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Protest planned outside Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn following refusal to host Jewish film festival over Gaza conflict

16:54 06 August 2014

Tricycle Theatre is in Kilburn High Road

Tricycle Theatre is in Kilburn High Road

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A demonstration will take place outside a playhouse in Kilburn tomorrow following its refusal to host a Jewish event sponsored by the Israeli Embassy amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Indhu Rubasingham is the artistic director at the Tricycle © Jane Hobson.Indhu Rubasingham is the artistic director at the Tricycle © Jane Hobson.

Protestors will lobby the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn High Road, following the decision to drop the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).

Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle, labelled the funding festival organisers received from the embassy as “inappropriate” given the current furore between Israel and Palestine.

For the first time in eight years, the event, which screens at least 26 films, will not be shown at The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn High Road.

Campaign Against Antisemitism UK has organised the protest which will take place at 6pm.

On the group’s Facebook page it has accused the theatre of punishing the Jewish community by politicising the celebration of Jewish cinema.

Hundreds of people have taken to social media site Twitter to share their views on the decision.

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Twitter user @carlgardner, who posted his comment left on the Tricycle website, said: “It is you [Tricycle] and you alone, who have politicized this. This is a disgraceful decision and far from “neutral”.”

Louise Mensch, novelist and former Conservative MP for Corby, tweeted: “Hey @TricycleTheatre stop your revolting treatment of the Jewish Film Festival. I hope North London boycotts you forever.”

However, user @debatingculture supported the move. He wrote: “...British theatre has had a long history of activism, cohesion & community development. Tricycle have been brave.”

@PukkahPunjabi said: “So much nonsense being spouted about anti-Semitism and @TricycleTheatre. The theatre offered to fund the festival. How’s that anti-Semitic?!”

Ms Rubasingham said that alternative funding was offered to the festivals organisers and that the theatre would not accept financial support from any government agency involved in the crisis.

She added: “We want the festival. Now, more than at any time, Jewish culture must be celebrated.

“The Tricycle serves many different communities and cultures and must navigate neutrality which is why it cannot directly be taking government money in this difficult time.

“However, the UKJFF decided it was not willing to decline sponsorship from the Israeli embassy and, to our regret, withdrew the festival from the Tricycle.”

Related link: Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn refuses to host Jewish film festival over Gaza conflict

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