Recently ThrashHead had heard news about how one man with an idea, Mike from the band Evacuate, decided to take action to help the punk rock community of Banda Aceh, Indonesia....here's what the project is about in his own words.
ThrashHead: Most people know you as the man with the pipes in the Cali punk outfit Evacuate and now people are learning that you have organized a really noble project. Tell us about it.
Mike: Banda Aceh, Indonesia is a strict Islamic Shariah region. Punks are forced to have their heads shaved, are forced to pray, clothes burned, detained (64 were detained), and forced into "re-education" camps. Deputy mayor Illiza Sa'aduddin Djamal proudly claims that she personally supervised police raids in cafes and city parks. Djamal also has been quoted as saying "Punk is a new social disease" and also has been quoted as saying "Aceh is a Shariah region. Everyone should obey it and the punk community is clearly against Shariah". These people are being jailed for being punk. They have not been charged with any crime. On Tuesday December 13, 2011 police took the 64 detainees to the Aceh State Police Camp and shaved their mohawks and dyed hair off and forced them into a lake.
ThrashHead: How were you able to organize Punk Aid? How long did it take to get 72 bands from around the world to sign on and finalize the comp "Punk Aid: Aceh Calling"?
Mike: I just posted to the wall of my personal FaceBook page about what was happening in Banda Aceh and that I wanted to put together an international compilation to help raise money for the Aceh punks. Within a couple of hours I already had over 40 bands confirm that they wanted to submit a track to the compilation. In less than a week from the time of that original post I had 84 confirmed bands. Out of the 84 bands who confirmed I received 73 tracks which is what became the compilation.
ThrashHead: With 73 punk tracks from bands all over the world the album only costs a measly 6 bucks, an awesome deal, but how is the money made from the sale of the comp to be used?
Mike: The money will be sent to MOVEMENT RECORDS in Jakarta,Indonesia who will be making a 3 disk CD version of the compilation to be handed out to the Aceh punks who do not have access to mp3 players, computers etc and money will also be used to provide clothing, money to get kids bailed out of jail, food, etc,
ThrashHead: How is Movement Records weathering the storm, have they been harassed at all by the authorities? They must know a lot of folks who have been hauled away to these "reeducation camps".
Mike: I do not want to speak for Ferly/Movement Records, however I am sure they have their share of challenges...
ThrashHead: There are other ways people can help too isn't there?
Mike: There are so many ways to get involved. Benefit shows, posting links to help us promote the comp, writing articles, write a song, be creative! Get involved. There are many resources on punkaid.org to help you, or just contact me at email@example.com and i can give you more ways to help.
ThrashHead: Does Punk Aid have plans to put this onto a series of vinyl or CDs?
Mike: Yes, MOVEMENT RECORDS in Jakarta, Indonesia will be releasing a 3 CD set in the near future.
ThrashHead: The comp was released on March 1st, what has the reaction been like?
Mike: In 13 days we have sold roughly 150 copies. Hopefully through increased promotion (people posting links, zines offering free/discounted ad space, websites etc) we will sell a lot more. The more we sell, the more people we can help.
ThrashHead: Any last words for people reading this?
Mike: If you are a punk, now is the time to stand up for your lifestyle. Now is the time to show international, global support for your punk brothers and sisters. Talk - Action = 0.