Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Do They Know Its Xmas Time Out There?

I will never forget Band Aid, an initiative of British and Irish (and later US) music artists who came together to form the ultimate supergroup in 1984. Best of all, it was founded on the energy of bad boy Bob Geldof, lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” for the Christmas market that year.

The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release. Two subsequent re-recordings of the song to raise further money for charity also topped the charts.

Here are all the artists wishing you a Happy New Year – back at you people. It was an amazing moment when people of privilege and fame made a stand. The struggle still goes on. We need your energy still.


Alon Shalev is the author of three social justice-themed novels: Unwanted Heroes, The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Jewish Student Center, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).


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2 thoughts on “Do They Know Its Xmas Time Out There?

  1. Pingback: Sir Punk Rocker « Left Coast Voices

  2. All well and good, but all the money raised solved nothing. It’s the same old story, give a man a fish and … well you know the rest. Sure they need fed right away, but that alone never solves the problem. I haven’t studied the exact problems, whether it’s drought, poor farming practices, or a combination of things. There needs to be a more permanent solution. People have been hungry there for too long, can’t anyone see that the problem needs a permanent solution, and not perennial assistance from outside sources. What is the solution? Heck if I know, but there must be one. If nothing else, move the people to someplace where crops can be grown.

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