In the words of Madonna (now singing in London’s Hyde Park): Music makes the people come together…
Amid the darkness, this is a ray of light! Live 8 is under way in 10 cities around the globe to raise awareness about poverty in Africa. Catch parts of the show if you can — it is available on AOL, even to us poor shlubs with dialup. In the US, MTV and VH1 are showing the concerts on cable (if you’re fortunate enough to have it); for those who do not, ABC will show highlights at 8PM Eastern tonight. I’m suffering through spotty AOLcasts, and despite the poor quality, my god, I’ve experienced moments that will be as indelible as those I recall from the Live Aid concerts of 20 years ago: As photos of HIV+ African children are shown, Annie Lennox sings the appropriate musical question, Why?. Bruce Cockburn, from a stage in Toronto, sends out his progressive message via “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” and “They Call It Democracy.” From Germany, Chris DeBurgh reminds us that it is about all of us — ALL OF US — making our views clear to the G8 leaders who meet in Scotland on 6 July: There is no excuse for people in Africa to die at a rate of one every three seconds when there is so much plenty in the world. In Philadelphia, the Black Eyed Peas join with the Marley family to instruct us to “Get Up Stand Up.” And the shows continue — take a look, sing, dance, and get involved. As the Live 8 organizers say, they don’t want your money — they need your voice.
AF&O has been involved with Bob Geldof’s Make Poverty History effort and the One Campaign since the beginning. I beg you now: Do your part to stop African famine. Add your voice to those of millions who have told their leaders to do whatever it takes to forgive African debt and to feed starving children. The time is here and now: Join the Live 8 List and sign the petition that will be delivered to the G8 leaders.
We are one world, one human family united through music to make a difference — help your brothers and sisters. Food for thought: Will world leaders pay attention to a rock concert? I don’t know; that remains to be seen. But if Dubya Bush and Tony Blair and the other G8 leaders ignore our cry, it won’t be because we didn’t cry out for justice and humanity. Please add your voice to our collective cry.
Check out Philly now — Dave Matthews Band is rockin’.