Thousands gather for anti-Israel protest in Malmo, Sweden, ahead of Eurovision semifinal tonight

People carry banners and Palestinian flags during an anti-Israel demonstration against Israel's participation in Eurovision ahead of the second semifinal at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, Thursday, May 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
People carry banners and Palestinian flags during an anti-Israel demonstration against Israel's participation in Eurovision ahead of the second semifinal at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, Thursday, May 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Thousands of pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protesters are gathered in Malmo, Sweden, hours before the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest is due to take place in the city.

Israel’s contestant, Eden Golan, will perform her song “Hurricane” in this evening’s semifinal.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to join the anti-Israel protest, Reuters reports, and a smaller pro-Israel demonstration is scheduled to take place later in the afternoon.

Swedish authorities have heightened security and are bracing for possible over the weekend. Police officers have been seen patrolling the streets of Malmo and, from water scooters, the city’s canals.

“There are sometimes more police than people in sequins, but overall great fun, we’re having a great time,” United Kingdom supporter Francesca Gaffey said ahead of the first semifinal on Tuesday.

Metal barricades and large concrete blocks have been put up around Malmo Arena, which is hosting the competition, with police guarding the venue and checking visitors’ bags.

Visitors have to pass through metal detectors before entering the arena and are only allowed to bring small purses into the venue.

Protesters holding a banner reading “Welcome to Genocide Song Contest” get ready for a Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel demonstration against Israel’s participation in Eurovision ahead of the second semi-final at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, Thursday, May 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Most Popular