Thousands be a part of Gaza struggle protest towards Israel’s Eurovision participation | EUROtoday

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg joined hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Eurovision 2024 host metropolis Malmo on Thursday to protest Israel’s participation within the tune contest forward of this 12 months’s second semi-final.

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Some 100,000 guests have gathered within the southern Swedish metropolis for the annual kitsch-fest, which is happening amid protests and boycotts over the Israeli navy marketing campaign in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault on Israel.

“Young people are leading the way and showing the world how we should react to this,” Thunberg, 21, stated, wrapped in a keffiyeh, the normal scarf that has change into a logo for Palestinian resistance.

Metal barricades and huge concrete blocks have been put up round Malmo Arena, which is internet hosting the competitors.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a rally in Malmo in protest against Israel's Eurovision participation on May 9, 2024.
Swedish local weather activist Greta Thunberg attends a rally in Malmo in protest towards Israel’s Eurovision participation on May 9, 2024. © Johan Nilsson, AFP

Police are guarding the venue and guests must cross via steel detectors earlier than getting into the world. Bags are being checked and guests are solely allowed to usher in small purses.

Israeli contestant Eden Golan, 20, will carry out her tune “Hurricane” within the second semi-final afterward Thursday.

A big crowd of protesters gathered on Malmo’s central sq. Stortorget, some 7 kilometres (4.35 miles) from the competitors venue, waiving Palestinian flags and shouting “boycott Israel”.

Swedish authorities have heightened safety and are bracing for potential unrest, and there was a big police presence within the sq., stay footage confirmed.

Protester Kasia Wiatrowska, from Malmo, wore a inexperienced T-shirt with the phrases “Libre Palestine” on the again.

“I do like Eurovision,” Wiatrowska stated. “We all love music. But this year music is dividing people, and I don’t like that,” she added.

‘Hypocrisy and double requirements’

Police estimate that about 5,000 folks attended the demonstration.

“Overall, it’s calm, we’ve turned away a few people,” a police spokesperson advised Reuters.

Another protester, Palestinian Amar, who solely gave one identify, stated: “I’m here today because I see the hypocrisy and double standards around the world.”

“We are against what’s happening in Gaza right now. But I also want people to understand that we don’t hate Jews,” he added.

A professional-Israel demonstration can be scheduled for Thursday at 1600 GMT.

There is excessive safety across the delegations from all of the international locations, in line with Malmo police. “We’re keeping a bit of an extra eye on Israel of course, because of the situation,” Lotta Svensson, a police incident commander, advised Reuters on Sunday.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the occasion, has resisted requires Israel to be excluded however requested the nation to change the lyrics of its authentic tune “October Rain”, which appeared to reference the Hamas assault.

Israeli contestant Golan says she hopes her efficiency will assist to unite folks.

“It’s a super important moment for us, especially this year,” she advised Reuters in an interview this week. “I feel honoured to have the opportunity to be the voice of my country.”

Thursday’s semi-final is because of start at 1900 GMT and also will characteristic contestants from Malta, Albania, Greece, the Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Armenia, Latvia, San Marino, Georgia, Belgium, Estonia and Norway.