March 09, 2009
A group of anti-Israel activists who disrupted a concert by the Jerusalem String Quartet in Scotland last August have been charged by a Scottish court with racially aggravated harassment.
At a the performance, in Edinburgh's Queen Hall on August 29, four members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) - a radical offshoot of the London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign fringe group - interrupted the concert by shouting abuse at the musicians and audience.
It was claimed that the activists caused distress to both the orchestra and members of the audience.
The protesters had originally been charged with disturbing the peace, but at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday those charges were dropped in favor of the more serious charge of "racially motivated conduct."
I'd be perfectly happy seeing these people slapped with the original charge of disturbing the peace, but when you add a charge like this, well, there goes freedom of speech. Of course, this is the UK we're talking about, so that ship has pretty much sailed.
By the way, none of this is to say that the protesters aren't probably utter anti-Semitic assholes. Take a look at some of their other antics:
In December, the SPSC fabricated a story that a number of Scottish companies and institutions had terminated contracts with an Israeli mineral water supplier. The allegations proved unfounded. In January, the group staged a Holocaust Memorial Day event with a Hamas representative.Charming, no?
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