Harlow Pride cancel Eurovision celebration event after members felt intimidated following petition and threats to picket event

News / Sun 12th May 2024 at 07:27am

A EUROVISION Song Contest party hosted by Harlow Pride was cancelled after members felt “threatened” following a campaign to get the event cancelled.

The event was set to take place at Phoenix Live in The Harvey Centre on Saturday evening.

However, a petition started by Rachel Gray and promoted by the Harlow Palestine Solidarity Campaign called for the event to be canceled.

The petition stated: “If Harlow and West Essex Pride refuse to cancel their event, we then call upon Phoenix Lounge to do so on their behalf. If they fail to comply, we will work towards boycotting the venue as a form of peaceful protest against their decision”.

A spokesperson for Harlow Pride said: “Sadly we were forced to cancel our Eurovision Song Contest Party at Phoenix Live after Harlow Palestine Solidarity Campaign chose to target our group, its members and supporters because of the inclusion of Israel in the contest.

“Harlow Pride is a non political group that strives to be inclusive and supportive of all people. Many of our members and supporters who were looking forward to attending the event were left feeling anxious, bullied, intimidated and threatened by the hostile language used in the petition against our event.

The safety and well-being of our team, venue staff and attendees is paramount, we could not allow them to be exposed to such cowardly intimidation. Whatever your political affiliation there is no justification for such behaviour.

“There is no Pride in bullying. Shame on them”.

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39 Comments for Harlow Pride cancel Eurovision celebration event after members felt intimidated following petition and threats to picket event:

2024-05-12 07:37:20

Why give in to the bullies

2024-05-12 07:52:35

Really smart aren’t they this Harlow Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Feel that a country/state is oppressing people then it goes and intimidates anyone and any thing that has absolutely nothing to do with Isreal thus oppressing people. A local event has got absolutely nothing to do with the war in Gaza, and yet here they are. Just an excuse to make trouble and they cannot see they are just as bad if not worse. Making threats?! How utterly disgusting, supposed to be against war not making more of it. Idiots. Whatever your opinion on the war it should stay just that, an opinion, not targeting people with threats, maybe it’s time the police got involved. What is wrong with people these days?

2024-05-12 07:53:40

All these protesters that are not Palestinians, I wonder as they protest against Israel . Does that mean they celebrate Hamas and what they did on October 7th.

2024-05-12 08:02:38

Who the hell is Rachel Gray, and what gives her the right to dictate what events go on in our town?! How does bullying the organisers of this event actually benefit her cause anyway. She should mind her sticky beak, and focus on things that actually make a difference and not ruining something positive in our town that makes people feel included.

2024-05-12 08:04:33

No one supports war, no one supports the death of one innocent child in conflict yet governments are prepared to let it happen. Harlow Palestine Campaign undermine their own position by attacking a group that's had more than it's share of repression and blind hate. Pride have no power to influence Eurovision that isn't itself political and aims to bring people together. Harlow Palestine could have campaigned to persuade people not to tune into Eurovision if they had argued their case rather than implying the disruption of the Harlow Pride event better still given the vast numbers in favour of a ceasefire, Harlow Palestine could have put up candidates in the local elections to make a powerful statement in the political arena where it actually counts. It was political decisions over 75 years ago in response to terrorism that created the situation and it's politicians that need to be brought to account. Innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives have been lost because the UK and it's allies made bad decisions after ww2 and politicians only make changes when we the people express our collective will at the ballot box.

Michael Szpakowski
2024-05-12 08:35:01

The response from the leaders of Harlow Pride, sadly, is thoroughly dishonest. Unfortunately for them the petition is still online so anyone can read it and see that there is *no* threat to picket anywhere in it and the whole thing is written in careful and moderate language. All over the country watch parties were cancelled yesterday because the organisers couldn't bear to endorse an event used by Israel to improve its image even as more bombs rained down on a terrified, captive, population in Rafah adding to the total of 35,000 people , mostly women and children, so far killed there. Harlow Pride were on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of morality and it's good they finally saw the light and cancelled. It's a shame they did it with such bad and dishonest grace.

Zina Abdullatif
2024-05-12 08:49:06

Wow Harlow Pride you have definitely messed up with your dishonest statement. Harlow PSC are a peaceful charity and there is totally no bored to say you felt threatened. I support the LGBTQ+ community and I support Palestine so for me this is so disappointing to read. Peace and Love is what we want not starting untrue facts. #Shameonyouharlowpride

2024-05-12 09:08:56

Rather than waste your energy taking lumps out of each other and getting distracted, both groups would do well to join together on the key issues of stopping the war, getting humanitarian aid in, releasing prisoners and hostages, stopping the supply of arms to both sides, and creating a two state solution: key issues that very likely both groups would support. Divided we fall united we stand.

2024-05-12 09:09:47

Shame you gave into the bullies 😒 Rachel Gray can bog off!! And jog on!!😳

2024-05-12 09:27:43

Pathetic bullying by the Jew haters

David Forman
2024-05-12 10:39:47

The FACTS need some attention here. The petition I just read does NOT contain any wording that any sensible person could construe as bullying or intimidation. I understand the disappointment of the Pride group, but to twist the narrative into a false allegation is disgraceful. I wonder if the Pride statement was written by Labour councillor James Griggs as he set up the Pride group? If so, maybe he would like to own up and stand by his smear tactics.

Andrew S
2024-05-12 11:34:21

Maybe it would make sense to include a link to the petition in the article so that people can judge for themselves whether it was intimidatory rather than listen to the narrative of either side in this ‘discussion’ https://www.change.org/p/cancel-the-euro-vision-watch-party-at-phoenix-lounge-in-solidarity?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR1I9vSIhYQNFsQwmvKN6qgXk_rg2mWfuZnBZ4BJzK4mKhEOiUS00kzwA3k_aem_AWn1EebEpMIVF4GNabfhcgPr2c6zK_xu8VB-vJaig6XpDzqka_PRIcoHZkrcMHALkP_WM3cp7S4tGkrLOsgS9VMF

2024-05-12 11:40:40

A misguided petition at the least. I'd use stronger words. Who are Phoenix Live? In their own words; 'Phoenix Live is set up to bring more diversity and culture to the town, offering great nights of entertainment from live music, unplugged sessions, cabaret, burlesque, comedy and variety, Phoenix Live strives to bring everyone together from all cultures, backgrounds and walks of life. Working with local groups and community projects we aim to bring to Harlow a space in which everyone can enjoy. From Relaxed Discos, Dementia Discos, LGBTQ+ Nights and many more events that bring diversity and equality to the town.' Why not get behind a non-political local enterprise, helping the community. What on God's earth does cancelling the Harlow Pride Event help with the Israeli/Hamas war? Pathetic.

2024-05-12 11:42:53

The left eating the left delightful

Dr Robert Macdonald
2024-05-12 12:04:23

Delighted to hear this particular event was cancelled... The LGBT Community is generally a very open diverse and supportive group of people. If anything I would have thought they would understand the reasoning of this petition at this particular time... Quite frankly there have some idiotic comments on this timeline. Let me mind people 15000 murdered, babies & children and over thirty five thousand Palestinians in total. Please understand this as an act of solidarity. Will it make a difference in the wider picture no course not but it's a moral issue and one of values. No doubt we can all get back together in a year's time.But for this year be proud that you have done the right thing, and stood in solidarity against ethnic cleansing and possible Genocide...

David Forman
2024-05-12 12:28:02

For clarity about the issue of Israel's inclusion in Eurovision 2024 it is worth examining the European Broadcasting Union's (EBU) statements, which include: "Comparisons between wars and conflicts are complex and difficult and, as a non-political media organization, not ours to make. In the case of Russia, the Russian broadcasters themselves were suspended from the EBU due to their persistent breaches of membership obligations and the violation of public service values." It added: "The relationship between KAN and the Israeli Government is fundamentally different to the relationship that exists between those Russian Members and the State, with the Israeli Government in recent years threatening to close down the broadcaster." On the question of protest it said: "The EBU is a firm advocate for freedom of speech and the right for people to express their deeply held views and opinions. We understand that people may wish to make their voices heard and support the right of those who wish to demonstrate peacefully." See the EBU statements in a FAQ at https://eurovision.tv/mediacentre/frequently-asked-questions-israel-24

David Forman
2024-05-12 12:37:37

My previous comment shows the EBU did not have a valid reason under EBU rules to exclude Israel. It is important to remember that the Israeli entry had to rewrite its original lyrics due to an overt reference to the October 7th Hamas attack using the words "October Rain". This violated EBU rules and Israel's President Isaac Herzog encouraged the participants to change the lyrics. See Israeli media outlet Haaretz at: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2024-03-03/ty-article/.premium/israels-eurovision-lyrics-to-be-revised-at-the-behest-of-president-herzog/0000018e-03b1-da4e-adbf-83b9c49c0000

2024-05-12 12:39:09

The people least concerned about the deaths in Palestine appear to be Hamas. We also never see pictures of Palestinians (in Palestine) protesting about the war . Is this because they actually support Hamas? Or does that lovely organisation that so many people appear to endorse actually prevent such protests. During the Northern Ireland "troubles" women lead the peace protests, why is this not happening in Palestine?

Dr Bob Quackdonald
2024-05-12 13:26:59

Dr Robert Macdonald - so in this case should any Chinese events in Harlow be canceled due to the treatment of the Uighers? Do any of your clothes or appliances have Chinese labels? If your answer to those is no and yes then you are a huge hypocrite - as all of these pro-palestine types tend to be.

Anthony Crawford
2024-05-12 13:30:57

I would like to thank the organisers of Harlow Pride for illustrating the kind of projection the Israeli state has modelled. Whilst the Israeli state engages in crimes against humanity, it seeks to smear those who raise opposing voices "antisemitic". Harlow pride looks to celebrate with this same appalling regime and seeks to smear those who raised their voice in protest, with accusations of "bullying" and "intimidation". Absolute cringe. The celebration of a programme which seeks to promote a regime currently committing crimes against humanity is a gross expression of moral vacuity. The unwarranted allegations it levels at those who raise their voice against this, provides opportunity to highlight the murderous barbarity of the state they celebrate. A few basic facts: There have been more than 500 expressions of genocidal intention by dozens of Israeli Govt officials and military personnel against the Palestinian people, of which Netanyahu's Amalek reference- in which God commanded Israel to wipe from the face of the earth - is probably the most well known. ntent has been followed by hideous activity: 35000 dead - not counting those unknown remaining under the rubble. More than 60% of Gaza buildings destroyed. Almost every hospital significantly damaged with most destroyed and more than 8000 Health service staff murdered At least 3 mass graves found near hospitals, some victims with hands tied behind backs. All Universities destroyed Most schools destroyed Major roads destroyed to obstruct support services and humanitarian aid. Humanitarian workers targeted for murder More than 100 journalists targeted for murder. The whole population now held captive, under siege with the option to starve or leave. And you cry about being "bullied" and "intimidated" by a petition that is clearly measured and reasoned? Try to show some self-respect.

2024-05-12 13:35:22

And let me remind you Dr Robert Mcdonald . What started this latest fight with Hamas Do you think it's right that Hamas wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

Anthony Crawford
2024-05-12 13:43:00

Correction to my previous statement above. The numbers of Health workers murdered by the Israeli state should read: "more than 800" - not 8000. This was a typo. The actual number of Health workers murdered is 813. Together with the other appalling crimes against humanity listed above,, consider this: 813 HEALTH WORKERS MURDERED. And you wanna party with those who did this? Not a good look.

Jack Gilbert
2024-05-12 14:02:44

Why does Your Harlow take don’t comments that don’t fit the narrative?

Cowards your harlow
2024-05-12 14:08:18

I stand with Isreal

Wendy jane
2024-05-12 14:11:45

I am sick of hearing about the Palestinian and Israel conflict. I live in England born here I'm happy with our ways and values the conflict should not be happening here if you want to protest about another country go out there and do it. I for 1 don't want any of it here my country and the true people that have our values is all I care about 1st

Barry onowles
2024-05-12 14:23:40

YourHarlow is antisemitic

2024-05-12 15:46:47

Dr Robert Macdonald, why limit your statistics to the time since 07 October? What about the thousands of people Hamas have killed previous to 07 October? You can't kill an ideology, but Israel are right to go to war against Hamas and other terrorist organisations hell bent on wiping Israel off the face of the earth. I feel for each Palestinian death as I do each Israeli death. War is horrible, with innocent people on both sides killed, but Israel's actions are preventing untold deaths. Hamas could always release their hostages, lay down their arms, and step aside for democracy to flourish. There would be no more Palestinian deaths. For the record, I believe a two state solution is the only chance of peace, but even that hasn't happened with Ireland. Anyone who thinks Northern Ireland is living happily ever after after The Good Friday Agreement is mistaken, but that's another debate.

Guy Flegman
2024-05-12 16:42:18

This kinda tells you all you need to know. https://israelpalestinetimeline.org/

2024-05-12 17:05:29

That poor Israeli has been attacked because of pro Palestinian Hamas lovers! She is in tears

Chris taylor
2024-05-12 19:14:42

Well done Rachel Gray and Harlow Palestine Solidarity Campaign for targeting a minority pride event... shame on you. You campaign has done nothing but ruin a pride event. I also note Harlow Pride said they felt threatened by the comments within petition... they never stated they were actually threatened..... get it right.

2024-05-12 21:03:22

Why do we have people in Harlow that actively support the terrorist organisation Hamas, furthermore how are these people allowed to bully and intimidate.

Someone who disagrees with you
2024-05-12 23:46:04

I'd like to see someone down here provide solid evidence for the absence of political motives in Eurovision this year. Fail to ban a country that's committing A GENOCIDE ACCORDING TO THE ICJ yet wastes no time banning Russia. Eurocentric as always just like everyone else.

Someone who agrees with you
2024-05-13 05:56:44

Someone who disagrees with you - the ICJ did not rule that Israel are committing genocide. Read the ruling. So while you would like to see solid evidence of absence of motives yourself, you’ve cited something completely wrong 🫣

anthony G
2024-05-13 06:04:14

It’s true the Hamas Pro Palestinian group don’t like the gays…. QUEERS FOR PALESTINE

Garry Martin
2024-05-13 10:42:29

Israeli didn’t invade a country! Isreal was invaded and attacked how can you compare Isreal with Russia???

David Forman
2024-05-13 12:41:55

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign right of reply is interesting. However, I wonder if the Editor Michael Casey will display good editorial standards by giving it equal prominence. By that I mean making it a pinned post so that it appears at the top of articles when bringing up YourHarlow. This 'equal prominence' in right to reply has long been sought as the 'gold standard' since the Younger Committee in 1972. The Committee on Privacy was appointed in 1970 by the Home Secretary, the Lord Chancellor and the Scottish Secretary and was chaired by the Rt. Hon. Kenneth Younger; it reported on 12 July 1972 (Cmnd. 5012). More up to date, the Press Gazette reported on a submission to the Levinson Inquiry. Quote: "In “serious cases” the reply should be given the same prominence as the original article, James Curran, chairman of the Co-ordinating Committee for Media Reform, told the inquiry in a written statement." See Press Gazette at https://pressgazette.co.uk/publishers/nationals/public-should-have-statutory-right-of-reply-leveson-told/

2024-05-13 14:05:00

What is wrong with the stupid people in the county, are we not able to go about our daily lives anymore?? If you want to protest, fine! Go and stand outside 10 Downing Street, stop ruining things for other people you stupid pathetic lowlifes!!

2024-05-13 14:56:48

Bit homophobic of the Palestine group to target a small pride organisation rather than.. I don't know.. the government?? If you want to parade around for your cause why would you target a small unrelated organisation? If you want to actually change something go protest at Parliament. The cowards would never though. It's all for appearances. Spewing anti-LGBT hate under the guise of activism.

Tony Andrews
2024-05-13 19:37:47

I think this is hilarious, lefties attacking lefties you couldn’t make it up 🤣