Live Aid style concert planned to support hacker

News by Dan Raywood

Progressive rock legends Marillion are set to perform at a benefit concert for hacker Gary McKinnon.

Progressive rock legends Marillion are set to perform at a benefit concert for hacker Gary McKinnon.


A concert is being organised to support the hacker, who the US is currently trying to extradite over charges that he caused $700,000 worth of damage when he allegedly hacked into US security systems at NASA and the Pentagon.

Ross Hemsworth, managing director of Glastonbury Radio, has written to more than 100 bands including the Kaiser Chiefs and Madonna, to perform at a ‘Live-Aid style event' in December.


With Marillion apparently keen to play, pop legends George Michael, Brian May and Jamiroquai have been tipped to join the line-up


Named the ‘Rock Against Injustice concert', it will aim to raise awareness about Mr McKinnon's plight and the UK's extradition treaty with the US.

Mark Kelly, keyboardist for Marillion, told Broadway: “I've been following Gary's story for a while. I took an interest in it because I'm a bit of a computer geek myself.
 Being a keyboard player, it goes with the territory. I thought he seemed quite harmless. He was only looking for UFOs. His story struck a chord with me. When I heard he was being extradited, it seemed so unjust. He shouldn't be made an example of just because of American incompetence.”


Hemsworth told the Hampstead and Highgate Express that McKinnon was ‘very excited about the concept of the concert.' He said: “The main reason for the concert is to get public support for the changing of the UK and US extradition treaty and to call for the people awaiting extradition to be tried in the UK, not just Gary McKinnon, but all of them held under this unfair extradition treaty.

“Every British citizen should be worried about this. It's going to be a challenge to organise this all in the next few weeks. But I work well under pressure and a concert is a good way to get more publicity for Gary.”

Mr Hemsworth, who is also UK director of the International UFO Congress, plans to organise a ‘Band Aid style' song recorded at Abbey Road studios and hopes George Michael will sing Mr McKinnon's own single, Only a Fool. All proceeds from the concert will go to the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, after Mr McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in August.

Meanwhile, a petition calling on MPs to debate the extradition treaty has been rejected by the Prime Minister's office, which called it ‘offensive, intemperate, or provocative'.






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