Danny Glover pushes for Tel Aviv festival boycott

Actor and colleagues declare support for BDS, demand that their film be pulled from DocAviv festival

Danny Glover speaking at a 2007 rally for immigrants' rights, in Madison, Wisconsin. (photo credit: CC BY Wikipedia)
Danny Glover speaking at a 2007 rally for immigrants' rights, in Madison, Wisconsin. (photo credit: CC BY Wikipedia)

Danny Glover and others actors featured in a documentary on an American social justice activist have formally protested the imminent screening of the film in Tel Aviv, and announced their support for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

The film, “American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” is due to be screened at the DocAviv festival, which is running through May 17.

In a statement, Glover and nine others featured in the film, along with Boggs, the 98-year-old philosopher and activist whose life is chronicled in the documentary, said: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel… we were shocked to find the film slated to be screened at the DocAviv festival in Israel on May 13th and 15th. This was scheduled without our knowledge.”

They said they attempted to have the screenings canceled, but “the festival organizers and film producers informed us that this was not possible and they would move forward with the screening, over our objections.”

Boggs “has explicitly stated her support of the boycott and believes this screening is in direct contradiction to her legacy and ongoing work as a revolutionary,” the statement said.

In a statement posted to the film’s website, the producers said they made a documentary whose “story we want to share with audiences everywhere,” and were unaware that those participating in the film would object to it being screened in Israel.

Glover has been politically active for years and has announced his support of the Israeli boycott before. In 2009, he was one of 50 celebrities who signed a letter protesting the Toronto International Film Festival’s focus on Israeli films that year.

According to a press release Tuesday from BDS South Africa, “Danny Glover is known for his support of progressive worker and social-justice struggles across the world. Last year Glover was in South Africa as a guest of the National Union Of Mine Workers (NUMSA). Whilst in Johannesburg he joined a worker protest march led by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU). Both NUMSA and POPCRU are affiliates of South Africa’s largest trade union confederation, COSATU, one of the first trade unions in the world to back the boycott of Israel.”

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