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Live 8

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I’ve just taken part in a conference call put together by Joe Trippi and John Hinderaker of Power Line, with who-knows-how-many bloggers and Sir Bob Geldof of LIVE 8, the new drive to make an impact on the disaster of Africa. Despite my skepticism (rock stars with causes, oh boy), I was impressed with Geldof’s knowledge of the situation, and by his group’s ideas to make sure that whatever aid is generated will not simply be pocketed by corrupt African dictators. Ultimately, the vision seems to be to promote freedom and reform on the African continent. Geldof said, “Robert Mugabe will not be included.”

I’ll be posting information about this event as I learn more; my skepticism isn’t entirely gone, but my initial impression is that we may have a sighting of a very rare bird, a cause that both the “left” and “right” sides of the blogosphere can support.

At the very least, Live 8 and LGF have a common enemy: thick-headed anarchists.

Anarchists from around the world are planning to cause chaos at next month’s G8 summit in Gleneagles as a row broke out last night between Bob Geldof and DJ Andy Kershaw over the absence of black musicians at events staged to benefit Africans.

With police fears mounting over Geldof’s call for one million people to protest at the summit, Kershaw last night condemned the almost exclusively white line-up for the pop concerts to coincide with the summit. “If we are going to change the West’s perception of Africa, events like this are the perfect opportunity to do something for Africa’s self-esteem,” he said. “But the choice of artists for the Live8 concerts will simply reinforce the global perception of Africa’s inferiority.”

Bob Geldof last week called on one million people to descend on Edinburgh on 6 July - a move branded irresponsible by city leaders and local police. Geldof’s fellow campaigner, Midge Ure, later claimed the one million figure was “symbolic” and talks between the campaign groups and police appear to have resolved any potential problems for the march.

But The Independent on Sunday can reveal that anarchist groups that have rioted at previous G8 gatherings are planning similar disruptions in Scotland and plan to hijack Geldof’s “long march to freedom” on 6 July and the Make Poverty History rally on 2 July. Anarchist groups will encourage protesters to “Make Capitalism History” instead.

UPDATE at 6/6/05 12:34:25 pm:

And in the interest of getting at the truth, here’s a withering criticism of Live 8 from the Telegraph’s Anthony Daniels, who says the problems of Africa can’t be solved by rock concerts: Geldof should learn from history: in Africa, aid does not bring relief.

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