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26 juin 2005

Charity concerts help, sometimes

Rock stars' charitable efforts make a difference, sometimes

June 26, 2005

... rock stars can bring bigger changes, says Amnesty founder Mr. Healey.

In the late '80s, he recruited Bruce Springsteen, U2, Sting and Peter Gabriel to perform a pair of high profile "Human Rights Now!" tours.

As a result, Amnesty's membership jumped from 35,000 to 410,000, "and we got a thousand political prisoners out of jail every year, just by having people write letters and letting these governments know we knew the person was there," he says. "It really worked. Music really is the magic bullet to reach the minds of people."

Still, getting the bullet to hit the bull's-eye can be extremely tricky. Coldplay's Chris Martin has campaigned for fair trade for years but admits he has had mixed results.

"More people know the phase 'fair trade,' but I still don't think it's acknowledged by Washington or Westminster as one of the principal issues of our time, which it is," he says.

"A lot of people are very cynical about us even talking about it." ...

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