By Laura Ferreiro
For the very first time, Amnesty International is bringing its Secret Policeman’s Ball celebrating free speech to the U.S. next month. Coldplay and Mumford & Sons will headline the event, joining renowned comedians including Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Russell Brand. The event is set to take place March 4 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The Secret Policeman’s Ball’s history dates back to the 1970s, and includes performances by members of the Monty Python crew, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. This year, Kristen Wiig, David Cross, Fred Armisen and Sarah Silverman will be among the comedians who will surely push the limits of free speech in the best possible way.
“Many of the performers have been supporters of Amnesty International’s work for a while and believe in free speech for everyone,” Sharon Singh of Amnesty International tells Music for Good. “By hosting the Ball in New York, we have been able to sign up internationally renowned comedians, and in doing so bringing the Ball to a new audience in the U.S. and around the world.”
Brand also offers his take on why he values freedom of expression. “It’s good there is freedom of speech. This means I can say that I find Prince Charles sexually attractive and that the U.S. presidential elections are a meaningless spectacle to distract us from the mercantile skulduggery of the cabals that control our planet and no one can do anything about it.”
While most people don’t associate comedy with Amnesty International’s serious human rights work, Singh points out that it plays a vital role. “As a form of expression in the face of adversity, comedy has long been connected to Amnesty International and its work.”
A free live stream of the event will be available at EpixHD.com.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom and dignity are denied.