Irish Rock Star Bono Says Advocates Should Use Nonviolent Activism To Pressure Governments To Fight AIDS
Irish rock star and AIDS advocate Bono on Saturday at the King Center in Atlanta where he received the "Salute to Greatness" award said that the nonviolent activism of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. should be used to pressure governments and corporations in developed countries to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and aid "the poorest of the poor," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Bono, who co-founded the debt, AIDS and trade advocacy group DATA, said that HIV/AIDS is "not a cause. It's an emergency." He added that there will be "plenty of protestors" at the G8 summit on Sea Island, Ga., in June. Bono said, "The G8, the richest countries in the world, are coming to Georgia this summer for their big hoo-ha. And you know, I think they came to the right state, because I met some pretty energetic people and they've got something they want to say. And they are going. (The G8) can be on an island if they want, but these people can swim." According to the Journal-Constitution, the meeting is being held on Sea Island in part because it is a "secure and remote location"; previous meetings of the G8 -- which includes the United States, Britain, Canada, Italy, France, Russia, Germany and Japan -- have been disrupted by protesters. Earlier Saturday, Bono met at the King Center with AIDS advocates, including Coretta Scott King, King's widow; Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); and actor Chris Tucker, a co-founder of DATA. Sandra Thurman, president of the International AIDS Trust and head of the Office of National AIDS Policy under former President Clinton, said, "It's important that people get the opportunity to understand how the epidemic in Atlanta and the U.S. is part of the larger global pandemic," adding, "We need people like Bono to call attention to the fact that ordinary people can make a difference" (McWhiter/Poole, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/18).
An interview with Bono, the first in the Kaiser Family Foundation's series "Kaiser Conversations on Health," is available online. Hosted by former ABC News Correspondent and current Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Visiting Fellow Jackie Judd, "Kaiser Conversations on Health" is a series on major health issues featuring leading newsmakers.