This October 9th in Reykjavik, Iceland, Yoko Ono will be giving five activists the Biennial LENNONONO GRANT FOR PEACE. The 9th also celebrates the Birthday of John Lennon and his son Sean.
Lady Gaga has been named the fifth activist to receive an award for her notable activism, which she is going to collect in person. “Lady Gaga is one of the biggest living artists of our time,” Yoko says; “she is not only an artist, she is also an activist, using her art to bring better communication to the world. She is being acknowledged for her activism, and how her album “Born This Way” has widely changed the mental map of the world. And how it has made us deal with the future world, which happens to be here already.”
She will also receive a charitable donation which she then will in turn gift to the Elton John AIDS Foundation to support their work combating HIV amongst disadvantaged youth in the U.S.
The other four activists are:
Rachel Corrie who was a 23-year-old peace activist from Olympia, Washington. She was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on the 16 March 2003 while nonviolently protecting the home of a Palestinian family from demolition. The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice was set up by her family in the wake of her death, and continues the work Rachel began. Her parents Cindy and Craig Corrie will be collecting the award.
Christopher Hitchins was an author and journalist who wrote for some of the top news publications such as Vanity Fair, The Nation, The Atlantic and The Daily Mirror, plus many more over four decades. He has authored twelve books and five collections essays, and was nominated for the National Book Award in 2007 for his best-selling book ‘God is not Great’. He was known for his confrontational style and he became a widely controversial figure.
His widow Carol Blue Hitchins will accept the award on his behalf, with the monetary prize going to two charitable organizations, 826 National who encourage and support literacy among under resourced youth, and PEN who advocate and protect the rights of writers and free expression.
John Perkins who is an author and activist, gained international fame when he published his New York Times best seller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He is founder of the nonprofit organisations Dream Change and the Pachama Alliance, two organisations which are devoted to establishing a world our children will want to inherit. As well as lecturing at Universities, he is currently in the process of bringing out a new book.
He will accept the award himself, with the monetary prize going to Dream Change.
The feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot in February 2012 were arrested after a provocative performance at Moscow’s Sacred Cathedral of Christ Saviour church. They invoked the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of President Vladimir Putin. The video of the performance when viral resulting in three of the members getting arrested for hooliganism. It was a lengthy and global trial which ended with a two-year jail sentence, but it has also seen strong criticism internationally calling into question Russia’s policies towards freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
In September at a special ceremony in NYC, the husband of one of the members Nadia Tolokonnikova collected the award on her behalf, with the monetary prize being used to assist the group’s effort to be released from prison.
On October 9th you can watch a live feed at 8pm local time on the island of Viðey HERE of the annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower. Yoko Ono has invited everybody worldwide to join her in spirit when she lights the Imagine Peace Tower to honour activists all over the world; past, present and future.