Chicago activists protest “Brand Israel” Batsheva Dance Company

Chicago Palestine solidarity activists made their voices heard on Saturday, March 17, during a protest of the opening night of Batsheva Dance Company’s two-night performance at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theater. […]

Chicago Palestine solidarity activists made their voices heard on Saturday, March 17, during a protest of the opening night of Batsheva Dance Company’s two-night performance at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theater.

Chants included “All your dancing can’t erase! Apartheid’s ugly face!” and in a tribute to St. Patrick’s Day, “Occupation is a crime! From Ireland to Palestine!”

Protesters carried picket signs reading “No art for apartheid’s sake” and “Don’t buy brand I$rael.”

The action was part of a national campaign to boycott Batsheva, which is sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an effort to use cultural production to whitewash Israeli war crimes, occupation and apartheid. Batsheva has been protested throughout its North American tour.

Inspired by activists in the Bay Area, protesters distributed a mock program to concert attendees, highlighting the Brand Israel campaign and Israel’s apartheid policies.

Protesters also distributed a comic flyer about the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. The majority of those taking flyers understood and supported the comparison between the BDS movement against apartheid South Africa and the current academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Reinforced by our “program” describing Batsheva’s funding by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, event goers were very surprised that the troupe was funded as a “Brand Israel” campaign by the Israeli government.

Because of the protest, the performance started much later than scheduled, as security thoroughly went through attendees’ possessions, apparently fearing that the event would be disrupted.

View this release on our website: ://psgchicago.​org/?p=602

The action was co-sponsored by:

Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago www.psgchicago.org – info@psgchicago.org
Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights www.goo.gl/PSW5Z – chicagompr@gmail.com
USPCN-Chicago www.facebook.​com/groups/USPCN.Chicago/ – uspcn@uspcn.org
Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago 
www.jvpchicago.org – www.jvpchicago.org/contact