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07 avril 2006

Gabriel highlights struggle against Myanmar military

Yangon, Apr 06: Singer and human rights activist Peter Gabriel used his celebrity status to highlight the plight of the Myanmar people.

Founder of
WITNESS, a nonprofit human rights group, Gabriel hosted an event on Capitol Hill to press politicians in Washington to pass the poor human rights record of Myanmar's military junta to the United Nations Security Council.

, which donates video cameras to human rights groups to bring stories and images to the world, compiled a film documented by people in Myanmar. Gabriel presented the film titled 'Always on the Run: Internally Displaced People in Karen State' produced by WITNESS, a partner organisation on Burma Issues, which details the experiences of people forcibly displaced by the junta military in Myanmar.

"If we can use some of the footage that our partners have created to campaign and we think we should and there needs to be action and there needs to be action now,"
Gabriel said ahead of the event. Myanmar's military ignored a landslide election victory in 1990 by the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi and has continued to rule the country with an iron fist.

Nobel laureate
Suu Kyi has been in jail or under house arrest since May 2003 and the United States and others have consistently called for her release. United States Senator Mitch McConnell, who has been leading the campaign to refer Myanmar to the UN Security Council said the regime can be compared to countries like Iran and North Korea, if only it were to be seeking nuclear capabilities.

"If this regime were about to get nuclear weapons I think it would have a lot more interest around the world because this is in every respect a pariah regime just like Iran and North Korea have become,"
said McConnell. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently urged China and India to put more pressure on Myanmar's junta military to put a halt to human right violations.

Rice also said that countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should do more to push for freedom in its fellow member, formerly known as Burma.
Rice said she brought up Myanmar at every meeting she had with officials from China and India, adding that President George W. Bush did the same.

The United States has imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Myanmar, including a ban on most imports, and Rice has told senators they would not be relaxed until the government changed its ways.

05 avril 2006

Senator, rock star appeal for Burma

WASHINGTON The senator wore a gray wool suit and shiny dress shoes. The rock star wore a casual button-up shirt, wool vest, cargo pants and black boots. They sat side by side on folding chairs in a basement room in the U.S. Capitol, and watched "Season of Fear," a short documentary about the plight of Burmese peasants under attack by the nation's military junta.

A nonprofit co-founded by Peter Gabriel, Witness, produced the video. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced the video and congratulated Gabriel, who had big hits with Genesis and as a solo artist in the '80s and '90s. "I can't even get a visa (to visit Burma), but having a song banned ... is quite an honor. Obviously, you're getting their attention," he said.

McConnell recapped the history of Burma's military junta, including the long imprisonment of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. "We are all here repulsed by everything we know about this regime," he said. "The world community needs to get a lot more concerned than it has been."McConnell and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., were co-sponsors of the bill in 2003 that levied sanctions against Burma.

Peter Gabriel urges more Myanmar action

WASHINGTON - Musician Peter Gabriel and Sen. Mitch McConnell joined forces Tuesday in demanding stronger action by the United Nations against atrocities they say are being committed in Myanmar. McConnell, a leading Republican, said that misrule by the junta that governs Myanmar, also called Burma, "threatens the entire region, and the world community needs to get a lot more concerned than it has been." Gabriel praised U.S. sanctions against Myanmar's military regime and emergency relief efforts to help thousands of Burmese displaced inside their country.

These efforts, he said, "make the U.S. one of the few countries in the world willing to step up to this challenge." McConnell said that a rare U.N. Security Council briefing last year on the political and social deterioration in Myanmar is "not nearly enough, but at least it's a start." Gabriel and McConnell want the United Nations to pass a binding resolution demanding change in Myanmar, where the generals have kept pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in detention for 10 of the last 16 years. She is among some 1,100 political prisoners.

Peter Gabriel speaks at US Senate

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Peter Gabriel will make a personal appearance before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, April 4th, as a representative of the human rights group Witness, which he co-founded. Gabriel will screen the video "Always On The Run: Internally Displaced People In Karen State, Burma," which was made by a Witness affiliate, and there will also be discussion about the human-rights abuses that continue in Burma. The event will take place in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., starting at 3 p.m., and the public session will be hosted by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Mitch McConnell, who've authored the Burmese Freedom And Democracy Act.

While there, the musician will also push lawmakers to support a United Nations resolution condemning Burma's human rights record.

Bassist's touch resonates on new CD

Shaped by tongue and lips as much as by the years he has performed with the likes of Peter Gabriel and John Lennon, a tender song rises from the vocal chords of Kingston resident and bass player Tony Levin — a tender song about an ape.

The vocal inflections of "Fragile As A Song" recall the way Randy Newman wraps his personality around every syllable he sings. This song also recalls a trip Levin took to the University of Georgia, where he joined Gabriel in a musical session with a Bonobos ape named Panbanisha that used advanced communication skills to play the keyboard.

"I knew something very unusual was afoot when we walked into the facility,"
Levin said. "Peter said, 'Panbanisha, this is Tony, he's going to play bass with us today.' "

Worked with Bowie, Floyd

"Fragile As A Song"
is one tune on the new Tony Levin Band CD "Resonator," which is released today. The man who has played bass with King Crimson, David Bowie and Pink Floyd will celebrate his latest project Wednesday evening with a "playback" party at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, where the CD will be played and sold and band members will be on hand to chat with fans and sign CDs.

"My solo career is a career, but it's not my only career,"
said Levin, whose past work earned him a Grammy nomination. "Most of what I do is be a backup bass player to other people and I love doing that. That gives me the freedom in my solo career, I can do what I want."

The songs on "Resonator" shift from flat-out funk to Crimson-esque chord changes and Beatles-like ballads with lyrics that Gabriel might be jealous of. Joining Levin in the studio and on the road for upcoming shows are his brother Pete on keyboards, Jesse Gress on guitar, Larry Fast on synthesizer and Jerry Marotta on drums. Pete Levin has played with Miles Davis; Gress has played with Todd Rundgren; and Marotta and Fast both played with Levin in Gabriel's band.

"He's like the quintessential person you'd want to be working with and kind of look up to and want to be there to influence you to some degree in many ways,"
Marotta said of his friend of many decades. "He's a real thinker."

represents Levin's first stab at writing lyrics and singing. He is not the kind of songwriter to sit down and write, but opts instead for keeping journals while on tour.

"Science and religion — those for years have been inspiring me to express my ideas about conflicting directions this amazing century is taking in," he said. "I process my ideas through my musical sense and come out with song lyrics that are hopefully unique to me."

Tommy Keegan, who has hosted different bands that included Levin at Keegan Ales brewery in Kingston, said, "as a person, he is so reserved ... soft spoken and just an all-around great guy." Keegan Ales is sponsoring Wednesday's event.

That soft-spoken guy, it seems, is equally at home playing hockey arenas or the local brewery.

"I understand when I'm performing in Madison Square Garden with Peter or in Keegan Ales, I'm knowing that years later, a lot of us in the room will remember being part of that experience," he said. "I'm very tuned into that."

03 avril 2006

Peter Gabriel pour Pannella ?

Il participera au travers d'une liaison téléphonique depuis Washington, à la manifestation de fermeture de la campagne electorale des radicaux- socialistes Italiens, le 6 avril prochain en place Navona à Rome. Etonnant, non ?

Peter Gabriel per Pannella

Il cantante appoggia la Rosa nel Pugno

Peter Gabriel fa il tifo per la Rosa nel pugno di Emma Bonino, Marco Pannella ed Enrico Boselli. L'ex leader dei Genesis, infatti, ingaggiato dalla Fifa per l'organizzazione della cerimonia d'apertura dei mondiali di calcio tedeschi del prossimo giugno, parteciperà con un collegamento telefonico da Washington, alla manifestazione di chiusura della campagna elettorale dei radical-socialisti il 6 aprile prossimo in piazza Navona a Roma.
Clicca per ingrandire

Gabriel, purtroppo per i suoi fan numerosissimi anche in Italia, non sara' sul palco, dove invece si alterneranno, oltre ai vertici della Rosa nel pugno, anche molti artisti e cantanti, da Eugenio Bennato a Dolcenera, da Marco Masini ad Andrea Occhipinti, dal dj Claudio Coccoluto a Marco Bellocchio.