Musicians call for next week’s G8 to step up fight against poverty
Elvis Costello, U2 and Will.i.am among those appearing live and online calling urging G8 summit to step up fight against poverty.
Elvis Costello, U2, Will.i.am and Green Day will be among dozens of musicians appearing live and online later this week calling for next week’s G8 in Northern Ireland to step up the fight against global poverty.
The performances, organised by the campaign group One, will launch agit8 – a demand for action to tackle hunger and corruption – and will involve cover versions of classic protests songs.
Organisers said some of the artists would be appearing live at the Tate Modern on London’s South Bank in pop up performances on Wednesday and Thursday as David Cameron prepares to host the meeting of the leaders of seven other western countries at Loch Erne starting next Monday.
Bono, the U2 singer and co-founder of One, said: “This week we are reminded of the words of the great agitator Nelson Mandela. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is manmade and it can be overcome. Millions of people … are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free. Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.”
The One campaign said it was making two key demands of next week’s summit – boosting Africa’s food revolution in an attempt to combat chronic malnutrition, and greater transparency to ensure that resources to fight poverty are not lost to corruption.
Adrian Lovett, One’s European executive director, said: “It’s an outrage that today 20,000 children will die needlessly from poverty and hunger. It’s a disgrace that millions are lost every week from developing countries’ funds to fight hunger and poverty because of dodgy natural resource deals, leaky budgets and corruption. We can stop this by people taking action together now.”
Other artists involved in agit8 include Angelique Kidjo, Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, Sting, Kid Rock, Rokia Traoré and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Costello and Mumford and Sons will be performing Bruce Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad, Sheeran will be doing a version of Bob Dylan’s Masters of War, and U2 a rendition of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Performers from Mali, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, the US, UK, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Canada and Belgium have joined up, One said.