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SALFORD BOYCOTT ISRAELI DANCE PROTEST AT THE LOWRY
 

Star date: 4th November 2012

PROTEST AT LOWRY BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY PERFORMANCES

Don't Dance With Israeli Apartheid campaigners held a noisy demonstration outside The Lowry on Friday and Saturday night, protesting about the Israeli state using culture to gain credibility, while it oppresses Palestinians.

Report and photos here…


Salford Boycott Israeli Dance Protest at The Lowry Salford Boycott Israeli Dance Protest at The Lowry Salford Boycott Israeli Dance Protest at The Lowry
Salford Boycott Israeli Dance Protest at The Lowry Salford Boycott Israeli Dance Protest at The Lowry
click image to enlarge

Protesters from the Don't Dance With Israeli Apartheid campaign picketed performances by Batsheva Dance Company at The Lowry on Friday and Saturday night, shouting "Your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood"...

"It's not that we're against Israeli dancers, what we are against is any Israeli artists that are funded by the Israeli state in order to make the Israeli state look as though they are a good state, that they're democratic and so on" Norma Turner of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign told the crowd of around fifty protesters last night.

"It disguises the fact that they are occupying Palestine, that they are breeching human rights all the time, that the Palestinians are suffering undue and unnecessary hardship under the Israelis" she added "And meanwhile, people are watching them dance and think that Israel is a wonderful place. So this is a really necessary cultural boycott…this is the only way we can peacefully attack the Israeli state."

The Batshiva Dance Company performance was part of the 'Brand Israel' initiative. The company is funded jointly by Israel's Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Municipality of Tel Aviv. Touring support is provided by the Department of Cultural and Scientific Relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Police erected two 'pens' outside The Lowry on Friday night, intending to herd protesters well away from entrance but they refused to go into the 'Hillsborough style' pens. Extra private security guards set up a check point, and only those with tickets were allowed into The Lowry. Its restaurant and bars were not accessible to the public for the nights.

According to a protester who got thrown out of the show on Saturday, the theatre was half empty. And Terry Gallogly, who has organised No2BrandIsrael demonstrations outside every Batshiva performance, argues that the tour has been a flop.

"In Edinburgh only 450 seats were sold at the 1,900 capacity venue" he says "They closed the upper gallery. In Bradford 180 seats were occupied in the stalls which hold 540. So far it has been a disastrous tour for the company. Everywhere they show their faces we will be there protesting. The Batshiva Dance Company is part of an attempt to re-brand Israel. They have not succeeded."

Allegations that the protests were 'anti-semitic' were dismissed. Linda Clair, who has been central to the Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign for decades is Jewish.

"We had tickets, and intended to go inside, but they threw us out before we even got in" she says "We have been promised a refund. It was a shame as I had a Palestinian flag hidden in my knickers."

The Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition supported the Salford protest. Convener Mark Krantz is also Jewish.

"This is not about religion, we are protesting here because of the actions of the Israeli state that continues its illegal occupation of stolen Palestinian land, and brutally oppresses the Palestinian people" he says "Not a single Zionist turned up to support 'Brand Israel'"

See the YouTube video of the protest – click here

Just a bloke who was there wrote
at 17:04:45 on 08 November 2012
I was at the Lowry on both nights, and I must say the protesters(...all 40 of them) were very well behaved. A few were thrown out of the theatre for trying to disrupt the show, but even they were reasonably polite. The whole protest episode was handled very well by the security team, and I think the audience on both nights probably laughed the whole disruption thing off. well done to the dancers, the protesters, and the staff (and extra security) of the Lowry, for making it as painless as possible.
 
Alana Terego wrote
at 19:30:37 on 06 November 2012
Sorry, but Israel cannot use police violence to disrupt Palestinian cultural life (never mind white phosphorous on civilains) and expect to be treated as a normal country. Batsheva an every Israeli state-funded group will be protested outside and inside everywhere. Stop the crime and then you can expect to be welcomed. See you in Bradford tonight and tomorrow. See http://goo.gl/1cxZh & http://goo.gl/ojApM
 
Pia wrote
at 16:00:05 on 06 November 2012
I was at the protest against the Batsheva Dance Company, last Friday and Saturday night. My impression of the audience entering the Lowry was that it was overwhelmingly Jewish (and middle aged/elderly); there were few large groups of young dancers and dance students who usually attend modern dance performances. I assume, from that, that the audience was attending, mainly, for ideological reason-to support the state of Israel. The protesters were highlighting the implications of their decisions-in indirectly supporting the discrimination, oppression, ghettoisation and land hunger of Palestinians. I also find it strange that supporters of the Israeli state (like the tickets holders who shouted at me on Saturday night) make a direct comparison between Israel and the Taliban, the Assad regime in Syria etc. Are these the ethical standards that they seek for the state of Israel?
 
wrote
at 19:05:59 on 05 November 2012
Like it or not, the right to protest is one of the few rights left to the people of this country. Sometimes its uncomfortable when you shine a light in dark corners you dont always like whats hiding there! Labour MEPs condemn trade upgrade with Israel - 24/10/2012 www.eurolabour.org.uk
 
h hampson wrote
at 12:43:12 on 05 November 2012
I attended the dance performance on Saturday night . The 2 protestors were swiftly dealt with by the lowry staff. Its a pity that the demonstrators JUST HAVE A BLIND HATE OF EVERYTHING ISRAELI. perhaps they should look at what is happening in Syria Iraq libya where Arabs themselves have murdered 1000s of their own citizens . perhaps if Arabs in Gaza stopped sending 7000 rockets a year into Israel they might receive more sympathetic hearing of their cause .
 
Joe Godden wrote
at 04:03:13 on 05 November 2012
I attended the Batsheva dance on Saturday night. It was disturbing to be shouted at that "I have blood on my hands" by attending the event. Since then I have been researching about Batsheva and the arguements for and against the protest. I conclude three things a) what is happening in Palestine is indeed awful - we know that anyway b) that the dances challenged prejudice, bigotory and hate c) why is it Israel that is singled out for protest, what about Russia, China, the Congo etc. My overall conclusions is that stoking up hatred and fear - which is what some of the protestors were doing isn't the answer. Why not take the approach of Windows for Peace, which encourages dialogue between Palestinians and Jews. Hatred never solved anything.
 
Kelly wrote
at 17:42:41 on 04 November 2012
I was at the show on Friday night. The stalls were mostly and the circle from what I could see from my seat were quite full although the upper circle was closed off. The show was very good. There was one interruption that was dealt with swiftly. The whole audience began clapping and cheering to drown out the protester who was swiftly removed from the theatre. I think anyone who has seen the show cannot argue that the dancers are very talented. It's just a shame that people are being put off going because of the protests.
 
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