An Amnesty International album of John Lennon cover songs has raised $2.5 million after proving a hit in the album and download charts.
Warner Bros. Records presented the organization with a cheque for $2.5 million - proceeds raised so far from the sales of Make Some Noise/Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur.
The double album - released in support of Amnesty International’s campaign to end violence in Darfur - features a collection of classic John Lennon tracks recorded by a range of top international artists including U2, Snow Patrol and Green Day.
The album was made possible by the generosity of Yoko Ono, who granted Amnesty International the right to record the Lennon songs and donated all music-publishing royalties to the project. The album is part of Amnesty International's global music activism project Make Some Noise - which has aimed to inspire a new generation of activists to stand up for human rights.
Amnesty International has also generated more than 500,000 signatures on a petition calling on President Bush to press for an urgent timetable for the deployment of UN peacekeepers to Darfur by early 2008.
Tom Whalley, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, said: "Amnesty International's work is crucial to raising awareness of the human rights catastrophes occurring in Darfur and around the world - and we are thrilled to be able to support their campaign."
Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA, said: “John Lennon’s music and his legacy as an activist continue to inspire human rights advocacy. Now, his music is encouraging young people to get involved and add their voices to the cause of stopping the horrific violence in Darfur.
Following extensive worldwide campaigning, the UN Security Council agreed in August to send a new peacekeeping force to Darfur. Amnesty International is now pressing for its speedy deployment, plus the funds and equipment to support the mission and the arrest of Sudanese officials indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
Since 2003, government-backed militia have killed hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed thousands of villages and left millions of refugees struggling for survival in relief camps in Darfur and neighboring Chad.
For more information about Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, please visit Instantkarma.org.