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Rally Held to Call for Nigerian Students’ Return

By Gal Tziperman Lotan
05/12/2014 4:29 PM
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This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe.

News of attacks by Boko Haram were a daily occurrence when Lola Irele was working in her native Nigeria last year, and she was outraged when word spread here that the group had kidnapped more than 300 schoolgirls in April.

“What is happening in Nigeria is a result of us, in Nigeria, laying back and not speaking up,” Irele, told a crowd of about 40 people at a rally Sunday on the Cambridge Common. “Nigeria is a democracy, but our government does not work for us. And the fact that our president took 18 days to respond to this shows it.”

People in the crowd, some wearing red and holding signs that read #BringBackOurGirls, the social rallying cry of the movement to rescue the schoolgirls, gathered to talk about the kidnapping and share what they, as people living in the United States, could do to help.

“I’m not a very passionate person, but this upsets me, because we could do more,” Irele, an apprentice teacher at the Shady Hill School, said after the rally.

Carol R. Johnson, Boston’s former superintendent of schools, told the crowd that the kidnapping was an attack on education, tolerance, and open-mindedness. She encouraged people who care about the issue to work together and speak out.

“The fight will only be sustained if our voices are there to make it happen,” Johnson said. …

To read the complete article, visit the Boston Globe.

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