New York offered a gigantic charity concert for the climate and against poverty on Saturday 24 September, showing a dozen stars, from Metallica to Mariah Carey, and international leaders such as Ursula von der Leyen and, via a video, the Biden couple .
Behind this event, which has been held every year for ten years at the end of the United Nations General Assembly, we find the philanthropic NGO Global Citizen, an international digital platform created by the Australian Hugh Evans and which he wants to bring together “global citizens” aware of the plagues of famine, underdevelopment, climate change or discrimination.
To win a ticket to Central Park – Manhattan’s immense green lung – you had to register on the Global Citizen website, sign petitions and post messages on social networks to put pressure on the planet’s political and economic leaders.
President Joe Biden and his wife Jill assured in a video message that the United States is committed to the “fight” for the climate and this summer it adopted a law that foresees investments for 369 billion dollars “improve health, promote justice and build clean energy”.
The two leaders of the Democratic majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, took the stage in person to defend Washington’s environmental policy.
Before them, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen was also present at the concert in Central Park to tell “citizens of the world (that she had listened to them)”. “We must end famines (…) Europe mobilizes € 600 million for food security in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific”he assured.
But after five hours of mini-concerts and consensual messages from the festival’s American political leaders and corporate sponsors, it took the power of the metal sound of legendary hard rock band Metallica to animate the thousands of fans gathered in Central Park. Nearly 60-year-old Californians delighted their audiences for an hour with a version of their legendary title nothing else matters sung by Mickey Guyton, who claims the title of America’s first black country music artist.
The Global Citizens Festival vibrated also thanks to the dynamic young Italian rockers of the Maneskin group and the New Yorkers of the Jonas Brothers, one of whose three brothers is married to the Indian Bollywood movie star Priyanka Chopra, host of the ceremony in Central Park.
Between two mini-concerts, political and economic leaders took turns on the stage. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley relayed alarmist messages from her counterparts from small Pacific and Caribbean countries threatened by global warming, who have been hammering home all week at the United Nations. “Yes, my friends, our time is running out”he warned.
Violence against women was also denounced: an Iranian refugee lawyer in Berlin, Anuscheh Amir-Khalili, spoke on the stage of the death in Iran of the young Masha Amini arrested by the police of morality, triggering demonstrations and their repression. “I have seen my sisters forced to flee aggression, oppression and femicide all over the world (…) We must bring the voice of oppressed women”, he launched himself, with a serious air, to applaud.