Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono, along with Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Sting and Patti Smith are among the 200 celebrities in a video, “We Are Not Afraid,” which is raising funds for victims of religious and political violence around the world.
The clip was directed by photographer Bob Gruen, and it was because of him that Ono, who is the first face to appear in the video, became involved and got the ball rolling.
“My long-time friend Bob Gruen who was a very early supporter of this project and brought it to Yoko Ono’s attention, resulting in her becoming the campaign’s very first participant, immediately offered to put together the long form ‘We Are Not Afraid’ video when told of our plan. And for that we are deeply grateful,” said creator-organizer Steve Weitzman in a statement.
Weitzman says the eight-minute video was expanded from its original planned four-minute length because so many notables signed on. Other participants include Dr. Jane Goodall, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Chuck D, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Darlene Love, Debbie
Harry, Dion, Elvis Costello, Grandmaster Flash, Jeff Tweedy, Shep Gordon and Susan Sarandon.
The video, which premiered in November, shows the stars holding signs with the song title.
The song was written by Nigerian singer-songwriter Majek Fashek and is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and other major outlets. Proceeds are being donated to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“It’s a positive statement in a negative world,” said Gruen in a statement. “I hope it becomes something that inspires people around the world to do their own versions. You shouldn’t go through life being afraid.” Ono adds, “We’re all together now!”
“We’re alarmed by the hateful and dangerous rhetoric coming from politicians across Europe and the United States,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch in a statement. “We must not allow the rising threat of racism and hate to violate our most basic principles of humanity.”
For more information visit wearenotafraid.net.