Pro-Palestinian Carols by Candlelight protesters are slammed over their ‘guerilla’ tactics in front of children – as a 21-year-old woman is charged over the stunt
The actions of a pro-Palestinian protester who disrupted Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne have been condemned by Jewish leaders concerned that “guerilla-style tactics” will be used during the New Year celebrations.
Victoria Police have arrested the 21-year-old Brunswick woman and charged her with carrying a controlled weapon while a second person was taken away by police.
On Christmas Eve, children performing on the Sidney Myer Music Bowl stage were rushed to safety after several protesters carrying Palestinian flags descended from nowhere to interrupt the show.
A pro-Palestinian protester is dragged off stage during the Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight show
Channel 9 cameras filmed presenters David Campbell and Sarah Abo as the incident unfolded during the live broadcast.
The protest was an attempt to “destroy our sense of security,” said Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich.
“These guerrilla-style tactics are spiraling out of control and I am sure most Victorians would be shocked and horrified to see these intimidation tactics unfold in front of children and parents,” he said.
“Carols by Candlelight was once a safe place for families to celebrate the beautiful Christmas, but not anymore as this tornado of prejudice destroys our sense of security.”
The audience applauded as the children returned to the stage and the show continued.
Alex Ryvchin, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, condemned the disruption on Sunday.
Stunned spectators watch as the traditional, nationally televised event is disrupted
“You can always count on anti-Israel extremists to do everything they can and deter decent, ordinary people,” Mr. Ryvchin said.
“The chorus of boos tells them loud and clear that they are not wanted.”
A further two protesters were refused entry to the event, according to a statement from Victoria Police.
One protester even tried to take Campbell's microphone and managed to say “while you're singing, children are dying in Gaza” before the audio cut out.
Mr. Campbell interrupted his scripted dialogue when he realized the commotion on stage was not part of the show.
“Wait a minute,” he said.
'Fun and easy.'
Police have arrested a 21-year-old Brunswick woman and charged her with carrying a controlled weapon over the incident
The singer tried to keep the crowd calm and informed as security guards removed the protesters from the stage. “It's all good, thank you everyone, everyone can have their moment,” Campbell said.
'The children are safe and they are coming out again.
'It is important to also come together on an evening like this, when there is a lot of pain and many people are experiencing it.'
His co-host thanked the crew for their quick action in safely removing the protesters.
“It's the climate, we're in Melbourne,” Ms Abo said.
'Here too, the team's work is incredible.'