The red carpet outside the Grammy Awards faced stalled arrivals as a protest in support of Palestine and an end to Israel’s ongoing attack on Gaza gathered in downtown Los Angeles outside the Crypto.com Arena.
Footage from the protest was posted on social media Sunday evening, shared with the hashtag #ShutItDown4Palestine. Sources operating the event also inform Variety that the group was blocking individuals from getting into the venue.
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“Right now: Hundreds in LA rally and prepare to march outside the Grammy Awards for Palestine. A little rain won’t deter the movement!” the Party for Socialism and Liberation wrote in a post on social media, sharing footage from the event.
— Party for Socialism and Liberation (@pslnational) February 5, 2024
The Recording Academy could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the protest. Regardless, the Grammy Awards ceremony began promptly at the scheduled time of 5 p.m., along with the CBS broadcast of the event.
The political messages didn’t stop there. During the Grammys, Annie Lennox paid tribute to Sinéad O’Connor during a lengthy in memoriam segment, in which she covered the late musician’s signature song, “Nothing Compares 2 U.” At the end of the performance, Lennox lifted her left hand and said, “Artists for ceasefire, peace in the world.”
— Variety (@Variety) February 5, 2024
Lennox later elaborated on her statement during the ceremony with a post on social media, stating that she is “neither anti-Semitic nor pro-Hamas” but that “the value of life has been reduced less to zero” in the conflict.
“I fail to see how any of this has done anything to contribute to a peaceful solution and am heartbroken for everyone who has been victimised by this ever unfolding tragedy,” Lennox wrote.
The rainy day protest in Los Angeles was just one of several across the United States on Sunday in support of Shut It Down 4 Palestine. Since Israel launched an ongoing military attack against Gaza, retaliating against the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, protests calling for a ceasefire in the conflict have regularly continued across the globe. Per a new poll by the Associated Press, half of American adults believe that Israel’s military campaign in the region has “gone too far.”
The war in Gaza has displaced more than 85% of the region’s population. The death toll has climbed above 27,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.
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