Yoko Ono looks back on early activism

Fri Nov 6, 2009 6:29pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Burton Frierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - No one knows better than Yoko Ono how far celebrity activism has come in the last 40 years.

With late husband John Lennon she sparked a generation of celebrity cause campaigning with their 1969 "Bed-In" honeymoon to demonstrate for world peace as the Vietnam War raged.

From Live Aid, Band Aid and even Farm Aid in the 1980s to Bono's tour of Africa with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill earlier this decade, pop-star involvement in everything from politics to poverty reduction is ubiquitous.

But it wasn't always that way.

"When John and I were sort of talking about world peace and love and all that kind of thing, bed-ins, etc, you know people were just laughing at us," Ono told Reuters.

"But now I think that everybody is involved because we just know that we have to do something about this world."

Ono has now teamed up with Hard Rock International for an "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign. Like her earlier initiatives, music is as central, including a song by Lennon, but its use has evolved to accommodate the online generation.

The campaign, which will raise money for non-profit anti-poverty group World Hunger Year, harkens back to Lennon's 1971 ballad "Imagine."   Continued...

<p>Artist Yoko Ono performs in Venice June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>