Did you know it’s John Lennon’s birthday today? He would have been 72! We at WILPF International would like to say a few words about him.

What does the Beatles singer have to do with our organisation?

He was, of course, a brilliant musician but Lennon quickly realised that he could use his celebrity status to tackle issues that he really cared about. Like war.

In fact, after his marriage to Yoko Ono, his music took a backseat as he became more involved in the anti-war movement. His honeymoon to Yoko was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the struggle for peace.

The couple staged their first ‘Bed-In for Peace’, where they stayed in bed in their hotel suite for two weeks straight, and invited worldwide media to join them there.

From 9 in the morning to 9 at night, they held discussions about world peace from the comfort of their bed. His song, ‘Give Peace a Chance’ became a universal chant at anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and proved inspirational to millions.

Sadly, despite his huge efforts for peace, the nation Lennon came to call his home has not heard his wisdom. The latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states that the US alone spent $698 billion on military spending last year. Imagine what could be done if this money was channelled into social welfare, such as education or healthcare.

So on this day, we would like to raise tribute to Lennon, who fought until the end to ‘give peace a chance’. We’re sure he would have supported all the work WILPF is doing, in our own efforts for peace.