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Palestine Solidarity Campaign respond to decision to cancel Eurovision party

Politics / Mon 13th May 2024 at 07:58am

ON Sunday, we published a story in which Harlow Pride explained why their cancelled their Eurovision party.

As the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) were referenced, we are now issuing their statement/right to reply.

A spokesperson said: “Israel is committing a Genocide against the Palestinian people which has claimed the lives of nearly 35,000 people the vast majority women and children.

We have witnessed myriad war crimes including civilians being shot whilst waving white flags, the murder of journalists, aid workers and medical staff and recently discovered mass graves revealing evidence of torture.

In the midst of this genocide the Eurovision organisers were called out for their hypocrisy. Russia was swiftly banned from the competition following their invasion of Ukraine and yet Israel is allowed to participate.

When the organisers refused to expel Israel protests erupted and a campaign to boycott Eurovision was built.

As part of this campaign venues across the country cancelled their watch parties. For example, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a leading LGBTQ+ venue in London, announced it was calling off its planned Eurovision party, saying: “We stand with all victims of violence on the ground in Gaza and call for an immediate ceasefire.”

Whether in defiance or ignorance of this background, Harlow Pride made the decision to arrange a Eurovision watch party in Harlow.

In response to this a Harlow resident started a petition calling for the event to be cancelled in keeping with the proud tradition of other LGBTQ+ organisers who have shown solidarity with the victims of this ongoing genocide.

The petition was well written, measured and can be seen as nothing other than a form of peaceful campaigning.

It was also successful and we learned last night that Harlow Pride had agreed to cancel the event.

Unfortunately, this is where the real bullying began. A group of Harlow councillors joining with local media have whipped up a storm targeting the young woman who drafted the petition.

They claimed that the event was cancelled for “the safety and well being of attendees” due to “cowardly intimidation”. The petition is on our page and is in writing. It is quite clear that these are nothing other than dishonest smears.

It was especially disappointing to see that the same Harlow Councillors involved in this witch hunt against one of their constituents are the same who have failed to show any leadership in challenging this genocide.

Most disappointing is the dishonest suggestion that this petition was an attack on the LGBTQ+ community. This is politically irresponsible as it aims to pit different oppressed groups against each other. LGBTQ+ activists have played a leading role in challenging the genocide in Gaza and the hypocrisy of Eurovision. We resist any attempts to attach their struggle with the crimes of Israel. The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights is far too important to be undermined by an irresponsible smear campaign.

But despite the attacks we will continue to campaign against this genocide.

As much as the dishonest smears and bullying are hard to take, it’s nothing compared to what the Palestinian people have endured. And whatever we feel now would feel much worse if we were silent in the face of this genocide. We won’t let the bullies win.

We will leave you with the words from the petition itself:

“We firmly believe that freedom should be universal – “WE WILL ONLY BE FREE WHEN WE ARE ALL FREE!!””

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3 Comments for Palestine Solidarity Campaign respond to decision to cancel Eurovision party:

David Forman
2024-05-13 08:59:56

The key paragraph for me is: "It was especially disappointing to see that the same Harlow (Labour) Councillors involved in this witch hunt against one of their constituents are the same who have failed to show any leadership in challenging this genocide." My words in brackets as this clarification is made earlier in the statement.

David Forman
2024-05-13 09:14:22

Sorry, should have said "NOT made earlier in the statement".

Boris
2024-05-13 09:19:23

This statement gives the impression that Israel has attacked Gaza in an entirely unprovoked way. There is no mention of Hamas or the atrocities they comitted. In 1939 we went to war and many lost their lives but survivors and future generations were free to criticise. Does this freedom extend to Palestinians, I doubt it. What is happening in Israel is horrendous but Hamas/Iran are the majority partners. They have the power to put people first but they dont appear to have any inclination to do so.