Get into bed with Amnesty International

Amnesty International has a new campaign, using the music of John Lennon, to stop the carnage in Darfur. They have produced a two-CD set of Lennon songs, covered by artists including Green Day, Avril Lavigne, and U2.

Amnesty is also reenacting one of John and Yoko’s iconic public relation stunts, the bed-in. They staged one in Ottawa this week:

[photo was by Tracey Tong, Metro Ottawa]

Here are some of the images from the original bed-in for peace, in 1969:

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton,
Talking in our beds for a week.
The newspaper said, “Say what you doing in bed?”
I said, “We’re only trying to get us some peace”.
(The Beatles, The Ballad of John and Yoko)

There’s also a video on Youtube. I know cynics roll their eyes at John and Yoko’s idealistic peace campaign. But when I watch this video, I can’t help wondering:  when are people going to mobilize to protest against the war in Iraq?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Knotwurth Mentioning
    Jul 21, 2007 @ 14:33:32

    Interesting that we talked about this in Politics class. Protesting was seen through the mid- to late-90s as a form of political activism, and a very necessary one at that. Votership was at peak through those years, as well, with the percentage of participating voters decreasing as the 20th century came to a close. It’s apparently one of the major issues for North American right now — called post-materialism. The basic premise is that we are so comfortable as a society right now that we tend to allow our rights to be overlooked by those in power because we don’t figure the effort it takes to engage the politics head-on is worth it.

    Between that and the increased shift from people protesting to simply going to court to overturn a law or whatnot — which inevitably results in individualized exceptions rather than national reform — our North American could be said to be stagnating politically. People would prefer to grumble at home about the Iraq war, rather than making the effort to get involved in rallies or in many cases even to simply cast a vote. When 40% of the population is refusing to have their input in the election, one has to figure that there’s a potential to capitalize if you happen to be on the side that that 40% would typically vote against.

    I’m not suggesting that ideally 100% of the population would vote necessarily. Some would argue that people who are ignorant of issues are better off not voting, and to an extent, I agree — although to get them involved and informed would still be preferable to just giving up on them. But surely 40% of the population can’t be completely daft when it comes to these things, and even if they are that’s just as telling of our stagnation. The fact that less and less people even bother to seek out information — in an age when information is more readily available than ever during the 20th century — shows that imaginations need to be sparked.

    We’re told all the time that individuals can make no difference. Well, perhaps they can’t, but unless those individuals are willing, the masses don’t form. It’s sad to see that so few people have the desire to go out protesting… and those that do waste their time protesting tuition fees. (sorry… pet peeve… thought my co-students all rallying to protest the cost of tuition was silly, since protests are to bring attention to dissatisfaction and it’s pretty generally known that students don’t like paying $5000 in tution…)

    Reply

  2. MaryP
    Jul 21, 2007 @ 17:00:14

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
    — Margaret Mead

    Reply

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