In the latest in a string of sports protests, some 7,000 people protested in Sweden against Israeli participation in the Davis Cup. The action forced the match to proceed without spectators, while thousands of Palestine-supporters demonstrated outside the stadium.
***image2***On March 7, thousands of people marched to the Baltic Hall in MalmÃ¶, Sweden, where a Davis Cup match was being held. Protestors carried Palestinian flags and called for boycott as organizers and members of the Stop the Match coalition gave speeches in front of the stadium.
Prior to the gathering, upwards of 1,000 police cordoned off certain areas and did not allow protestors inside the stadium. Near the end of the demonstration, a small group clashed with police, throwing paint bombs and stones.
The entire three-day match was held in a near-empty stadium, following earlier calls for its cancellation. Smaller demonstrations and protests were held on the March 6 and 8 as well.
Israel, as an apartheid state, should not be allowed to participate in international sporting events that serve to improve its image and legitimize its standing. Palestinians living under occupation are denied the privilege to practice sports, as stadiums are bombed, youth are arrested, and players are denied the freedom of movement inside of and out of their country.
The treatment of the Palestinian population is in clear violation of the rules and norms of the Swedish National Association of Sports, which should have taken the initiative to cancel the match on these grounds. However, just as athletic teams representing apartheid South Africa were boycotted, so too is the movement to boycott Israeli sports growing.
For more photos, go here.