Lady Gaga, John Perkins, and Christopher Hitchens also Recognized
(Olympia, Washington – October 9, 2012) – On behalf of peace activist Rachel Corrie, her parents Craig and Cindy Corrie today accepted the 2012 LennonOno Grant for Peace presented by Yoko Ono in Reykjavik, Iceland. Ono also presented grants to performing artist and activist Lady Gaga, author John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man), and to the late author and journalist Christopher Hitchens (accepted by his widow Carol Blue Hitchens). At a ceremony in New York in September, three performers with the Russian band Pussy Riot, who remain imprisoned for their stand for freedom of speech and expression, also received the LennonOno award.
Honoree Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist and human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer March 16, 2003, as she stood nonviolently to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah, Gaza.
In the official announcement of the biennial award, IMAGINE PEACE notes the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation to which the monetary grant prize has been given. “In the wake of her killing, the Rachel Corrie Foundation continues the work that Rachel Corrie began. The Foundation conducts programs that foster connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences, and that promote cooperation within and between local and global communities. The Foundation encourages and supports grassroots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice, which they view as pre-requisites for world peace.”
In August, a court in Haifa, Israel, dismissed the Corrie family’s wrongful death civil lawsuit against the State of Israel for Rachel’s killing. The verdict was widely condemned as setting dangerous precedent regarding protection of civilians, and putting at serious risk human rights defenders in war zones and armed conflict situations.
“Rachel would be greatly surprised and humbled by this recognition,” Cindy Corrie said from Reykjavik, today. “Her hope would be that it could somehow contribute to bringing people together to work passionately for justice, and to do so with the utmost respect for the rights and lives of all human beings.”
Rachel’s father, Craig Corrie, added: “We are grateful that Ms. Ono has chosen to recognize our daughter in such a wonderful way. Rachel must be smiling somewhere to imagine her memory linked in any way with that of John Lennon. Perhaps they smile together.”
Craig and Cindy Corrie continue the work that their daughter began through their personal advocacy and through the activity of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice in Olympia, Washington. Visit www.rachelcorriefoundation.org for more information about the Foundation.
Yoko Ono, the Corries, and other LennonOno Grant for Peace recipients will participate in the annual lighting of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on the island of Viðey in Iceland, 8pm local time, October 9. Ono urges people worldwide to join her in spirit as she lights the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in honor of all activists – past, present, and future – and to let the power of light become a collective expression of the desire for peace and harmony on the planet.
For the LennonOno Grant for Peace 2012 announcement, and details about all award recipients, visit the IMAGINE PEACE website at www.imaginepeace.com
View a live feed of the Imagine Peace Tower lighting at: www.imaginepeacetower.com
8pm in Iceland (USA: 4pm ET / 1pm PT; Jerusalem: 22:00).
Follow the Rachel Corrie Foundation @rcfoundation
For further information, please contact the following at LennonOno Grant for Peace:
Murray Chalmers: [email protected] (UK) +44 207 361 0730
Kristen Foster: [email protected]pmkbnc.com (US) +01 310 854 4800
Media requests for Craig and Cindy Corrie can also be sent to: [email protected]