An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people have gathered at Odenplan in Stockholm for the demonstration, according to a police officer on site. The procession went to Gustav Adolfs Torg where the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has its office.
In the procession, several Palestinian flags were seen and the demonstrators chanted several slogans for Palestine.
Many had pictures of watermelons – a symbol of Palestinian struggle, and from the back of a car the demonstrators were urged to try to coup watermelons into the Melodifestivalen‘s TV broadcasts again, as two activists did last week. Per Hussein, who is involved in arranging the demonstration, says:
“The watermelon is a symbol of freedom and justice. The only people who would oppose such a symbol are those who stand against freedom and justice, and I don’t see why anyone would want to do that.”
Several of the demonstrators carried placards with messages about Israel’s Eurovision participation. Protester Lubna al Sheikhly said:
“Everyone agreed that Russia should not be involved. Now, after the deaths of 30,000 children, Israel is allowed to participate. This is not right.”
EBU: Israel’s public service broadcaster does not break the rules
The Eurovision organizer EBU‘s position is that the music competition is not between countries, but between public service broadcasters and that Israel‘s companies have not violated the contest rules.
There have been calls to ban Israel from Eurovision 2024, like 1000 Swedish musicians that signed today a petition to the EBU against Israel outside NRK right during the first two weeks of MGP. In Iceland, more than 500 artists signed a petition asking RÚV to withdraw from the contest, while Silvia Night signed an open letter to the EBU asking to ban Israel. In Finland, 1300 artists signed a petition asking for Israel to be removed. The British representative Olly Alexander has also shared in public his opinion against Israel. Also just recently Montaigne signed an open letter to the EBU asking the ban of Israel from the contest and Ben Dolic joined her by doing the same.
Photo: Peter Wixtröm/Aftonbladet
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