By Joseph Arsenault – Editor
On April 20, 2012, Farmington streets filled up with KONY 2012 posters as part of Cover the Night—a worldwide campaign directed toward making Joseph Kony famous—and several UMF students, as well as those part of a campus organization, Amnesty International, gathered to plaster posters throughout town.
President of UMF’s Amnesty International, Keeley Cronin and vice president Sam Simmons, said the organization sponsored Invisible Children to come to UMF on April 10. Amnesty International is a human rights organization, said Simmons.
Simmons said Invisible Children talked about the KONY 2012 video, Uganda, Sudan and the events happening currently over there.
Since then, the UMF organization prepared for Cover the Night, as Amnesty International was seen multiple times collecting emails, in the Olsen Student Center, of those interested in making the event happen.
In the email out to individuals who signed up in the student center Cronin wrote of a campus and town clean-up as a service project to be done hours before the initial Cover the Night event in which the group started at 10 p.m.
Upwards of twenty students from UMF partook in covering the town with murals of Kony’s face and red, white, blue and black posters with his name. Cars playfully honked while passing and noticing the group wearing red and blue shirts representing KONY 2012.
Simmons said the goal was to put posters up in “legal places.” She said the group asked stores in town before placing any posters up on businesses not wanting one. One guy from liquid sunshine gave high approval for KONY 2012, said Simmons.
Before the KONY 2012 supporters set out, UMF student, Spencer Hodge said, “Don’t do anything you might think could get you in trouble.”
Around 11 p.m. on April 20, a heavy amount of printed signs filled lampposts, telephone poles, and local businesses in Farmington. Remnants of signs were also found in the streets and in trash cans. Signs were torn and crumpled up.
The Farmington Police seemed to have a watchful eye. At one point in the night, the police stopped in front of the Education Center and Cronin gave them her contact information if claims arose from any unwanted posters in the morning so that the group could remove them. Amnesty International seemed to want the event handled appropriately.
Simmons said, when Invisible Children visited they cautioned about only doing things with permission.
On the Facebook page for KONY 2012, a video was posted on April 21 and the caption above it says, “Cover the Night has ended—but the advocacy is just beginning.”
At blog.inivisiblechildren.com—a blog for Invisible Children—an entry echoes the same message as the Facebook page. Right from the blog, sounding to be Invisible Children speaking to the public, it says, “You have surpassed any and all expectations we had.” This makes Cover the Night appear a success.
Other new sources such as Seattlepi.com and Yahoo! News reported on the response of supporters for Cover the Night, and paint the KONY 2012 event as less than expected.