Pro-Palestine activists protest outside BBC in call for Eurovision boycott

Campaigners have protested outside the BBC’s headquarters in London to call for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The protest, which was called by the LGTBQ+ solidarity group Queers For Palestine, as well as Fossil Free Pride, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and London For A Free Palestine, included drag performances, speeches and Palestinian music.

Queers For Palestine said they were “calling on the BBC and the UK’s Eurovision contestant Olly Alexander to boycott this year’s song contest in solidarity with Palestinians”.

It comes a month after the LGTBQ+ solidarity group circulated a letter signed by actors Indya Moore and Maxine Peake calling for UK entrant Alexander, 33, to stop participating.

The Brit Awards 2024 – Arrivals – London
UK entrant Olly Alexander attends the Brit Awards 2024 (Ian West/PA)

In March, Alexander, Irish hopeful Bambie Thug, Danish entrant Saba and other Eurovision artists released a joint statement, backing “an immediate and lasting ceasefire” but refusing to boycott the event.

That same month, Israel unveiled its new entry as Hurricane, performed by singer Eden Golan.

Her original track, October Rain, had caused controversy as the lyrics were thought to reference the Hamas attacks of October 7 and it was changed following the backlash.

The annual song contest, which took place in Liverpool last year, will be broadcast on the BBC when the final occurs on Saturday May 11.

Last year, Sweden won the contest with the song Tattoo by Swedish singer Loreen, with Eurovision 2024 due to take place in Malmo.

Before his performance at the song contest, Alexander, who is known for being the lead singer of Years And Years, will surprise the residents of Albert Square when he makes a guest appearance on BBC soap EastEnders.

The BBC and Alexander have been approached for comment.