FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At the start of Radiohead world tour fans urge band to respect Palestinian boycott call
Miami, Florida - March 29 2017 - English rock band Radiohead will launch their world tour at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Thursday March 30.
Anti-apartheid fans are calling on the band to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel their 19 July show in Tel Aviv, in respect for the 2004 cultural boycott appeal by Palestinian artists - inspired by a similar international mobilisation against apartheid in South Africa - asking artists not to perform in Israel until it respects the human rights of Palestinians.
Radiohead fan Seamus O’Brolchain says: “Radiohead have always been a politically active band and Thom Yorke has campaigned on human rights issues for years, so many fans are shocked that they have chosen to break the boycott. The Tel Aviv concert venue is built on the site of a Palestinian village which was wiped off the map in 1948 so they will literally be dancing on Palestinian graves. We hope they will change their minds.”
In March 2017 the United Nations published a report describing the situation imposed by Israel as “apartheid” and backing the cultural boycott as an effective tool to achieve Palestinian rights. A number of public figures have joined the calls for Radiohead to rethink the gig including author Alice Walker and film director Ken Loach.
Said Gloria Stay, member of campaign group Radiohead Fans for Palestine: “Radiohead have a track record of listening to their fans and we hope they will pay attention to our calls. They should respect the Palestinian call for a boycott and be on the right side of history.”
Radiohead Fans for Palestine (RF4P) say, Israel will use their performance to improve its image and distract attention from its intolerable oppression of Palestinians. Radiohead will help give human rights abuses a veneer of normality. If Radiohead decide to press ahead with their Tel Aviv show, the band should expect vocal public appeals during their upcoming tour, from Miami to Oxford, reflecting the widespread worldwide dismay at Radiohead booking apartheid. RF4P hope Radiohead will be inspired by fans’ letters to the band and will cancel their Tel Aviv performance.
Notes to Editors:
- The UN report ‘Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid’ was published in March 2017 and can be accessed here: https://www.alaraby.co.
- Radiohead have previously played in Israel but not since before the call for a boycott by Palestinian civil society in 2005
- Ken Loach tweeted to Thom Yorke about the injustices in Palestine on 28th March 2017 in response to a tweet from Yorke. The tweet can be found here: https://twitter.com/KenL
- Selection of the fans’ letters are published at: http://radioheaddontplayis
Radiohead Fans for Palestine