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29 juin 2008

Amnesty International Goes Local With Human Rights Tour

Jun 27, 2008, Story by: Tiffany Kilfeather, CMJ News

Peter Gabriel and Art For Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey are launching the Small Places Tour, an Amnesty International project that will highlight local bands around the world from September 10 to International Human Rights Day on December 10.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and taking to heart Eleanor Roosevelt's call for "concerted citizen action" in "small places close to home," local bands from over 30 countries are encouraged to plan shows in their hometown to be included in the tour.

"Small Places is also an attempt to de-construct the charity concert model, moving away from the Live Aid/8/Earth stadium model towards something that is more decentralized and greener," Nick Terzo, co-producer of the tour, told CMJ. "It is open to bands large and small, famous and less famous and of all genres. There is an extensive menu of activities ranging from bands who are donating a portion of every ticket sold on their tour, to one-off benefit concerts, to auctions featuring premium tickets, life experiences and one of a kind items."

Bands can book a show with their local venues or 'join' the tour on their own schedule by announcing that they will play one or a number of concerts "for" Amnesty International. Artists can coordinate with the Small Places Tour team by contacting them through their MySpace page.

In addition to the home-grown aspect of the tour, Amnesty International is planning up to 10 high-profile concerts in Hong Kong, Montreal, Dublin, Prague, Capetown, New York City, San Francisco and Santiago. Names and venues will be released closer to the tour's launch.

While Terzo said Small Places is primarily about coming together to fight for human rights, proceeds that are raised will go to Amnesty programs like: campaigns to stop torture, to close Guantanamo, to end the killing in Darfur, to stop violence against women, to protest China's actions in Tibet, to work towards the release of Aung San Sui Kyi and other political prisoners in Burma, and other human rights issues being pursued by the organization.

"The Edge and Peter Gabriel want the Small Places Tour to signal a passing of the torch to the next generation of music activists. It's important to them that they entrust the work they started back in the '80s to musicians whom will care about Amnesty International and Human Rights not only for a few months this autumn but for many years to come," said Terzo. "It allows the superstars of yesterday, today and tomorrow to participate. Just about every community has musicians whose contributions can further Amnesty's goals locally and in the world. Combining those efforts with those by acts who are better known nationally and internationally aims to create an unstoppable force in support of human rights."

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