This past Friday, April 8th, a group of students and faculty members traveled down to New York City for the 16th year in a row to take part in “Get on the Bus Day.” This event, hosted by Amnesty International, a Human Rights organization, consists of a series of peaceful protests at the embassies of certain countries. The locations and causes vary each year. This spring’s special cases were that of an imprisoned filmmaker in Tibet; a prisoner of conscience in Indonesia; and the more widespread issues of the rape of Sudanese refugees in Chad and of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka.
Sola Aderonmu ’11 and MinYoung Jeong ’12, two of the student participants, discussed the trip in morning meeting on Monday. Sola described the most powerful moment of the trip for her as when the letters written by the young daughters of one of the prisoners of conscience were read out loud at a rally: “Almost everyone listening had tears in their eyes.”
Ashley Arana ’12 stated that one of the most interesting aspects of the trip was “hearing about certain countries that don’t get spotlighted in the news and the awful things happening there. So many people don’t even know about the atrocities taking place, and the world needs to do something about it.” Ashley also described how, as they marched from location to location, many people stopped and stared at them: “One man actually came up and asked what we were doing. We told him we were protesting against war crimes in Sri Lanka, and it turned out the man himself was Sri Lankan! He was so glad to hear what we were doing. He cheered for us and said, ‘You can go protect my country.’ We saw him later that day, and when he saw us he started smiling and waving. That felt good.”