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[Boycott - Cultural]

London Protest Urges Baaba Maal to Cancel Apartheid Israel Performance And Respect Palestinian Call For Cultural Boycott


inminds
4 September 2016



On 3rd September 2016 Inminds human rights group protested outside the Africa Utopia festival at the Southbank Centre to ask renowned Senegalese musician Baaba Maal to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his scheduled performance this month at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival in East Jerusalem, a city that is under illegal Israeli military occupation since 1967.















In April 2004 Palestinian civil society called for a cultural boycott of Israel, for artists to respect this call and not perform in Israel.

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Baaba Maal is the 'Global Ambassador' for the humanitarian charity Oxfam, he is coming to London to talk about human rights activism and the arts, so its incomprehensible that such a principled artist is willing to act as a fig leaf for a racist, apartheid regime founded on the ethnic cleansing of an indigenous people and the forced colonisation of their land. We are here to remind Baaba Maal who he is, and his responsibility towards the oppressed. When the oppressed call for a boycott of the oppressor we must heed their call if we are to keep our humanity!"

Baaba Maal is scheduled to perform at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival in occupied East Jerusalem on 20th September 2016. In previous years African musicians like Salif Keita (2013) and Aziza Brahim (2015) have respected the boycott call and cancelled their performance in the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival. So far Baaba Maal has ignored all calls to boycott the festival, his tour manager Julian Hickman has refused to acknowledge any comparison with the global solidarity effort that helped end apartheid in South Africa and said that Baaba Maal will never “take sides”.

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Since 1967 over 2000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in East Jerusalem at gun point by the Israeli army, the stolen land given to European colonists, leaving only 11% of East Jerusalem for Palestinians to live in. Its a city where you can witness ethnic cleansing every single day. Just today (31st Aug 2016) three Palestinian homes were demolished in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sur Baher and Silwan. How can any artist with a shred of decency step over the rubble of these indigenous people's demolished homes to entertain the occupier and then claim he isn't taking sides? We ask Baada Maal to heed the words of another son of Africa, Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said 'If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor'."

The protest was very successful with every single person we encountered supporting our position and those who knew of Baaba Maal shocked and disappointed by his decision. Over 600 leaflets were given out both inside and outside the festival. Many people going inside the festival asked if they could hold our placards, banners and flags to take selfies.

Several speeches were made on the PA system urging Baaba Maal to reconsider his decision. Security for the Africa Utopia festival tried unsuccessfully to ban use of the PA system saying it would disturb resident in a block of flats some half a kilometre away! Then they tried and failed to put a 15minute limit on the duration of the protest!

Activists urged Baaba Maal to not ignore the calls of the oppressed Palestinians, to not let his legacy be one of siding with colonialism, of appeasing oppressors and ignoring the oppressed. That it was not too late for him to stand on the right side of history with the oppressed people of Palestine by cancelling his gig in Israel.

Whilst the protest was in full flow outside, Baaba Maal was asked inside the Africa Utopia festival by host Gary Young, Editor-at-large of The Guardian, about why he chose to breach the boycott and perform in Israel to which his reply suggested he was still considering both points of view as to whether to go or not. When asked to clarify he declined to say any more.


VIDEO - London protest: Baaba Maal cancel apartheid Israel performance

























SPEECH - APARTHEID


We are here today outside the Africa Utopia festival at the Southbank Centre to ask renowned Senegalese musician Baaba Maal to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his scheduled performance in Jerusalem on 20th September 2016.

As an advocate of human rights, as Oxfam’s 'Global Ambassador', Baaba Maal should understand that Israel is a racist, apartheid state founded on the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people and the forced colonisation of their land.

South African anti-apartheid leader Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said:

"I know firsthand that Israel has created an apartheid reality within its borders and through its occupation. The parallels to my own beloved South Africa are painfully stark indeed..

I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.

In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.

The same issues of inequality and injustice today motivate the divestment movement trying to end Israel's decades long occupation of Palestinian territory and the unfair and prejudicial treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them.

Those who turn a blind eye to injustice actually perpetuate injustice. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

It doesn't matter where we worship or live. We are members of one family, the human family, God's family..”

When the Cape Town Opera was scheduled to perform in Israel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu reprimanded them saying “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”

We urge Baaba Maal to reconsider his trip, and not entertain apartheid Israel.

Baaba Maal let not your legacy be one of appeasing a racist apartheid regime!

Make a principled stand to reject apartheid Israel, and join the hundreds of other artists, to stand on the right side of history with the oppressed people of Palestine.

Free Palestine!





















SPEECH - EAST JERUSALEM


We are here today outside the Africa Utopia festival at the Southbank Centre to ask renowned Senegalese musician Baaba Maal to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his scheduled performance at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival in occupied East Jerusalem on 20th September 2016.

East Jerusalem is a Palestinian city under brutal Israel military occupation. Since 1967, over 2000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in East Jerusalem at gun point by the Israeli army. Their land has been stolen and given over to European colonists, leaving only 11% of East Jerusalem for Palestinians to live in.

It’s a city where you can witness ethnic cleansing every single day. Just a few days ago on 31st August 2016 we heard three more Palestinian homes were demolished in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sur Baher and Silwan.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that so far this year Israel has already demolished 726 Palestinian homes, schools and other buildings in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem rendering 1,020 Palestinians homeless.

How can a principled artist like Baaba Maal just step over the rubble of these demolished homes of indigenous Palestinian people to entertain the occupying colonialist Israeli regime?

In previous years African musicians like Salif Keita and Aziza Brahim have respected the boycott call and cancelled their performance in the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival.

Baaba Maal we urge you not to ignore the calls of the oppressed Palestinians.

Baaba Maal let not your legacy be one of siding with colonialism, of appeasing oppressors and ignoring the oppressed.

Baaba Maal, its not too late, today take that step and stand on the right side of history with the oppressed people of Palestine.

Free Palestine!











































 

RESOURCES




*Please note performance date on leaflet is wrong, it should be 20th Sept 2016










Source: www.inminds.com


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