July 3, 2005

Quotes from Live 8 rock stars, activists

LONDON (Reuters) - Bob Geldof wants to "tilt the world alittle bit on its axis in favor of the poor" by staging 10concerts across four continents to pressure the Group of Eight(G8) richest nations on earth to help.

Following are reactions from performers and others aroundthe world on Saturday:

NELSON MANDELA (Johannesburg)

"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is anact of justice. It is a protection of a fundamental humanright.

"I say to all those leaders, do not look the other way. Donot hesitate. We ask our leaders to demonstrate commitment, notengage in hollow promises. It is within your power to avoid agenocide of humanity."

STEVIE WONDER (Philadelphia)

"We're making a difference in the world not just for amoment but forever ... I'm sure that from heaven above ... theAlmighty is smiling at the contribution of tonight. The onlyway that we can end hate is to give more love."


"We are here as a people, as one world, one race, one color... to grant them permission to help others."

ALICIA KEYS (Philadelphia)

"America has a sense of disconnect when it comes to Africaor places that are very far away because many of us, most ofus, won't get the opportunity to see those places. You feelempathy but you feel you don't know what you can possibly do."

DAVE MATTHEWS (Philadelphia)

Asked if the G8 leaders were watching: "I think they'repaying some attention. I don't know if they're rocking outright now, probably Tony Blair might be, and Putin might havesome moves ... I think they're aware of what's going on.

RUSSELL SIMMONS (Philadelphia)

"Africa is the cradle of civilization, the fact that peopleare suffering there and the rest of the world is not doingeverything it can is a very sad situation. It's a justice issuenot a charity issue."

RITA MARLEY, widow of Bob Marley (Philadelphia)

Quoting her husband, "Get up stand up, stand up for yourrights, get up stand up, don't give up the fight."

WILL SMITH (Philadelphia)

"We are all in this together. This is our declaration ofinterdependence ... This is the biggest global event that hasever taken place on this planet."

PHIL COLLEN, Def Leppard guitarist (Philadelphia)

"It should be a no-brainer that people shouldn't bestarving. It's ridiculous."

On Geldof, Collen said: "It's really great that someone hasthe balls and the compassion to get it together, who wouldn'twant to be a part of that?"

BJORK (Tokyo)

"I look at the news, I see people starving, I am crying.I'm a total mess. You try to think how you're going to breakthrough this cobweb of problems and bureaucracy and how onEarth anybody is going to make any change."


"There isn't a plan B. Plan B is that we continue to letthem die ... every night live on television.

"Mahatma Gandhi freed a continent, Martin Luther King freeda people, Nelson Mandela freed a country. It does work. Theywill listen."

BONO, lead singer of U2 (London)

"The rock stars and the hip hop stars can't change anythingbut our audience really can.

"We're not asking you to put your hand in your pockets butwe are asking people to put their fists in the air."

BILL GATES, Microsoft Chairman (London)

"The generosity we are asking for can save millions oflives. Some day in the future all people, no matter where theyare born, will be able to lead a healthy life.

"We can do this and when we do it will be the best thingthat humanity has ever done."


"We're just trying to bring attention to something thatneeds to be redressed and it's a positive thing to do.

"There are so many negative things going on in the world atthe moment and this is an incredibly positive step and I hopeit makes a huge difference.

STING (London)

"We are a global village. We're connected to the problemsof Africa and our brothers and sisters there."

CAMPINO, lead singer of one of Germany's most popular rockbands (Berlin)

"This isn't a rock concert, it's a demonstration. It's allpointed to next Wednesday. If you have the time and can affordit, go to Edinburgh."


"I think 20 years ago people thought that it would be OK tojust dip into their pockets and that would be the end of it.That's like the Western mentality -- you know we just want togive somebody some money and forget about it.

"I think what this is about now is us actually takingresponsibility and it's only going to work if it's thebeginning of something that carries on."