With Donald Trump becoming president, numerous organizations have found themselves at risk of losing their federal funding. One of those is Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides affordable health services for women while becoming a target of the Republicans due to the party’s pro-life stance. In Providence, people are doing something about the inevitable cutting off of funds this Saturday (January 28) at Firehouse 13. While all of the proceeds are going to the cause, it’s also a stacked bill of punk and metal.
“The 2016 election results sparked a lot of emotion among my friends and family,” benefit organizer Jim Rhodes tells Vanyaland. I watched people close to me be upset and fearful of the future. I watched people across the country protesting and voicing their opinions of our new commander in chief who is backed by a Congress that is ruled by Republicans. There is a real threat being presented and changes that will affect our community in a negative way are coming. I would like to stand up to this, as I believe that real change must start from the bottom up. I believe one of the most detrimental changes that is coming is pulling national funding from Planned Parenthood.”
Rhodes continues: “They are a non-profit that depends on funding from donations and local, state, and federal government. They provide essential and beneficial services to our mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, friends, and the women in our community. As someone who is active in the music community, as a supporter and as a participant, planning this event was the best possible contribution I could offer. This is not only for financial support but also a display of what our community is capable of. When I brought this idea to John Difruscio and Windsong Hadley at Firehouse 13, who are staples of our local art and music community, they were onboard.”
“I reached out to some bands that are friends of mine and they agreed this was a great idea,” Rhodes says. “When I posted for more bands the outpouring of support was overwhelming. We will also have people selling records and CD’s, t-shirts and stickers with all proceeds going to this event. I was contacted by other people who wanted to offer assistance which led to the bake sale that will be happening. The more this grew, the more support that was offered. I am grateful for everyone involved, all the support that has been given, and all the time that people have invested. Every bit counts and this event will show where we stand as a community. Together.”
There’s going to be a lot of energy being resonated around Firehouse 13 this Saturday and people are probably going to get a bit emotional. If you’re not fully educated on the reasons why this benefit for Planned Parenthood is happening, go to the show and strike a conversation with someone about it. In these uncertain times people have been mobilizing and organizing and attending a show like this one is a fantastic first step.