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 February 27, 2024

Hillary Clinton hit swamped by protestors in Germany

Protests against the Gaza conflict have reached Berlin, targeting high-profile figures like former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who faced demonstrations during her appearance at the Berlin Film Festival's European Film Market.

These protests, stemming from a boycott movement against German cultural institutions, spotlight the ongoing tensions ignited by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Clinton's event

Clinton's involvement in the Feb. 19 World Forum event, organized by Cinema for Peace, drew criticism over U.S. support for Israel, with protesters disrupting her speech.

The European Film Market on Feb. 18 witnessed activists lying on the Gropius Bau's front steps, symbolically covered in mock blood, and displaying pro-Palestinian banners inside the venue.

EFM director Dennis Ruh confirmed that the protesters were accredited attendees and stressed their right to free expression within the event's code of conduct. Despite the disruption, there was no threat to exhibitors, and security personnel promptly addressed the situation.

“The organizers alerted the security service’s mobile team and they were on site within about eight minutes. No criminal acts on the part of the protesters could be determined," he stated.

“We respect democratic values and the right to freedom of expression and speech, provided these do not violate our code of conduct," he added.

The demonstrations

These demonstrations are part of the broader Strike Germany movement, reacting to perceived restrictions on expressing solidarity with Palestine in the country.

Cultural workers, advocating for artistic freedom and challenging prevailing definitions of antisemitism, have joined the movement.

The movement has gained momentum among filmmakers, with some withdrawing their works from events like the Berlinale's Forum Expanded section as a gesture of solidarity. Cultural events, including a symposium on Black filmmaker Skip Norman, have faced disruptions due to protests.

European chaos

While organizations like German Films emphasize their commitment to open dialogue, protesters argue for more substantial action to address concerns about suppressing solidarity with Palestine.

Yasemin Acar, a member of Palestinians and Allies (PA_Allies), underscores the importance of dialogue alongside disruptive protests to raise awareness about Gaza's situation.

These protests highlight the complex dynamics surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict and its implications in cultural and political spheres, both domestically and internationally. They underscore the growing activism seeking to challenge the status quo and amplify voices advocating for Palestinian rights on a global stage.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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