Letters: Protesters undermine their case with cowardly bullying

Protesters outside the Playhouse. Others went into the theatre to protest against Israeli dancers
Protesters outside the Playhouse. Others went into the theatre to protest against Israeli dancers
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Any sympathy I felt for the No To Brand Israel movement evaporated in the face of their childish and churlish interruptions of the performance of Hora (News, September 1)

I support the right of expression for all people, artists and political protesters alike. However, whilst staging their demonstration outside the Playhouse was a worthy gesture which had me on the brink of tearing up my ticket and leaving, the mindless and cowardly bullying of 11 brave artists within left me only with the desire to throw away in disgust the pro-Palestinian pamphlet I’d been handed earlier.

To dignify the shambolic intermittent screaming match with the label of “protest” would be to tarnish the name of worthy protests worldwide; what I and the rest of my fellow audience members experienced was bullying. And I would wager that, whilst many minds have been changed over time by careful and reasoned debate, no-one has ever changed their minds from being bullied.

The audience’s only reaction to each and every interruption of Hora was not to join in the shouting but instead to produce a growing tidal wave of applause, culminating in a standing ovation – not for the bellowers, but for the embattled but not embittered performers. I expect that, by the end of the night, there were many like myself who had gone in supporting Palestinian rights only to leave supporting the 11 dancers of Batsheva infinitely more.

Marc David Jacobs, Wardlaw Place, Gorgie, Edinburgh

Gaelic is a sign of diverse heritage

Stuart Mitchell (Letters, September 1) should ditch his old history book. Gaelic was spoken throughout Scotland once, as far south as Galloway.

Gaelic place names are to be found all over the Lowlands.

Visitors may well come to Dun Edainn (Edinburgh) for the culture and the Castle. Good. They may well wish to see the many places of interest in the rest of our country. English/Gaelic signs will help to remind them of Scotland’s rich and diverse heritage.

The Edinburgh Festival is a great world-wide event. But other places in the land, such as Stornoway, also host cultural events which are well worth going to see.

I do hope that Edinburgh citizens don’t catch the “look at me” problem that seems to afflict the British capital.

Alasdair H Macinnes, Granton Road, Edinburgh

Council failing to check roadworks

Recently there have been letters published in the News regarding the state of the road in Brighton Place. The problem is the condition of the setts and several areas where a utility company has carried out work and has reinstated the area with tarmac.

This is a problem across the entire city whereby utilities dig up the road or pavement and fail to reinstate as found. This they are required to do under legislation, but where the system falls down is that Edinburgh City Council fails to ensure that legislation is adhered to. In turn the Roads Commissioner Scotland has failed to oversee that the council carries out its duties.

Whilst the reinstatement of setts may be a costly exercise, that is not the council’s problem, it only has to see that the work is done. However, in the vast majority of cases it is not setts that are required, but simply paving slabs.

Why has the council failed to ensure these works are completed to the required standard, and why has the Roads Commissioner Scotland failed to see that the city council carries out its statutory duty?

David Black, Kenmure Avenue, Edinburgh

Rocked by snub in Military Tattoo

Many Gibraltarians attend the excellent Edinburgh Tattoo on a yearly basis, but they express disappointment that when the commentator welcomes people attending from different parts of the world, Gibraltar is excluded.

I attended the Tattoo last month and whereas other Mediterranean places such as Malta and Cyprus were mentioned, there was again no mention of Gibraltar.

Gibraltar is a small place, but in more than 300 years of British history, it has been of great strategic military importance to the UK, with the full support of the British Gibraltarians.

The event was presided by the current Commander British Land Forces when I attended. Did it not strike him, and others before him, that Gibraltar was not mentioned?

Joe Garcia, Irish Town, Gibraltar