Through ticket sales and donations on the night, €500 was raised, which will be donated to provide vital resources to communities in need after the devastating earthquake earlier this year.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Syria and Turkey earlier this year, and has so far left nearly 60,000 people dead, and over 120,000 injured. While recovery efforts in Turkey have been largely successful, the same efforts in Syria have been hamstrung by the ongoing conflict and sanctions in the region.
Even before the devastating earthquake, Syria had already been going through a severe humanitarian crisis since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.
According to Human Rights Watch, over 90 per cent of Syrians live below the poverty line, with at least 15 million – out of over 22 million – requiring humanitarian aid in order to meet their basic needs.
In 1979, the United States imposed sanctions on Syria after designating it a state-sponser of terrorism. Since 2011, the US government has intensified this by banning assistance to the state, as well as banning all trade with the exception of food and medicine. This was supposedly done in response to the crackdown on anti-government protesters by government forces.
While we are led to believe that such sanctions were put in place to punish the Assad regime, it has become clear that they have posed no threat to the current leadership in Syria and have just led to the cruel suffering of Syrian citizens long before the devastation of the earthquake.
Due to the sanctions, it has become normal for Syrians to be deprived of vital resources such as cooking oil, electricity and materials to rebuild damaged facilities.
Despite claims from the US and European Union that the sanctions have no effect on the humanitarian aid being distributed to Syria, the reality is completely different. They have delayed any effort being brought to the Syrian people due to travel restrictions, increased difficulties in accessing essential goods and crippled economic activity in the state.
It is this particularly dire situation, which has been exacerbated by the earthquake that led the CYM, as well as its international affiliated organisation, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, to take action.
The Connolly Youth Movement stands in solidarity with all those affected by the inhumane sanctions imposed by the US and their imperialist regime. A special thanks to the bands who performed, and to all those who attended and showed support.