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Criminalising solidarity; 'racism' case thrown out
1st May 2010
A legal attempt to stifle solidarity action with Palestine through boycott fails in Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Five members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign were accused of "racism" after disrupting a concert by Israel's cultural ambassadors, the Jerusalem Quartet. Sheriff James Scott ruled the protest was “clearly directed at the State of Israel, the Israeli Army, and Israeli Army musicians”, and not targeted at “citizens of Israel” per se. “The procurator fiscal’s attempts to squeeze malice and ill will out of the agreed facts were rather strained”, he said.
“And if persons on a public march designed to protest against and publicise alleged crimes committed by a state and its army are afraid to name that state for fear of being charged with racially aggravated behaviour, it would render worthless their Article 10(1) rights. Presumably their placards would have to read, ‘Genocide in an unspecified state in the Middle East’; ‘Boycott an unspecified state in the Middle East’ etc
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