Proms performance by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra disrupted

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Monday, September 5, 2011

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006.
Image: Yeugene.

Protesters affiliated with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign disrupted a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday evening as part of The Proms concert season. The disruption forced the BBC to cut short a live broadcast of the orchestra playing Bruch's violin concerto. 30 people were removed from the auditorium but no arrests were made.

The BBC made a statement regarding the disruption: "We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, tonight’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air."

Outside the concert hall, around twenty people protested with banners. According to comments on a Facebook page linked to by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, there was a planned "Zionist counter-demonstration". The same Facebook page also has a comment posted at 4:12pm giving advice for attendees:

They can't gag you, so you can still shout and interrupt it! [...] Just co-ordinate yourselves, but do not rely on texts etc because they will most likely block mobile communications. Maybe set watches or reminders in phones to the same times, then you are at least prepared when one of you jump up to interrupt, and then the chorus of you can join in! Get the external protesters to wriggle their way to staff/back stage entrances as hungry fans! Wear a load of Christian crosses and start [sic] of davids....and/or women cover your hair 'jewish style' with long veil bandanas etc.

The disruption follows a failed attempt by activists to prevent the performance from happening in the first place.


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