Musicians Shine a Light on Human Rights

It’s amazing the power that music has to inspire people to stand up for what they believe in.  And it’s also amazing how human rights inspire musicians.  There’s a trio of artists who lent their voices this past Human Rights Day and they each have a unique story of their own…

Tom Morello, a talented guitar player, has social activism streaming through his blood.  His mother founded the anti-censorship group, Parents for Rock and Rap and his father was Kenya’s first UN ambassador, so Tom’s long term involvement with social justice and human rights, comes as no surprise.  Amnesty International and Tom Morello have been partnering together for many years (along with his NGO, Axis of Justice).  His most recent collaboration is a duo of cover tunes that he recorded for the Lime Wire Store’s Live at Lime Sessions.  The music was released on December 10, Human Rights Day and proceeds from the sale of these songs were in benefit to Amnesty International. Aside from the songs, there was also a fascinating interview with Henry Rollins and Tom Morello,  about major issues that face all of us.

After an inspiring trip to South Africa,  26-year-old keyboardist, vocalist, composer, and songwriter Salvador Santana decided to use his music as a way to give back to those in need.  His new album, Keyboard City doesn’t come out until February, but Salvador is giving a song away, “Truth Fears No Questions,” for free in honor of Amnesty’s Global Write-a-Thon and the Women Of Atenco, with  the hope of inspiring action.

Finally, Portishead, the UK based, Mercury Prize winning band, wrote a song for Amnesty International in honor of Human Rights day: “Chase the Tear.” It is available as an exclusive download single from 7 digital from 10 December, with all earnings going towards Amnesty’s human rights work and all rights given to the organization.

Let’s toast to these amazing musicians for lending their talent to human rights and showing the world that through music, you can shine a light on those who are in darkness.

This post was contributed by Karen Scott, Music for Human Rights.

The privilege of being an AIUSA volunteer? Going on stage with U2!!!

The U2 360 Degrees concert this past Tuesday September 29th, at FedEx Field in Washington DC, was truly spectacular. These guys really do know how to put on a show! The band performed all their acclaimed classics, and surprised the crowd with unbelievable stage props, lighting effects, stage expansions, and new medleys. U2 has tirelessly fought for human rights around the world and they did not fail to include this in their show.

I attended the event as a volunteer for Amnesty International spreading the word for Demand Dignity in the fight for justice against poverty, as well as signing up new members and explaining to people how they can take action. The bonus: going on stage with U2 and the other 85 volunteers in the name of Aung San Suu Kyi (prisoner of conscience in Myanmar) during the song “Walk On.” To call this moment amazing is an understatement. Walking on stage and helping to communicate a message of strength and hope to 84,000 people was simply powerful.

Amnesty International is still travelling on tour with the band. Look for us at the show and demand “Justice Against Poverty!”

Amnesty Hits the Warped Tour This Summer

Amnesty International is excited to be a part of the Vans Warped Tour music festival this Summer!  The Warped Tour has always been supportive of Amnesty and the non-profit community, and this year we are able to continue that relationship — in a big way!  Amnesty has a branded tent at all 46 dates where concert goers can learn about human rights and take action on important issues.

Check out the video below of Amnesty on the ground at the festival with the band Anti-Flag. It really shows the energy of the crowd and the positive affect we can have on visitors. Then come on out and visit us on the tour!

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