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Damn you, Kony.

Alright. So Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army are responsible for kidnapping children and turning them into sex-slaves and child soldiers, for the spreading of his odd mix of Christianity/Mysticism, for attempting to turn Uganda into his particular brand of theocracy, for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. But now we in Minnesota have a real reason to wake up…now it’s turned personal.

Someone spray painted “Kony” on the Spoonbridge. You know, the iconic spoon and cherry sculpture that I have in my blog banner? And because one good tag deserves another, the vandals hit two more of the outdoor sculptures. You can see the vandalism of the spoon here. According to the City Pages the vandalism may be linked to Invisible Children’s Cover the Night campaign, which took place on Saturday at the same time that the graffiti occurred.

Now I’m really upset. Grrr! Now I want to go out and find Kony and bring him to justice. And it’s all thanks to those vandals!

Said no one ever.

Kony is evil. Finding him and bringing him to justice is important. But vandalism – whether the target be our cherished Spoonbridge or the side of building – isn’t the kind of tactic that generates widespread support for your cause. There were other legal, more visible ways to participate in Cover the Night. Organizing people, printing literature, knowing the details of the cause you support, prepping your elevator speech, getting out and spreading the word about Kony is hard work, hard work that these people could have committed to doing if they really wanted to be effective. Spray paint is lazy. Activism fail.


  1. Aliasalpha says

    Its rather lacking in explanation, you can’t even tell if they’re pro or anti on the subject

  2. Jeff says

    I’m going to disagree. :D

    While I’m not a proponent of vandalism (in any form), I would say that calling this an activism fail may not correct.

    Was is a dick move? Sure.
    Should they be punished for breaking the law? Yes.

    Ultimately they accomplished what they set out to do, even if they did it in the wrong way. They set out to raise awareness of a situation that has largely been ignored, and you are proof that they were successful, as their actions have prompted you to further raise awareness of the Kony atrocities.

    That said, I guess the question in my mind is; “Did their actions hurt the cause more than it helped?” Obviously actions like that will color the Kony 2012 campaign as a whole, in the eyes of people who see the vandalism. But will it make those who were unaware of the Kony atrocities, less likely to want to bring him to justice?

  3. Rory says

    @Jeff #2, I don’t think this does raise awareness, frankly. If you didn’t already know the name Joseph Kony, this wouldn’t tell you a thing about him. You’d probably just disregard it, or assume it was the tagger’s signature. My first thought certainly wouldn’t be to go google the name. So while it probably doesn’t hurt the cause with people who are already aware of it, it doesn’t advance it either, and it involves property damage to boot. So activism fail seems like a fair assessment.

  4. says

    Like nothing. All over downtown where I live, someone has been putting up Kony 2012 posters all over the place. Many people had to come out and tore the posters down. Some posters had glue plastered on them to keep them from falling off. You know it’s going to cost a lot of money to remove all those posters and glue from the store windows, light posts, and fences. I know it’s important to raise awareness of this madman and his cronies, but they don’t have to over do it by vandalism and over plastering posters all over the neighborhood.

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