[Boycott - Cultural]
Palestine protesters set to demonstrate at Leeds Johnny Rotten gig
John Baron, The Guardian
20 July 2010
Former Sex Pistols frontman faces protest from Leeds Palestine Solidarity Campaign over planned Tel Aviv gig
John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten
Pro-Palestine protesters are set to demonstrate outside a Johnny Rotten gig in Leeds on Friday.
Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon - aka Rotten - along with his group Public Image Limited are playing the Leeds leg of a European tour at the 02 Academy in Leeds city centre.
But members of the Leeds Palestine Solidarity Campaign are set to gather outside the concert to protest against his decision to perform in Israel in August. They've promised the performer a "lively and engaging picket" when he arrives at the gig.
A spokesperson for the Leeds Palestine Solidarity Campaign said:
"Come on Johnny, don't make a rotten decision, don't play Israel! We're calling on your fans to tell you loud and clear – don't support Israel. Cancel your Tel Aviv gig and heed the Palestinian call for boycott."
Protesters will be gathered from 7pm in front of the O2 Academy in Cookridge Street.
The spokesperson said the action forms part of a growing international campaign seeking to dissuade artists from performing in Israel in protest against Israeli policy against Palestinians.
"Leeds as a city has considerable involvement with the ongoing Palestinian quest for justice," the spokesperson added. "These include peace campaigners, trade unionists, faith groups and students - including many who've visited the Occupied Palestinian Territories on eg olive picking and football tours, as well as those fundraising and supporting humanitarian aid missions to Gaza via road and sea convoys."
Artists who have this year already cancelled performances in Israel include Carlos Santana, The Pixies, The Klaxons, The Gorillaz, Gil Scott-Heron and Elvis Costello.
A Facebook page calling for Lydon's boycott of Israel has hundreds of members.
Lydon has already hit back and vowed to perform in Israel. He said: "Of course there's all kind of politics going on down there. But there is just about all over the world. You cannot separate yourself from your audience because of political powers that be."
Similar actions are being planned across the country at upcoming Lydon gigs.
John Lydon - Racist remarks
John Lydon's racism against Arabs and Muslims, and his support for Israel was evident in a recent interview he gave Guy Adams for a profile in the Independent:
Another Palestinian home demolished..
I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they're [Palestinians] treated.
As we're about to say our goodbyes, he pulls a sheaf of faxes out of his pocket. They are complaints, e-mailed to his manager, John "Rambo" Stevens, who lives in Arkansas, complaining that PiL will shortly be performing in Israel. One, from a fan called Lawrence Casin, declares: "I will destroy all my albums and paraphernalia that I have collected over the years if you bastards play that hell hole."
Most musicians, particularly those who have been around for 30 years, wouldn't let hate mail upset them. They probably wouldn't even read it. But John's anger is genuine. He wants me to record it, for posterity. "I really resent the presumption that I'm going there to play to right-wing Nazi jews," he tells me. "If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him. But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they're treated."
Johnny Rotten - 'Don't call me a national treasure'
by Guy Adams, The Independent 17 July 2010
Open Letter to John Lydon from Gaza: ‘Rise’ against the Racism
18 July 2010
Dear John Lydon,
We are academics and students from Gaza representing more than 10 academic institutions therein. Our parents and grandparents are refugees who were expelled from their homes by the nascent Israeli army in the 1948 Nakba. We have since lived in the ghetto of the Gaza Strip refugee camps, like the more than 6 million Palestinian refugees all round the world. They still have their keys locked up in their closets and will pass them on to their children. UN resolution 194 guarantees our right to return our villages. Many of us have lost our fathers, some of us have lost our mothers, and some of us lost both in the last Israeli aggression against civilians in Gaza.
In recent times we have been living in what has come to be a festering sore on humanity’s conscience—the brutal, hermetic, medieval siege that Israel is perpetrating against us, the 1.5 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. We urge you to respond to the call of an unprecedented coalition of Palestinian grassroots groups, trade unions and NGOs who in 2005 asked the world to boycott apartheid Israel until it complies with international law. We call up on you to join the other artists of conscience who have said enough is enough, by refusing to perform on the main stage of the Heineken Music Conference Festival in Tel-Aviv in Israel on August 31st 2010.
In the 1980s, you like many other artists responded to the call from the anti-apartheid campaign to reject South African Apartheid and with Public Image Limited you recorded the song, ‘Rise’ against the ugly racism and torture faced by the blacks of South Africa. Israel, the other Western affiliated regime which exercises the same racism, land dispossession and murderous atrocities, is still going strong today, receiving more support from Western Governments than that was enjoyed by the South African Regime in the 50s and 60s. Israel’s policy of occupation, colonization and apartheid has been condemned by Anti-Apartheid heroes such as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils—amongst others—who have described Israel’s ongoing oppression of Palestinians as ‘worse than Apartheid.’
You have said on a BBC interview, ‘You cannot separate yourself from the audience because of political powers that be’. But like other bands you drew the line on Apartheid South Africa. We are now asking you to do the same with Israel, to respond where governments have failed to a country that has been rewarded even more than the South African Apartheid regime despite its continuing oppression based on racism and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people.
Even Apartheid South Africa did not bombard civilian areas with white phosphorous and dime bombs killing more than 1400 people in 3 weeks over the new year of 2009, including 434 children, leaving 17000 houses, schools and hospitals severely damaged or destroyed. Judge Richard Goldstone, a name you must be familiar with, called this “a war crime and crime against humanity.”
As anti-apartheid activists used to say, supported by conscientious people all over the world, there was no negotiation with the brutal racist regime of South Africa. As with Israel , it has become apparent that the normal avenues to seek justice and human rights have failed and, therefore, we are left with one option: BOYCOTT. You must also be familiar with wise words of Archbishop Desmund Tutu: “if you choose to be neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
We hope that once again you will choose to stand on the right side of history and maintain the pressure already set by an increasing number of musicians refusing to perform in Israel until Palestinians get the same human rights and dignity as anybody else would expect.
You are a great man of words, of that we have no doubt. But we think you would agree, too, that actions speak louder than words. Please do not perform in the Sun City of the Middle East.
The Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
University Teachers’ Association in Palestine (UTAP)
The campaign to convince John Lydon not to perform in Israel is at the following facebook page:
It already has around 800 members.
John Lydon Tour Dates
- each venue will see a protest
more details: www.johnlydon.com/tourdates.html
Johnny Rotten will be performing at the following venues(right) in the UK in the coming days.
Each performance will be met with a protest. For details of each protest, see the facebook page (above) and your local Palestine Solidarity group.
We can win, remember Gill Heron cancelled his Israel trip mid-concert when he encountered protests at his London concert.
Rotten row kicks off in Bristol
19 July 2010
Johnny Rotten's gig in Bristol on Tuesday 20th July is his first outside London at the start of his tour. This is the chance for Bristol to set the agenda for the rest of the UK. Join us on the Peace vigil on the Centre 5-6pm or meet 6.30 pm onwards outside the O2 Academy Frogmore Street, (off the Centre) BS1 5NA
Former Sex Pistols frontman, Johnny Rotten is on a European Tour culminating with a headline appearance in Tel Aviv.
Palestine campaigners are appalled and are planning to picket his concerts. But Johnny (Lydon) Rotten has hit back. Reported in the Jewish Chronicle and other Israeli media he says “he will not give in to his critics”
Artists who have already cancelled gigs in Israel include:-
Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, The Klaxons, The Gorillas, and Gil Scott-Heron. Dustin Hoffman & Meg Ryan are boycotting the Israeli film festival. Last week rock legends Pink Floyd reunited for a Palestine benefit concert.
Let's tell Johnny which side he should be on! We say cancel this gig now - Don’t support Apartheid Israel
Email your opposition to
Johnny’s website: email@example.com
His agent: firstname.lastname@example.org
His company: email@example.com
Bristol protest called against Johnny Rotten gig
Editor, Bristol 24-7
20 July 2010
Protesters are being urged to join a march in Bristol tonight against a gig fronted by former Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten.
The gig at the O2 Academy is the first in a series outside of London for Public Image Ltd – including John Lydon, Lu Edmonds, Bruce Smith and Scott Firth.
It is the band’s first tour in 17 years, but the European Tour culminates with a headline appearance in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv on August 31.
Palestine campaigners say they are appalled and are planning to picket his concerts.
In a post on local website Bristol Indymedia, Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign wrote: “This is the chance for Bristol to set the agenda for the rest of the UK. Join us on the Peace vigil on the Centre 5-6pm or meet 6.30 pm onwards outside the O2 Academy Frogmore Street.
“Let’s tell Johnny which side he should be on! We say cancel this gig now – Don’t support Apartheid Israel.”
Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has vowed to perform in Israel despite the campaign, revealing in a radio interview he had received hate mail.
The controversial star said he would not give in, calling the idea that playing in Israel was “some kind of political faux pas,” ignorant.
Activists have also rounded on singer Joan Armatrading after she played in Tel Aviv in June.
They said she has lined “her pockets with blood money” and called on fans to demonstrate at her tour dates this summer.
Also Of Interest
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