On April 5, the film’s sequel, Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous, debuted. The film told viewers to “Get ready,” boasting “On April 20 we will turn this digital revolution into something more, and show the world who we really are.” It called for an international day of action, “Cover the Night.”
Though groups did gather in pockets around the world, most documented demonstrations were closer in size to 60 people than the 6,000 predicted to turn up in London’s Trafalgar Square, and some in the Twitterverse dubbed the date an “epic fail.”
April 20, the anniversary of one of the largest LRA massacres, coincides with Hitler’s birthday. It’s also become the date when Americans rally to advocate for the legalization of marijuana. So perhaps some protesters were double booked. Ugandans are also critical of the date chosen, preferring that it be set aside for more private mourning.
Even the action in Cape Town, South Africa, which Invisible Children highlighted on its Twitter feed, only seemed to involve about 30 protesters. That left Rebecca Davis of Johannesburg’s Daily Maverick wondering why its video documentation was so much more sophisticated than that being posted online from other cities.
Groups ranging from about 20 to 50 people showed up for Cover the Night events in the UK, Australia, the U.S., Amsterdam and even a few other parts of South Africa but, as Davis puts it, “there didn’t seem to be any other snappy videos circulating other than the one from Cape Town.” She noted that “It’s shot in a funky, choppy style and set to the K’naan World Cup hit Waving the Flag. As such, it fits perfectly with the Invisible Children aesthetic. In fact, it could easily have been produced by the San Diego-based HQ.”
Whether or not Invisible Children supported the Cape Town protest beyond giving it a lot of Twitterspace, it is abundantly clear that they were unable to get “liked” in person as much as they are on Facebook.