Live 8’s Not Enough

Brian Cook

This post is actually by ITT intern extraordinaire, Anna Grace Schneider On July 2, dozens of popular artists from Jay-Z to Pink Floyd participated in the international Live 8 concerts to put pressure on the G8 countries to increase foreign aid to Africa and cancel African nations hundreds of billions of dollars of debt. Did the multimillion dollar events accomplish its goals? According to the BBC's headlines, "Live 8 Helped Aid Deal Says Blair." Maybe that headline should read something more like, "Live 8 Helped Aid Blair." Not only are Blair and his Labour government closely tied to many of the corporations and individuals that sponsored the event, but Live 8 had the official backing of Blair's Labour Government, according to Ann Talbot, who documents the symbiotic relationship in this article. Adding to the pockets lined by the Live 8 concerts is the millions of dollars corporate sponsors like AOL Time Warner reaped, and will continue to reap, from its exclusive rights to the Live 8 broadcast. And EMI music group bought the rights to the DVD, which Live 8 organizer Bob Geldolf hopes, "will be the biggest selling DVD of all time." Did anyone ever consider giving all the profit to Africa instead of already super-rich corporations? Oh wait, that's right. The concerts were to raise awareness, not money. As Professor Michel Chossudovsky wrote in this article for Global Research, "Live 8 creates an aura of optimism…the concerts are part of a broader process of media disinformation." A successful PR stunt for G8 leaders like Blair and Bush.

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Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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