Chicago protest echoes international outrage over Nigeria abductions

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May 10, 2014 3:45:20 PM PDT
From Chicago to Washington DC to Africa hundreds lent their voices to an international protest against the abduction of hundreds of school girls.

It's been nearly a month since these girls were taken and outrage at Nigeria's inability to find them continues to build, but Saturday, during a rally through Chicago's city streets, the message was, "Let's not point fingers, let's bring back our girls."

To chants of "bring back our girls," hundreds marched through the Loop Saturday, rallying for the safe return of more than 200 girls kidnapped from their school dormitory last month in northeastern Nigeria.

"People are wondering if hashtags and walks are going to bring the girls back," said Toyin Kolawole. "But what it really does is that it keeps the story alive, and it gets people involved."

Among the speaker's at Saturday's rally, were Congressman Danny Davis and Reverend Jesse Jackson. Jackson added his voice to those who have criticized the global community first, for taking so long to react to the kidnapping, which took place on April 14th and second, for ignoring, until now, the terrorist group behind the kidnapping, Boko Haram.

"It didn't start three weeks ago," Rev. Jackson said. "Why did it take so long in the first place? Boka Haram killed 1500 people this year."

Similar rallies took place all over Nigeria Saturday as the army there has posted two divisions in the border region close to Chad, Cameroon and Niger to hunt for the girls.

And while many believe the girls may have already been taken out of the country and sold by Boko Haram, Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck said Friday he does not believe that has happened.

Back in the United States, First Lady Michelle Obama used the president's weekly address to speak out against the kidnapping and against those who still believe in holding women back.

"These girls embody the best hope for the future of our world and we are committed to standing up for them, not just in times of tragedy or crisis, but for the long haul," Obama said.

The United States is among several countries that have sent teams of experts to assist the Nigerian government in its search effort. But still, it seems, they are no closer to finding out where these girls ore or indeed if they're still together or if they've already been broken up into smaller groups and smuggled out of the country.

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