On Sunday April 2, UNITE held a benefit gig to raise money for the Trade Union Rights Campaign – Pakistan (TURC-P). TURC-P has been doing some fantastic work providing relief to thousands of earthquake victims in working class communities across Pakistan.
TURC-P has already provided thousands of dollars worth of blankets, tents, food, water and medical aid to those who have been left stranded by the local and international ruling elite. Close to 80 young people came to the gig which was held at the Old BLF Hall in Carlton (Melbourne).
Punk bands Away From Now, Bad Day Down (QLD), The Arch Rivals, Yidcore, None the Wiser, The Defiance Report, and The Teddy Royals rocked the hall in solidarity with Pakistani workers and poor peasants whose lives were shattered by the earthquake of late last year.
In between bands UNITE Organiser Antony Alder spoke about the situation in Pakistan. He said “that whilst the IMF bleeds the country dry and the government spends billions of dollars on f-16 fighters and arms it continues to implement cuts to health and education at the expense of working people”.
Most workers and poor peasants in the most effected areas are still yet to receive adequate assistance. The audience was told about the fantastic efforts of working people across the globe who donated to the many Asian Tsunami and Pakistani earthquake appeals.
Unfortunately it has been revealed that many NGOs have syphoned millions of dollars from these donations to pay the fat salaries of bureaucrats whilst most of the people who need the aid the most are still waiting.
Antony pledged that every single last cent raised for the TURC-P will get to the people on the ground that need it and the funds will go towards the construction of schools and hospitals in working class communities. Close to $300 was raised on the day.
UNITE has held several gigs at the BLF Hall and has built up a good relationship with many of the bands and the political music scene. It was announced that UNITE will be holding more events that bring together music, politics and youth. Some 20 people put down their details to help organise and build for future gigs.