Since Israel won Eurovision last May there have been countless protests against this year’s host country. And now the protests have reached Denmark.
When the 49th edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix kicks off tonight in Herning, Eurovision fans outside Boxen Arena will be met by demonstrators who want Denmark to withdraw from this year’s Eurovision in Israel.
The organisations behind the planned demonstration are “Boykot Israel DK”, “Palæstina Aktion”, “Socialistisk Ungdomsfront” and “International Forum” and their aim is to pressure national broadcaster DR to give up on Denmark’s Eurovision participation.
“We will encourage people to put pressure on DR and the participating singers to cancel their participation in Eurovision. Denmark shouldn’t be part of whitewashing apartheid”, the organisations write on their website ungdomsfront.dk.
The organisations are working for a general boycott of Israel.
Similar protests have taken place outside of other national finals, and most have failed to generate buzz. Last night in Germany, for instance, a small camper van was parked outside of the TV studio where fans entered. It played a provocative “anti-apartheid” song encouraging Germany to stay out of Eurovision. But fans happily entered the studio anyway.
DR: We will participate
Denmark’s Eurovision boss Jan Lagermand Lundme says that the organisations are welcome to demonstrate, but at the same time he underlines that DR has no intention of pulling Denmark from the contest just because it takes place in Israel.
“For me it’s incredibly important to keep things separate. The EBU is a non-political organisation and the Eurovision Song Contest is not political either. And that is how it should remain. The rules are that if you win then you are the host the year after”, he says to DR’s Grand Prix site.
The organisations have made a Facebook event, and at the time of writing there were 16 confirmed participants and 28 listed as “interested”.
Dansk Melodi Grand Prix can be streamed live tonight at 20:00 local time. Watch it here