Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Jerusalem Quartet Concert at London’s Wigmore Hall is Disrupted & Radio 3’s Live Broadcast is Terminated

I have a confession to make. I nearly didn’t make it. Yesterday I put my watch and car clock forward but forgot to do so for my mobile and radio alarm! Result was that I got up an hour later than intended! Fortunately I managed to get the next train to Victoria and despite further loss of time as I was (twice) misdirected, I got there only 10 minutes late.

There of course is London’s Wigmore Hall, home to the more discerning of nature’s liberals. Except that scratch a liberal and you will often find an angry conservative!

Jointly organised by members of Brighton PSC and J-Big (Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods) we ensured that the performance by the Jerusalem Quartet, the Israeli Army’s faithful musicians, didn’t go unchallenged.

Because in Scotland a similar protest in Edinburgh has resulted in 5 protestors being bizarrely charged with racism (it’s either anti-semitism or a non-existent Israeli nationality!) it was important that this protest included a Jewish contingent.

Along with an irate old lady who wanted to gain immediate entrance, despite being late, I was kept waiting for a pause in the proceedings. Fortunately our very own opera singer, Debbie Fink of J-Big, decided that she would try and enliven what was frankly a pretty dismal and boring performance by Israel’s finest. As her voice rose in harmony with the vultures on stage it seemed that at first people thought it was part of the show. However Debbie soon received a red card which quite fortunately enabled me to gain my entrance, apologising of course for my late arrival and any disruption that that might cause.

Having gained my seat, the Quartet quickly decided to resume playing. After rehearsing what I was going to say, I stood up after about 5 minutes later and proceeded to tell the JQ that they were the cultural ambassadors of Apartheid Israel and its Army whom they perform for.

Now I confess I don’t claim to understand those who pay to come and listen to musicians with blood on their hands. But then I don’t understand why Wagner was what he was. However I always thought that listening to classical music made you more not less peaceful. Instead as I began to contribute to the concert’s proceedings people began to get animated and started hitting me with their programmes! Not that I was hurt and nor did it distract me from the message I was getting across but it illustrates the Zionist mentality. Security however was quickly off the mark and I was, well not dragged but escorted off the premises, with one of the heavies shouting ‘fuck off’ at my back, to which I could but reply that that wasn’t very nice! The Police quickly entered but to my consternation and amazement did nothing. Given what had happened in Scotland I expected to be arrested. Instead I was merely thrown out into the street.

The next two to be evicted were members of Brighton PSC and the final evictee an activist in ISM. As we were gathering at a nearby café, a member of the audience came over to us to congratulate us on our protest which made us even more pleased. And when we learnt that the live broadcast by Radio 3 (which included Debbie’s initial operatic rendition) had been terminated we were even more over the moon.

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