At September 29's Punx in Solidarity!: From Denver to Standing Rock, the music will be fierce. The art will be bold. The food will be delicious. And the money raised will fund Native resistance.
As the DIY artists, chefs and musicians organizing the event tell it, they're far less important than the struggle over an oil pipeline between a corporation and Sioux warriors ten hours away in North Dakota. If raising money for local and national indigenous struggles is how Denver's punk community can show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, that's what they're going to do.
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At the Four Directions March earlier this month, non-native punk allies approached local Native American leaders and offered to throw a benefit show to raise money that indigenous leaders could spend on Standing Rock or local struggles. The resulting show was dubbed Punx in Solidarity!: From Denver to Standing Rock, a title that quickly lost relevance as a boat of not-so-punk musicians and hip-hop acts crowded the lineup. More than a dozen artists offered to auction off their work, and grassroots chefs promised to cook up gourmet grub.
Organizer Sam Dreskin, who's visited the Standing Rock encampment, says the show represents a turnaround in the Denver DIY music scene, where women, people of color, and queer and gender-nonconforming people have taken on more lead roles in bands over the past couple of years. Most of the acts that will perform tomorrow are led by such activists, he notes, and they're all committed to solidarity with indigenous struggles. “My hope is that whoever unites around this benefit in Denver understands this is about something bigger,” Dreskin says. “It’s about total liberation.”
Musicians performing include Jayden Trujillo, FUJI, Velvet Horns, Mala Mente, Barbed Wire and Thank You. Among the artists whose work will be auctioned off are Dreskin, Connor Grosh, Tessonica, Strange Dirt, Kit Ramsey, Marisa Pushee, Dre Mendoza, Mario Zoots, Alvino Salcedo, Staci Helms, Rio, Caleb Hahne, Scotty Zaletel and Ironwood.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 29, at the Four Winds American Indian Council, 205 West Fifth Avenue, with entertainment at 7 p.m.; admission runs between $10 and $20. For more information, go to the event’s Facebook page. Four Winds is also hosting a community update on the action at Standing Rock at 7 p.m. tonight.