By The Punka Team
We love strong women at Punka and we love dancing to their music, too – expect to hear everything from Garbage to Grace Jones, Bikini Kill to Bananarama and M.I.A. to Metric at our first night on 20th October at the Queenshilling. Punka was formed over a love of women fronted music and we wanted to put our money where our mouth is to ensure that everyone is free from gender-based violence, harassment and abuse at the night. The organisers of Punka decided early on that we wanted Punka to have a community spirit and support underrepresented or marginalised voices in the local area, which is why for our first Punka we’re raising money for ACTUP Bristol.
It was recently announced that services in Bristol supporting those newly diagnosed HIV+ were to be cut by 100% and this is where ACTUP Bristol was born from. Although anyone with an interest in queer history will be aware of ACTUP and their protest and direct action in the 80s and 90s, demanding access to pharmaceuticals that could save lives of people who were suffering from AIDS related illnesses during the epidemic. We want to make sure Bristol City Council understands that the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS is still great to a newly diagnosed individual and that cutting all funding can endanger lives in myriad ways.
Punka are really pleased to be signing the Bristol Zero Tolerance pledge and look forward to writing an action plan and hope to encourage more organisations to sign up in the future because gender-based abuse, harassment or violence are unacceptable and we will not stand for it in our city.