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In support of Palestine, English musicians boycott festivals financed by Barclays Bank

“As artists, our music is for sale but not our humanity, nor our moral sense.

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In support of Palestine, English musicians boycott festivals financed by Barclays Bank

“As artists, our music is for sale but not our humanity, nor our moral sense.” The group Massive Attack has added its voice to the call for a boycott of the Great Escape music festival by signing an open letter denouncing the holding of the demonstration against a backdrop of controversy concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The event has taken place in Brighton since 2006, over four days, and brings together more than five hundred artists from England and the rest of the world each year. This year a quarter of the participants are missing. All denounce the financial support of Barclays Bank for the demonstration while it “invests in arms companies in Israel”, reports The Guardian.

On the eve of the opening of the festival, Tuesday May 14, more than a hundred artists had already canceled their performances at the call of the Boycott Barclays group. Among the missed meetings, the one with Javis Cocker, British singer and radio host; the event has disappeared from the official Great Escape website. Alfie Templeman, who was also scheduled to perform, explains that his “moral sense” is incompatible with such a “mixture of spectacle and human suffering”.

According to one of the spokespersons for the boycott movement, “Barclays finances the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and then launders its reputation by associating itself with music festivals like the Great Escape. As musicians, we think it’s despicable.”

For its part, the management of Barclays defends itself by ensuring that it is neither a “shareholder” nor an “investor” in the companies denounced. The bank has also scheduled “a question and answer session during the company's annual general meeting concerning its relations with Israeli arms companies,” reports The Guardian.

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