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Amnesty International

By Olivia Kolasinski

Photo credit: Leeds University Amnesty International

On Thursday evening, the University’s Amnesty International society pulled off their third “Jamazon” event, an incredible night featuring live music from a variety of local musicians at Belgrave Music Hall. The event was held in order to raise money for Amnesty International and WWF. The society also sold T shirts, featuring the logo of an independent group of volunteers, the Alter de Chao, based in Alter de Chao, Parà, formed by the Militar Fire Department, Civil Defence and Municipal Environment Secretariat, who fight to protect the Amazon rainforest and the people who inhabit it. WWF do a lot of work in the Amazon, and with 2019 seeing an 83% increase in the number of fires in the Amazon from the previous year, it is essential now more than ever to protect and conserve this area. These fires were most likely caused by farmers clearing forest to make space for growing crops, or smallholders burning stubble after harvest. Either way, at a time when we need billions more trees to absorb carbon dioxide and provide some stability to our declining climate, these figures are particularly alarming. Therefore, it is important to support causes, like WWF who are actively trying to make a difference and save the rainforest, and the Alter de Chao, who use money donated to them to buy equipment and offer quality training to the volunteers.

As for the actual event, Thursday Forever (or former Amnesty International society president, George Taylor), kicked off the night with a superb set, followed by Himehabu, a 5-part band who incorporated elements of jazz, ambient soul and old school psych rock and who got the crowd dancing. They were closely followed by Zilah, a jazz/indie band who again pulled off an amazing performance. The night even featured a performance from Amnesty society’s own president; Gigi St. John who performed a beautiful song alongside James Doyle and the Sign Language society. The headliners of the night, Sgt. Lindenbaum delivered a dazzling performance, even adding in an extra improvisation at the end to settle the crowd’s calls for an encore. Sandwiched between every performance was a set by talented DJ Xennex, a resident DJ at Grim up North who has also performed at Lost in Leeds and Leeds fest.

With an exceptional turnout, it’s no wonder the society were able to beat their target from last year of £1,100 by 10pm, raising a grand total of £1,335, £135 of which was from selling their Amnes-tee shirts (featuring the Alter de Chao brigade).

The society would like to extend a special thanks to everyone who bought a ticket, the performers and to Belgrave for allowing them to use their space for free, which meant that more money was able to be donated to the brigade.

To find out more about the Alter de Chao brigade, visit their website:

If you are interested in listening to some of the music performed, check out the links to the bands below:

To find out more about Amnesty International society and get involved with their upcoming events, follow their instagram: