In the wake of a major tragedy, some bands and artists find it difficult to stand idly by or wait for someone else to take action. U2, with their politically charged music and frequent humanitarian efforts, are one of those bands.
Following news of the shocking destruction of lives and land in southern Asia, U2 posted a call to action on their Web site, asking friends and fans to help the families who lost loved ones in the Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami on December 26.
In a post on Thursday, the band began by assuring fans that bassist Adam Clayton, who was rumored to have been potentially injured by the tsunami, was “unaffected by the tragic events around the Indian Ocean following Sunday’s tsunami waves.” Clayton had been vacationing in Malaysia at the time.
The post went on to provide links to a BBC story on the tsunami relief effort, and links to six Web sites – including the United Nations World Food Programme, the American Red Cross, and UNICEF South Asia Tsunami Relief Efforts – to offer some direction for fans to “contribute towards the work of those helping survivors rebuild their lives.”
U2 – and Bono in particular – have long been involved in philanthropic efforts. Bono has been touted for his work with the AIDS crisis in Africa and was nominated in 2003 for the Nobel Peace Prize.
When MTV News interviewed U2 in November, they spoke about why Americans and Europeans need to step up to the challenge of helping countries affected by the AIDS crisis, and in general, providing aid to nations less fortunate than our own.
“Bottom line – something is wrong,” Bono said. “We can’t have all this over here and not be helping people. It’s not the decent thing to do. It’s not American, it’s not European. We just end up floating with the tide down this river to nowhere. And it’s time to stop.”
“I’m very optimistic about what can happen if we [were able to] put a man on the moon,” he continued. “You Americans, you can do this. We can do this. We can actually turn things around. That’s what I intend to spend my life doing, and that gives me cause for serious optimism for what we can achieve in the world.”