DJs join Amnesty for protest at arms trade

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The Independent Culture

Music moguls, guitar heroes and star DJs are to take part in the British music industry's biggest collective political statement of the century so far.

Manchester music guru Tony Wilson, Radio 1 presenters Jo Whiley, the Dreem Teem and Zane Low, and bands including The Thrills and Big Brovaz, are taking part in the protests against Britain's arms export industry. The Amnesty International campaign for arms controls is intended to become the 21st-century equivalent of Rock Against Racism, which gripped British youth at the end of the Seventies.

At the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, Amnesty is staging DJ Saved My Life between 14 and 18 October, which uses music, films and discussions to examine the international arms trade. The charity's campaign, Controlling Arms to Save Lives, is calling for an international arms trade treaty to restrict the movement of weapons where there is evidence they will be used to commit abuses of human rights.

An Amnesty spokesman said: "Amnesty has a history of working with the entertainment industry, but we have previously used actors and comedians. This whole campaign is being taken very seriously by the music industry and we have got some top names involved."

The event's steering committee includes Martin Mills, the founder of Beggars Banquet records, and Geoff Travis, who set up Rough Trade.

The opening night will be hosted by Zane Low, with rock group Hundred Reasons and Hip Hop duo The Nextmen. The Brazilian film City of God will also be shown. Low said: "As long as guns are finding their way in to the community, no one is safe. Even if you mind your own business ... stray bullets still kill."

The next night, Mr Wilson, founder of Factory Records, will feature films of the Woodstock festival and the rock band The Music. Thursday will be hosted by the global music DJs Late Junction. Whiley has persuaded The Thrills to perform on Friday and will also present a discussion involving shooting victims from Britain and Jamaica. The final evening will be hosted by Radio 1's DJ Spoony and the Dreem Teem, and will feature the R&B group Big Brovas and Lemar, from BBC's Fame Academy.