Why won’t the Royal Albert Hall complain to the police about the 1st September protests?

The only flag not welcome at the Royal Albert Hall.

The only flag not welcome at the Royal Albert Hall.

Why is the Royal Albert Hall being so reticent in reporting to the police the crime of aggravated trespass allegedly committed by the anti-Israel protesters who disrupted a performance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra on 1st September?

Without this there is no possibility of a prosecution.

Yet, Section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 states:

A person commits the offence of aggravated trespass if he trespasses on land [F1...in the open air]… and, in relation to any lawful activity which persons are engaging in or are about to engage in on that or adjoining land [F2...in the open air]… , does there anything which is intended by him to have the effect—.
(a)of intimidating those persons or any of them so as to deter them or any of them from engaging in that activity,.
(b)of obstructing that activity, or.
(c)of disrupting that activity.

Note: “in the open air” has since been removed.

The police are claiming that the anti-Israel protesters were not trespassing or treated as trespassers, because they bought tickets and were not told by RAH security that they were trespassing at the time they forced out.

But, surely they became trespassers as soon as they were asked to leave and refused to do so and had to be forcibly removed. It is all there in the footage.

Additionally, the case law seems to support the notion that a person who is permitted to enter property for one purpose is a trespasser if he enters it for a different purpose.

And judging by the blogs of the anti-Israel protesters they knew they would not be allowed in if the staff on the door knew their true intentions:

“We were promised enhanced security, bag searches etc. but this was all bluff. My bag search was cursory, there were no spotter cards of disruptors and I had no difficulty whatsoever getting to my seat!” states one of the protesters on his blog.

“Unknown to the Proms organisers, the protesters had bought over 40 tickets in a variety of locations in the Royal Albert Hall, including boxes,” states the general press release of the protesters.

Most of the anti-Israel protesters have been identified and the support of the Royal Albert Hall is essential so the police can put the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service who would then decide whether to take the matter to trial or not.

Four anti-Israel activists were recently convicted of aggravated trespass in similar circumstances when they entered the Ahava shop in Covent Garden, lay down on the floor and refused to move. The sole difference being that it was impossible for Ahava’s two female staff to move them out of the shop, whereas at the Royal Albert Hall the protesters were eventually forced out by security.

Surely, the Royal Albert Hall has a duty to report an alleged crime where one might have been committed, otherwise what is the point of this legislation?

Then there are the many people who paid exorbitant amounts for tickets only to have their enjoyment of the event ruined by the interruptions, the blame for which lies with the Royal Albert Hall who laid on scant security checks.

Will the RAH be giving refunds?

It was lucky that something worse did not occur on the night. Someone with more hostile intentions could easily have brought in a knife and run amok with it. There were no scanners and only my bag was searched.

Meanwhile, the police and Community Security Trust were stationed outside the RAH!

In fact apart from removing the anti-Israel activists the only other time RAH security was engaged was to remove someone holding up an Israeli flag on the night, while at the Last Night of the Proms last night hundreds of other flags were waved and Lang Lang, the Chinese pianist, played undisturbed despite China’s appalling human rights record.

The latter is proof, if any were needed, that many anti-Israel activists are motivated more by their own anti-Semitism than the defence of human rights.

Feel free to write to the The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP or use the form http://www.royalalberthall.com/contact/default.aspx

You can ask for a refund if you were at the concert and also ask that the RAH consider taking action against the anti-Israel protesters.

Alternatively, you can email Chris Cotton, the Chief Executive of the RAH, and ask him why the RAH is turning a blind eye to alleged criminality: chrisc@royalalberthall.com

In the meantime, enjoy the flag waving throughout last night’s rendition of Jerusalem.

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86 responses to “Why won’t the Royal Albert Hall complain to the police about the 1st September protests?

  1. Richard, I think you mean Royal Albert Hall, not Royal Opera House.

  2. Furnival Friend

    They haven’t committed an offence because they bought tickets and gained lawful entry. I’m also sure that if someone had waved an Israeli flag on the Last Night, it wouldn’t have been removed.

  3. richardmillett

    Thanks, Furnival Friend. The caselaw suggests the opposite though. And they were removed waving the Israeli flag on September 1st. What’s the difference?

  4. Furnival Friend

    The Last Night is when flags are waved, loads of them. It’s part and parcel of the very rich spectacle.
    As far as I am aware, flag waving exercises are not allowed on other nights, because these are “serious” Proms. Those PSC numpties who tried to wave banners during the IPO performance were frogmarched out.

  5. William Blake is rolling in his grave at what is happening in England’s green and pleasant land these days. It is far from his vision of harmony and brotherhood. He underestimated the power and durability of irrational bigotry and how petty and small minded the English can be. I would love to know his thoughts from beyond the grave on Israel and the parlous state of Albion today.

  6. Shock, horror! A pro-Israel commenter here attempts objectivity!

    In fact apart from removing the anti-Israel activists the only other time RAH security was engaged was to remove someone holding up an Israeli flag on the night, while at the Last Night of the Proms last night hundreds of other flags were waved and Lang Lang, the Chinese pianist, played undisturbed despite China’s appalling human rights record.

    The latter is proof, if any were needed, that many anti-Israel activists are motivated more by their own anti-Semitism than the defence [sic] of human rights.

    Hardly. Had the equivalent of the IPO been playing then you could have made a weak case for your line of argumentation. A line that is rather rich coming from someone who’d defend the rights of someone else only if that someone else was either Jewish or Zionist (if you care so much about the human rights record of China, why not dedicate some time to it, huh?)

    Don’t you get tired of alleging people are antisemites, based on their opposition to Israeli foreign policies? Haven’t you understood that no one buys that anymore?

    • “Don’t you get tired of alleging people are antisemites, based on their opposition to Israeli foreign policies? Haven’t you understood that no one buys that anymore?”

      On the contrary, brainless hate-spewing toad: they are finally beginning to understand how true it is. Have a look at Harry’s Place: virtually every branch of PSC in the UK has been found to have some links to Holocaust-denying and otherwise neo-Nazi websites.
      Now crawl back under your slimy stone, you revolting toad.

  7. Just to clarify a couple of things:

    1. CST was not responsible for security inside the hall as it was a commercial event organised by the BBC/RAH, and not a Jewish community event. Security was entirely the responsibility of RAH. We were outside because of the pro-Israel demonstration, that’s all. We did warn RAH that there might be disruption.

    2. It is Community Security Trust, not Service Trust!

  8. Of course, I am unfamiliar with the law in the UK, but has anyone investigated the possibility of civil litigation by concert-goers whose right to enjoy a concert they had paid to hear was disrupted by these yobbos?

    • Great idea!

      • Maybe and even if it has no chance of success it would send the right signal.

        Chances of success I see very small because performances have a long history of audiences protesting vigorously. Here is a description of one of the most famous incidents. Of course the difference is that in those cases the protests and/or riots were about the spectacle.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rite_of_Spring#Premiere

        The premiere involved one of the most famous classical music riots in history. The intensely rhythmic score and primitive scenario and choreography shocked the audience that was accustomed to the elegant conventions of classical ballet.
        The complex music and violent dance steps depicting fertility rites first drew catcalls and whistles from the crowd. At the start, some members of the audience began to boo loudly. There were loud arguments in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work. These were soon followed by shouts and fistfights in the aisles. The unrest in the audience eventually degenerated into a riot. The Paris police arrived by intermission, but they restored only limited order. Chaos reigned for the remainder of the performance.[6] Fellow composer Camille Saint-Saëns famously stormed out of the première allegedly infuriated over the misuse of the bassoon in the ballet’s opening bars (though Stravinsky later said “I do not know who invented the story that he was present at, but soon walked out of, the premiere.”[7]) .
        Stravinsky ran backstage, where Diaghilev was turning the lights on and off in an attempt to try to calm the audience. Nijinsky stood on a chair, leaned out (far enough that Stravinsky had to grab his coat-tail), and shouted counts to the dancers, who were unable to hear the orchestra (this was challenging because Russian numbers above ten are polysyllabic, such as eighteen: vosemnadsat vs. seventeen: semnadsat).

  9. In the above video I saw two German flags and no Israeli flag …

    I hope that isn’t a message like in we tolerate blitzers but not …

  10. You’re the lawyer Richard, but I’m a little skeptical. I’d like to see that case law where a person bought tickets for an event and was allowed in, then was asked to leave and for resisting was charged with trespass, found guilty and was punished. I’d also like to know how many such complaints have been made to the police in recent years and what percentage of these have led to successful prosecutions.

    I’d also like to know what the usual punishment is for trespass. I was arrested for that crime years ago after entering Aeroflot building, in a group of about twenty young people, without permission at all and making quite a mess. To the best of my recollection, on that occasion nobody was charged at all.

    And if I’m wrong and they could successfully prosecute the trespassers,what then? If these people are monstrous Jew haters, will a reprimand from a magistrate and a small fine really deter them? Is that Anglo Jewry’s new plan to stem the tide of the spread of radical Islam and antisemitism in the UK? To set the Jewish lawyers upon them?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m on your side and I’d string them all up by their goolies if I could. It’s just these ideas sound a bit like turning Am Yisrael into the class snitch – like I said, I’m just a little skeptical.

    • what about the story of the Jewish lawyers who pulled all the right strings in order to deflate the last flotilla?

      I have no idea whether lawyers could be gainfully employed in this case or if it is better for the public to create a stink or whether it is better to let it go I just wanted to make an argument for the usefulness of lawyers (and accountants).

    • “I’d like to see that case law where a person bought tickets for an event and was allowed in, then was asked to leave and for resisting was charged with trespass, found guilty and was punished.”

      Event organisers are entitled to eject people who disrupt the event. It says so in the fine print of every event I have been to, from concerts including open-air ones to cricket matches. Those people are not entitled to resist, and if they do they can be charged with aggravated trepass. Simples.

  11. richardmillett

    So, what would you do, Daniel? Sit back and do nowt? 4 people were convicted for something similar, as i said above. The difference being that they entered a shop for which no ticket is required.

  12. Jonathan Hoffman

    For information: American flags were waved at a concert by an American orchestra at a Prom after the IPO one.

    No one has yet explained why Israeli flags were banned on 1 September at a Prom concert by the IPO.

    Great post Richard.

    • The explanation for the RAH’s consistenly craven and hypocritical behaviour is very simple: Jews are not regular people.

  13. Jonathan Hoffman

    By the way Richard *all* flags were banned on September 1st, not just Israeli ones.

    But that doesn’t make it right to exclude Israeli flags when an Israeli orchestra is playing.

  14. It seems absurd that the RAH needs to make a complaint to get these hoodlums arrested. Surely the fact that the BBC for the first time ever cancelled a live broadcast of a proms concert is evidence enough that the people who disrupted the concert purchased tickets with the intention to wreck the concert and not to enjoy the music. After all some are well known to the police who have previously detained at least two of them that I know of. They also came in disguise and carried propaganda material with them.

    So we have Ahava, the first Jewish owned shop being closed in London as a result of political activity since the second WW and now the first pulling of a live broadcast of a Jewish orchestra on the BBC ever! Are we to expect the same kind of events to lead to a second holocaust of Jews? Is this what these guys are after? And if our police don’t stop them then what?

  15. The objectionable behavior needs punishing but I doubt if trespass is the appropriate legality as the offenders had entered on tickets bought with coin of the realm in due and proper form.
    What is now necessary is to make arrangements to deprioritise and otherwise blackball Debbie Finks, the Roses annd others seeking to harm Israel now, should the anti-Zionist bonfire they are building turn into the sort of Antisemitism which caused Diaspora Jews to desperately seek sanctuaries in the 1930’s.

  16. What would I do?

    I guess I’d begin by asking myself how much harm was caused by the RAH demonstration and to whom. I wasn’t there, but I’m guessing that we have to consider the Orchestra, the audience and the image of Israel.

    Only really the latter is repairable, so then I would ask how much damage had been done to Israel’s image and to what extent charging the trespassers in question would help restore it. I would ask myself what the chances of success are and whether to fail would further tarnish Israel’s name and make heroes of the demonstrators in a similar way to the Ahava prosecutions that failed did. I’m not even sure to what extent even successful prosecutions might backfire. Being found guilty and given a light punishment can often do a lot of good for the popularity of a radical cause.

    I asked several factual questions regarding trespass, to which you have not yet replied. It would be easier to say what I would do if I had more information. I can’t make an intelligent judgment as to whether everything considered this legal avenue would do more good than harm. In the absence of solid data I’ll say again that my gut feeling is this might well be one of those cases when, “We have to do something, that’s something, let’s do it” may be a error. I could well be wrong, and making a mistake would not cause any great existential threats, but it might still be a mistake.

    Regarding what I would do, I would make sure I’m more ready for the next time. I’d seek to recruit young people from the ages of high school onwards. I would endeavor to cooperate with youth movements, young people returning from programs in Israel, as well as aiming at non-affiliated youth. It wouldn’t be done overnight and it would require planning and hard work. There would be speakers at Jewish schools and synagogues and weekends away for those interested. The plan would be to train 200-300 activists over a period of 12 months culminating in a subsidized month in Israel where they would combine touring and fun with meeting seasoned activists like Yisrael Medad and Eli Joseph on the one hand and Israeli youths involved in local political campaigns on the other.

    What would I do? I would not rule out cooperation with non-Jewish pro-Israel movements, again analyzing the potential gains and losses involved on a case by case basis. If any non-Jews, young Tony Pearces wished to join as activists I’d welcome them warmly.

    What would I do? I would then seek to go over to the offensive a look for soft anti-Israel targets to demonstrate against. Naturally, this wouldn’t involve entering Mosques or large meetings of angry Muslims. These ought to based on the principles maximum safety and maximum publicity. Press conferences and televised events are good, preferably in situations when bystanders can be relied upon to be sympathetic or at least neutral.

    Suddenly it occurs to me that when you asked me what I would do it might have been a rhetorical question. Surely not.

    • richardmillett

      Daniel, one Ahava prosecution failed and only because Ahava failed to appear in court. The other prosecutions were a success.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      • Why this talk about trespass? It was a breach of the peace.

        As to ‘repairable': a non-argument; it’s perfectly possible to sue for damages for things that are not repairable. If someone deliberately destroys an irreplaceable painting, they can be sued.

        Richard: are you the same R.M. QC described as having a broad commercial practice?

      • I mean, RAH was a breach of the peace. Ahava may have been something else?

      • richardmillett

        No, sadly.

    • Daniel

      as I see it the main damage these people have been able to do is to stop the live coverage on BBC. A huge success for them and possibly a threat realized that will make any organiser think twice before he engages other Israeli performers.

      The young activists would be wonderful, but keep in mind that the success protesters have been able to achieve recently (and still do) in Germany because they don’t like the plans for the new railway station in Stuttgart is sustained mostly by retirees. It isn’t told often because of course rebelling youth are so much more attractive, but it apparently is the case that the over 60 provided the biggest numbers. Those I have heard interviewed on radio all had voices that suggested elderly.

      For a long time now I have expected that the 68ers, once they go into retirement, they’ll want to relive their rebellious youth when they protested Vietnam, another airport runway or atomic material storage. They want that self-righteous and triumphant feeling of yelling ho ho ho tschi minh again.

      Are all those who yearn for another bit of the kind of ruckus they had so much fun with as youngsters on the anti-Israel side? maybe, but what if not, here you have people with ample time on their hand, maybe even activist experience and the money to travel wherever you send them to boost the numbers. The lunatic lefties seem to know how to make good use of them, why not imitate them for a change?

      • Hey Silke,

        I hope you didn’t read my call for the recruitment of young people as ageism. What you write about Germany is very interesting and I’d never considered the possibility of recruiting senior citizens. It may not be a bad idea at all considering how Anglo Jewry gets older year by year.

        Let me have some time to think it over.

        DM

      • There was no ageism-accusation whatsoever at the back of my mind – it is just something that I have expected to happen and with Stuttgart 21 it is apparently happening. They want to throw stones once more before the sun sets.

        Even now most of the Stuttgart 21 reporting concentrates on the young but I got one feature where they looked at the age of the participants and confirmed my suspicion, the majority is retired.

        My hope that many amongst them are willing to swim against the current PC-river is slim but who knows.

        Once I read that Israel somewhere runs a program of lengthy working with them stays at the Kibbutz for the retired. The pictures looked like only Americans participated but the text suggested that it was open for all. Maybe the UK-Jews can get some of their more adventurous non-Jew friends interested in forgoing their next cruise in favour of something a bit more out of the ordinary.

  17. Richard,

    Look, what do I know? I’m miles away. What did those prosecutions achieve?

    • Daniel Marks
      You have said what needs to be heard. So consider this – a small group of activists is preparing to do exactly what you say – the group is called Campaign for Truth or simply C4T. There has been a lot of talk behind the scenes and it is hoped that there will soon be sufficient funding to begin this very uphill task. It is unfortunate that almost all existing Jewish groups in the UK focus on Hasbara and not on being activists. So I will keep you posted.

      Anybody genuinely interested in being part of this group can email info@campaign4truth.org

  18. I am pro-prosecution. Based on what I have read-thanks,again Richard- and what I have been told by people who were there, you would expect a prosecution if it was any other visiting orchestra. And even a light sentence marks the protestor’s card. Let’s see what Chris Cotton comes up with.

  19. I respect all your opinions including those that disagree are not mine. I have particular respect for those of activists who were there.

    If you decide to go down the prosecution path, I hope I am wrong and wish you much luck and success.

    If there is anything I can do that does not involve flying to the UK, I will do it.

    Love you all!

  20. Sharon Klaff, you are right, but is also worth noting that these thugs have done this before – with the Jerusalem String Quartet (I believe some of the individuals were the same at both concerts). A few months back, BBC radio gave up on broadcasting the concert at the Wigmore Hall because of yobbish shouting and hysterical screaming form antisemitic haters.

    Nothing happened to the thugs, and so they reappear at the RAH to do it all again. This has to stop. I urge everyone reading this to contact the RAH AND Chris Cotton the Chief Executive, as suggested by Richard, to ask why 1. The RAH won’t complain to the police – and how insulting their inaction is to Jewish people.
    2. Why an Israeli flag was banned?

  21. Of course the hypocrisy of the antisemites is evident – no problem with Communist China which occupies Tibet. Just like Lush has no problem opening shops in gender apartheid Saudi Arabia.

  22. Jonathan Hoffman

    Lok let’s get one thing straight. They CAN be prosecuted for Aggravated Trespass even though they had tickets. There is case law that says this. Becasue they intended to disrupt. The only reason the police will not recommend prosecution to the CPS uis because the Albert Hall does not want it.

    Over to you Chris Cotton.

  23. What Would You Do? Part Two

    I have to admit that during morning prayers I was quite distracted by Richard’s fascinating question, and though he has yet to reply to any of mine, I shall continue my answer.

    Regarding Silke’s suggestion that senior citizens be involved as activists, and with all due respect to the incredible Rubin Katz, who apparently is old enough to be called “a true gentleman”, I might suggest that the less youthful activists be utilized for work that involves the exploitation of their brains rather than their brawn. List should be drawn up of influential publications that should be flooded with pro-Israel letters to the editor, reflecting different styles and different personal backgrounds. Likewise, TV and radio phone-ins should be frequented as well as internet comment and reply sections.

    As far as the training of pro-Israel activists is concerned, what about recruiting 20-30 sixth-formers who after finishing school could attend a two year program in Israel which would include a three month Hebrew course and army preparation , a year of army service and a six month Hasbara and Jewish activism course? Without boring you with details, most of the infrastructure required already exists. This would be a pilot program to prepare the students, who would return to university and form a leadership vanguard.

    I spoke to a friend this morning who spent a lifetime in public service here, culminating in a job as major of Netivot, and we both agreed that this is the kind of project that the Foreign Ministry, The Jewish Agency, The WZO and the Education Corps of the IDF would be fighting to be responsible for.

    That’s the problem in asking me what I would do, Richard. Find me those 20-30 kids and I’ll do all the rest.

  24. I just happened to stumble on this:

    In July 2012, Barenboim and the orchestra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West-Eastern_Divan) will play a pivotal role at the BBC Proms, performing a cycle of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, the ninth timed to coincide with the opening of the London Olympic Games

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Barenboim#West-Eastern_Divan

    (and as far as I am concerned – Beethoven and a youth orchestra, quite a choice)

    • Barenboim is a first class fool. He has absolutely no understanding of the nature of evil…..until it’s slicing his head off or throwing him in the oven. He should stick to playing music and cut the Polyanna crapola. Just another puffed-up ego playing the do-gooder.

      • Oh I agree and ages before he became an activist I listened to a record of him playing a Mozart piano concert – so much not to my taste that I must confess to being prejudiced about him ;-)

        And that they appropriated Goethe for their stunt vexes me no end. I haven’t read that specific cycle of poems but a lot of other Goethe books and I just can’t imagine that his admiration went beyond admiration of poetry. All in all he strikes me as very much a law and order guy and therefore I’d love to hear him riff on the current behaviour of “Easterners”.

        But the question is, what will the “activists” do about the Israelis performing in that orchestra. I can’t find it right now but I seem to have read somewhere that the overwhelming majority of the performers are (Jewish) Israeli. Now how could that possibly be?

      • Silke: One thing the..er..’activists’…..I prefer to call them Islamofascists…..have no problem with is cognitive dissonance. The absence of cognitive dissonance, the relinquishing of the last vestiges of conscience, is an advanced stage of psychopathology. So although Jews and Arabs may collaborate in the orchestra…albeit with absurdly naive and misguided good intentions on the road to ruin….., these neanderthals will go ahead and sabotage the performances anyway.

      • That I doubt since as best I remember Barenboim is one of them

        Meanwhile, renowned architect Frank Gehry and conductor Daniel Barenboim signed a letter in support of an Israeli artists’ boycott of performing in the West Bank.

        http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/09/21/2741000/groups-organize-boycott-of-israel-dance-company-ny-performances

      • Absolutely. That’s why he was best mates with the vile E. Said, another puffed-up ego only in his case much worse than that.

      • Said turned Arab victimology into a culture and spread it far and wide like an epidemic, infecting not just his own people but swathes of braindead left wing Islamonazi apologists, the likes of whom turn up at to sabotage concerts. And Barenboim is sleeping with the enemy. He is an appeaser.

  25. Jonathan Hoffman

    Daniel – great suggestions – but who pays?

    • Jonathan,

      I gather you’re referring to my final suggestion as the other ones don’t really cost much.

      Is finance the problem? The ulpan and army are obviously free. The teachers would be provided by the WZO, Israel Foreign Ministry, etc. That leaves the expenses for accommodation during the study course. I know that my daughter is currently doing a year long pre-army course that costs us about 1,000 NIS a month. I would imagine that by UK standards that is peanuts,

      Because this is a program for the joint benefit of Israel and Anglo Jewry it seems reasonable for them to share that expense. Bottom line, I don’t think that finance would be an insurmountable obstacle. Can you do the recruiting?

      • I don’t think that finance would be an insurmountable obstacle.

        especially if you can get grannies and their husbands enthused enough to open their purses.

      • I have to admit that I’m a little uncomfortable discussing finances on-blog. I was under the impression that the diaspora Jews had stayed there because they wanted to make a lot of money.

        I believe that we may be talking about 2-3 thousand Sterling per participant, multiplied by 20-30. Add to that whatever you want and we reach a maximum 100,000 Pound budget for a two year program. That’s about 25p per Anglo Jew per year.

      • Can you not smell the hate and bile simply oozing out of this vile pondscum?

  26. Self explanatory e mail correspondence with RAH:

    —-Original Message-
    Posted At: 02 September 2011 17:55
    Posted To: Customer Services
    Subject: Contact Us Form – General Feedback

    comment: Regarding the disturbances at the Israel Philharmonic concert last night, were the troublemakers’ names taken? What is their punishment? I think they should be banned for life from all events at the Albert Hall. If the powers that be can enforce bans against football hooligans, then surely you can do the same with this lot.
    And if they’re Palestine Solidarity Campaign members, the PSC patrons should be asked to condemn this behaviour, failing which they should also face a ban.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Francoise Blake [mailto:Francoiseb@royalalberthall.com] On Behalf Of Customer Services
    Sent: 05 September 2011 15:52
    To: *****
    Subject: RE: Contact Us Form – General Feedback

    Dear Ms *****,

    Thank you for your email.

    We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, last week’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air. The invitation to the Orchestra was a purely musical one, offering the opportunity to hear this fine Orchestra in conductor Zubin Metha’s 75th year, so we are disappointed that BBC Radio 3 audiences were not able to enjoy the full performance. BBC Radio 3 broadcast recordings of the same music, however the performance continued in the hall. The BBC will broadcast part of the concert next Wednesday 7 September at 2.30pm. Throughout the concert approximately 30 people were removed by security which had been increased in anticipation of the possibility of disturbances.

    Best regards,

    Francoise Blake
    Customer Relations Co-ordinator
    Royal Albert Hall
    Kensington Gore
    London
    SW7 2AP
    Tel: 020 7589 3203 ext 2327
    francoiseb@royalalberthall.com

    —–Original Message—–
    Posted At: 08 September 2011 18:20
    Posted To: Customer Services
    Subject: Disturbances at IPO Prom

    Dear Ms Blake

    Thank you for your e mail dated 5th September.

    However, this reads like a standard form response and does not answer my points.

    Surely, as a result of the curtailment of the broadcast, the Royal Albert Hall can take legal action against the perpetrators of the disturbances for inducing a breach of contract – the contract being the agreement with the BBC to broadcast the concert live that evening. The Hall should have the names & addresses of those forcibly ejected, and I urge your management not to let them go unpunished, which would set a very dangerous precedent.

    I would be grateful if you would forward my comments to the Managing Director of the Royal Albert Hall, and to your legal advisers.

    Kind regards

    ***** *****

    Dear Ms*****,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your experience of the Israel Philharmonic Prom and I apologise for the delay in responding to you. We felt it important to complete a through review of the evening’s events with our colleagues at the BBC and thank you for your patience whilst we did this.

    Firstly, I hope I can assure that the safety and security of both our patrons and visiting artists are paramount to us, and as such, the event was profiled from a security and safety perspective as is the case with all our events. Security measures for this Prom were significantly enhanced to ensure that the concert could take place and I can assure you we were not perfunctory in our actions. The Hall, the Promoter and the Orchestra were satisfied with the measures put in place and we have had many letters and expressions of support for the way our Duty Team managed the evening. Vocal protestors were dealt with and removed from the Hall under common law powers of ejection by request and with the minimum amount of force. Although the police were fully alerted to the situation and were policing the external demonstrations, we did not need to call for their assistance to allow the concert to continue.

    As a result of the efforts of both the security staff and Mr Zubin Metha and the Israel Philharmonic, the concert was performed in its entirety.
    Although the disturbances that took place within the Hall were regrettable, we have no intention of pursuing any further course of action. As a letter in The Independent so simply summed up the evening ‘Last week’s concert performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was a victory for music over politics. In spite of the disruption at the end of the concert there was a palpable sense of solidarity in the arena
    with this besieged orchestra.’

    I hope that you have enjoyed this year’s Proms season, and that your experience on this occasion will not deter you from visiting again in the future. Should you have any further queries or concerns you wished to raise, I would, of course be pleased to hear from you.

    Best regards,

    Francoise Blake
    Customer Relations Co-ordinator
    Royal Albert Hall
    Kensington Gore
    London
    SW7 2AP
    Tel: 020 7589 3203 ext 2327
    francoiseb@royalalberthall.com

  27. “the contract being the agreement with the BBC to broadcast the concert live that evening”

    Actually, the contract was with those buying tickets. And security was manifestly useless. Therefore, they are in breach of taking effective security measures.

    • i’m not an expert on contract law but I would think that there are several contractual relationships here.
      The contract between the BBc & the RAH
      The contract between the BBC & the IPO
      Maybe a contract between the IPO & the RAH

      and the contract between the RAH & the concertgoers.

      In my e mail to the RAh, I only refer to the first one.
      I’ve also written in similar terms to BBC Radio 3 but no response as yet.

  28. If these people have ‘form’ and have disturbed the enjoyment of others in the past in their pursuit of good music, etc., then surely an injunction can be taken out against them so that they would not be able to create a disturbance like this again and if they do, they will be prosecuted? They may not wish to have to continue with legal fees each and every time this happens. I’m sure that there are enough soliticitors who would dedicate some time to this?

    • They do not deal with legal fees – they have a very strong contingent of lawyers and QC’s in this country who back them, encourage them in their civil disobedience and represent them in court – all on the tax payers’ pocket. How do you suppose these out of work bigots paid for the very expensive tickets they were seated in? None of the £5 standing space Richard had to buy to enter the RAH.

  29. I wrote earlier in this blog:

    “……..Are we to expect the same kind of events to lead to a second holocaust of Jews? Is this what these guys are after? And if our police don’t stop them then what?”

    Please take the time to watch this video – Tarek Fatah knows what he is talking about:

    http://www.livestream.com/ideacity/video?clipId=flv_fd017d81-dc18-42cc-821a-18b86fdea840

  30. Is there any reason why Mr Mehta does not make a public statement? After all I heard that he had a lot to say about this occurrence in private that would benefit those of use who deplore these rubbishes.

    Any reason why the IPO doesn’t check its contract to see if it has legal recourse? Or is the IPO another Ahava?

  31. …and BTW – wouldn’t it be nice if Mehta, the IPO and similar like minded people in the music business boycott the RAH and the BBC?

  32. …and BTW wouldn’t be nice if regulars at these concerts and listeners of the BBC turned off and stayed at home?

  33. Daniel Marks says: “As far as the training of pro-Israel activists is concerned, what about recruiting 20-30 sixth-formers who after finishing school could attend a two year program in Israel which would include a three month Hebrew course and army preparation , a year of army service and a six month Hasbara and Jewish activism course? Without boring you with details, most of the infrastructure required already exists.”

    Indeed it does. There are several programmes which combine leadership training, ulpan, army preparation, academic studies etc. The website of Masa Israel Journey has whole lists of them. Something for everyone, in fact.
    http://www.masaisrael.org/Masa/English/SiteSearchResults

  34. And if you can’t find a suitable existing programme at Masa, they’re ready, it seems, to help you construct one.

    http://www.masaisrael.org/Masa/English/New+Program+Incubator.htm

    Furthermore, it’s also possible to get a study grant from Masa.
    http://www.masaisrael.org/Masa/English/MASA+Grants/How+to+apply+online.htm

    • Hi Shimona,

      I’m sure you’re right. We are talking about a course that would train Jewish activists for the Ahava, Royal Albert Hall like situations. Could you provide a direct link?

  35. attilathecricketer

    Yes they broke the law as it stands but the law, in this respect, is an ass. I remember being tear gassed at the age of 11 protesting against it. Society often chooses to ignore the breaking of the law to gain a ‘fairer’ result. I don’t want to be security scanned entering the RAH. Human rights campaigners can’t fight every battle – the list of offending countries is too long – although I feel Israel is unduly given priority on that list it deserves to be on it and sadly we as well seemingly. As for flags – the chap should not have been removed but the simple response would have been for you to ensure lots of Israeli flags on the last night (if not at RAH then at Hyde Park)

    • “although I feel Israel is unduly given priority on that list”

      You don’t say, Einstein.

      “it deserves to be on it”

      Sure. Jews defending themselves? The utter chutzpah.

    • “I don’t want to be security scanned entering the RAH”

      Tough. Your Israel-hating mates have made it necessary. Complain to them, in triplicate.

    • And I don’t want to be scanned every time a fly somewhere; and I don’t want to shake in my boots every time I take the underground on the off chance they repeat 7/7; and I don’t want to be stopped and searched in Regents Park because they perpetrated 7/7; and I don’t want to ever again fear for my child because they bombed the Israeli Embassy; and …I could go on – so please tell me why the RAH should be set apart from any other public place…so please tell me why I a normal law abiding citizen has to be subjected to all of this when those who perpetrate a breach of the law are not even arrested…tell me why rather than moan about being security checked you don’t try to find out why we are all security checked where ever we go – what is the cause and allow us all to name it without fear of reprisal, then maybe nobody will have to be security checked at all!

  36. I don’t want to be security scanned entering the RAH.

    and you are not afraid that some nutters are realising right now what a much more promising target that venue would be as compared to a bus and a subway.

    In case that should happen I’ll remind you of what you want.

    Either their kind of terrorism dies out before it comes to that or it’ll come to that.

  37. the simple response would have been for you to ensure lots of Israeli flags on the last night (if not at RAH then at Hyde Park)

    My son was at the last night in Hyde Park and said there was a guy there with a self satisfied smirk vigorously waving a Free Palestine banner the entire evening.

  38. @Daniel Marks

    I did provide a direct link. It’s true I couldn’t find any programme that EXACTLY matches the parameters of your proposed programme ie. to train activists to oppose anti-israel demonstrators, but the Masa Israel Journey organisation, to which I provided links, also offers to help anyone with a good idea for a programme, to develop it. It also provides leadership training.

  39. Sorry, that last comment was supposed to be from me. I accidently used the name of my cats’ blog ;-)