Not on our Watch means we need to do something now

In keeping with its long tradition of activism powered by music, Amnesty International, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, will use Yoko Ono’s generous gift of Lennon’s solo catalogue as the centerpiece of its campaign to rally activists toward human rights activism for the people of Darfur. The ‘Instant Karma’ moblisation focuses on saving the lives of innocent women, children and men who are dying by the thousands and restoring peace in the region.

A promotional video of the cause can be found at:

The two-CD set of “Instant Karma,” was released by Warner Bros. Records on June 12, boasts a stellar line-up of 23 world artists from a variety of genres putting their own unique spin on classic songs from Lennon’s solo songbook. The artists,  who come from the worlds of rock, pop, hip-hop and country include U2, Green Day, R.E.M.,Jackson Browne, Christina Aguilera, Avril Lavigne,  Corinne Bailey Rae, Big & Rich, Snow Patrol, The Flaming Lips,Postal Service, Regina Spektor, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Los Lonely Boys, Jakob Dylan with Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper.

The Green Day video can be seen at: with inserts of real-life stories and suggestions:

The rights to Lennon’s songs were donated by Yoko Ono, who has donated all music publishing royalties. Proceeds from CD and digital sales will support Amnesty International and its campaign to focus attention and mobilize activism around the urgent catastrophe in Darfur, and other human rights crises.

On another video produced by Refugees International, see: we see the terrible stories of the 21st Century. A century where some can eat and others can become persecuted.

The video is called, On Our Watch – A documentary about genocide in Darfur. There is also a new non-celebrity charity called, Not on Our Watch, see: Their mission is described as: 

Our mission is to focus global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities.  Drawing on the powerful voice of citizen artists, activists, and cultural leaders, our mission is to generate lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.

What is sad about the whole situation is that the world watches, yet resources and the commitment to get more help is not happening. Could it be that our apathy is driven by the manipulation of today’s headlines – what I call a ‘not goodnews, therefore let us not print it’ attitude of the press and media. If governments can send in the army for Iraq, what is stopping governments from supporting the UN or backing the African Union? Is it because there is limited natural resources there? Or, is that too cynical a statement.

Maybe the apathy is driven by the fact that other peoples problems do not affect us directly. In addition, our attitude for survival means that there is no time for others. I find that there is no direction or suggestion about what we as individuals can do. Sure, we can buy a 2 box CD set and hope that the funds will route themselves in a positive manner. What we really should be doing is marching everyday and using the tools that we have to write, campaign and strive for the placement of this desperate situation higher up on today’s political agenda. Although Pop stars are welcome, we need to do something rather than rely on their voices to be our sole representatives. Playing on the word, ‘soul’, we owe it to our existence to strive for change.

As the latter video says at the end, ‘Genocide must not go unchallenged.’

Categories: 2007, Anti-Poverty

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: