News

John Lennon's Music to Help Darfur

The human rights group Amnesty International has teamed up with John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, to raise awareness and money for the victims of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.  Ono was recently on hand at Amnesty's headquarters in London to launch the release of a special double CD set of Lennon's post-Beatles songs,  "Make Some Noise - Instant Karma." Ono donated the rights to the music to Amnesty and the album features some of the world's top artists.  For VOA, Mandy Clark reports from London.

"To present Yoko with a platinum disk for sales of 'Instant Karma - Make Some Noise' the Amnesty campaign to save Darfur" was the introduction at the presentation ceremony.

A show of thanks to the woman who made the campaign possible and a celebration of the success of the original album. It came out in June.  Ono said her decision to donate the rights to the music is what Lennon would have wanted. "I will accept this on behalf of myself and John Lennon who really, had an incredible feeling for the world and he wanted to see the world become better for all of us."

The album already has raised more than a million dollars, and it is expected to raise millions more after the special edition box set goes on sale October 9th. It includes all of the original double CD tracks, plus previously unreleased material.

More than 50 artists are involved in the project, including the Black Eyed Peas, U2, REM and Avril Lavigne. The goal -- to highlight the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's western region of Darfur.

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 and involves rebel groups, government troops and government-backed Arab militias known as Janjaweed.  The rebels accuse Khartoum of ignoring the impoverished south and west of the country.

The United Nations estimates the fighting has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than two million others.The U.N. says that by now more than four million people rely on humanitarian aid.

Amnesty International says it wants the U.N. to take greater action to protect civilians and to ensure that aid is delivered safely.

Irene Khan is the secretary general of Amnesty International. She says she believes the 'Instant Karma' album can be used as an instrument to peace. "I hope that through projects like 'Instant Karma and Make Some Noise' we will generate hope, because this is all about bringing hope to people. They will fight for the future, they will stand up. I have seen activists in Sudan, in the midst of all that, still standing up. They have courage. We have to give them hope that we will stand with them and that is what Yoko, your gift to Amnesty did -- it gave hope to many people around the world."

Singer Peter Gabriel also was in London to support the campaign.  He says he still believes the message that one person can make a difference is important.

"It is an old message but it still works for me. I think Amnesty has been built on this child-like premise that writing a letter might make a difference and clearly many people have been rescued from jail and torture on that very idealistic, basic belief. So, these things can work."

The special album is being released on October 9th, on what would have been John Lennon's 67th birthday. He died in 1980 after a gunman shot him outside his New York apartment building.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs