Fall Gig in Camden Picketed Over Bands Upcoming Israel Performance



On Tuesday night activists from Camden Palestine Solidarity Campaign, ISM London and Artists Against Apartheid gathered Fall picketoutside the Electric Ballroom in Camden to protest The Fall’s decision to breach an international boycott by performing in Israel. Around a dozen protesters held placards and distributed leaflets calling on fans to ask the group to cancel their scheduled appearance in January. In the cold weather, protesters received warm support from Fall fans and passers-by. Many fans expressed surprise and disappointment at the group’s decision to breach the boycott.

In April 2004 Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups called for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel in response to Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and its policies of racial segregation and discrimination against Palestinians. Since its launch, the campaign has received widespread praise and international support, being compared by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to the campaign of international boycotts which helped bring down the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

The Manchester band are scheduled to play Tel Aviv on 20th January 2011, and have, as yet, not responded to pressure from fans to observe the cultural boycott and cancel the gig. Protesters say that by playing breaching the boycott and playing Tel Aviv, the Fall would be endorsing the Israeli system of racial discrimination and Apartheid, even if they don’t mean too.  Restrictions on movement mean that Palestinians from nearby towns in the occupied West Bank would be unable to travel to the concert, while residents of adjacent Israeli settlements would have free access via a network of Israeli -only roads that link the illegal settlements to Israel.

The protest came the same day that Tindersticks announced their withdrawal from its scheduled performance in Tel Aviv following pressure from fans. Their announcement is the latest in a string of cancellations by high profile acts responding to the growing international movement for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel. Elvis Costello, Gorillaz and Gill Scott Heron are among the artists who have cancelled appearances in the last 12 months.

If you would like to write to The Fall to ask them not to play Tel Aviv, they can be contacted at thefall@hotmail.co.uk or through their management at songs@mindermusic.com. Join the Facebook group: The Fall: Please don’t play for Apartheid Israel