Club holds concert for Syrian rescue group

UVM Amnesty International not only wants people to have fun, but do some good in the process.

The organization will be hosting a Jamnesty concert April 14, with proceeds going to support Syrian civilian rescue group the White Helmets.

The White Helmets are a group of unarmed, neutral volunteers who help with search and evacuation efforts, which have saved over 85,000 lives. The job is risky, and 166 volunteers have been killed in the process, according to their website.

UVM Amnesty International Co-President, sophomore Jason Dana, said inspiration for the concert came from watching the award-winning Netflix documentary “The White Helmets,” which details the organization’s rescue efforts.

“It was incredibly powerful,” Dana said.

UVM Amnesty was already planning a Jamnesty concert to raise awareness for human rights, and decided to turn it into a fundraiser for the White Helmets, he said.

A generous donor has agreed to match all donations up to $1000, Dana said.

Fellow Co-President, junior Hailey Moll, said UVM Amnesty was excited to expand their aid efforts.

“We were thinking about how can we support people who aren’t refugees, but that are experiencing what’s happening on the ground in Syria right now,” Moll said.

The concert is especially timely, as Moll noticed the White Helmets provided help during the recent attacks in Syria, during which chemical bombs were dropped on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

“Their work is incredibly needed, and it’s very critical to the survival of the people there,” she said.

Among the acts playing are Jeddy, the Green Mountain Boys, Stace Brandt and the Hydes. The event will also feature a talk from Dinah PoKempner, general counsel of Human Rights Watch.

Sophomore Lindsay May Ross, lead singer of Jeddy, said the band wasn’t planning on doing any shows this month until they heard about Jamnesty.

“I feel like all of us believe that playing is so much fun,” Ross said, “but when you’re playing for a cause, it’s that much more fun and that much more meaningful.”

The event is a great way to incorporate music and human rights in way that will make people more aware about human rights in general, Moll said.

“I think it’s important to remember that human rights are something enshrined in everybody,” she said. “It’s a connecting factor between people.”

Jamnesty will take place in the Grand Maple Ballroom, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and $3 in advance through the University Tickets website.