. Americans (38,000 and counting) are closing their eyes to open the world's to an unseen war.

At 8:30 p.m. April 29, more than 350 high school students, university students and community members from Madison and surrounding areas will commute from the state Capitol steps and peacefully demonstrate down Langdon Street, ending at the pedestrian mall (the area between Lake Street and Park Street) to sleep outside on behalf of the invisible children of northern Uganda. This event is a plea to the U.S. government to help put an end to this horrific 20-year-long war. This op-ed is a plea to you to make our voice stronger.

The start of Invisible Children came in 2003, when three naíve filmmakers from southern California flew to Africa in search of a story that would change the world. They found a situation in northern Uganda that disgusted and inspired them. They documented their findings of a 20-year-long war where children are the weapons and the victims. After seeing the impact of their film worldwide, they formed the nonprofit Invisible Children Inc.

The organization is dedicated to ending the war in northern Uganda, where children are abducted and forced to fight with the rebel army as child soldiers. The Global Night Commute is dedicated to increasing awareness of this war as a means to start putting an end to these specific atrocities and offers an opportunity to view a free screening of the film, writing letters to politicians, brainstorming future fundraising events and contributing to increasing educational opportunities for these invisible children.

The Global Night Commute — for Madisonians in particular — is a special occasion for a community to rally around and return to its history, reframing the Mifflin Street Block Party as a peaceful war protest while imposing a new-age twist. Invisible Children is "asking people to lie down and close their eyes with us for one night so that we can open the world's eyes to this unseen war." Will you put down your beer and come sleep with me? Register at Invisiblechildren.com.

Whitney Sogol
UW senior