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Annie Lennox demands Gaza ceasefire during Grammy Awards

February 5, 2024 at 3:25 pm

Annie Lennox at the 66th Grammy Awards held at the Arena in Los Angeles, CA, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. [Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images]

During her performance at the 66th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles yesterday, Annie Lennox called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

In the concluding moments of her performance of the late Irish singer Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” during the In Memoriam segment, Lennox, raised her fist in the air and declared, “Artists for ceasefire” to the audience.

With an image of O’Connor in the background, she emphasised her message by saying, “Peace in the world.”

Sinead O’Connor had spoken publicly about human rights issues including the struggles of refugees and the human rights violations against Palestinians. Following the 2014 Israeli aggression on Gaza, during which 546 Palestinians were killed, the Grammy-award winning icon cancelled a concert in Caesarea, an Israeli town near Tel Aviv.

“Nobody with any sanity, including myself, would have anything but sympathy for the Palestinian plight,” she said. “There’s not a sane person on earth who in any way sanctions what the f**k the Israeli authorities are doing.”

Read: UN food convoy comes under Israel artillery fire in Gaza

According to the Rolling Stone, Lennox was not alone in her support of Palestine at the Grammys. Singer-musician Esperanza Spalding wore a keffiyeh to the event, while the group Boygenius, consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, donned pins in support of the pro-ceasefire petition Artists Call for Ceasefire Now.

The Artists for Ceasefire movement began last year after a number of A-list celebrities including Joaquin Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, Drake, Ben Affleck, Channing Tatum, Andrew Garfield, Florence Pugh, Dua Lipa, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy and Jennifer Lopez signed an open letter to US President Biden demanding a ceasefire and greater focus on humanitarian aid.

“We ask that, as President of the United States, you and the U.S. Congress call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost,” the letter read. “More than 5,000 people have been killed in the last week and a half – a number any person of conscience knows is catastrophic. We believe all life is sacred, no matter faith or ethnicity and we condemn the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of activists and human rights advocates obstructed the roads leading to the Grammy Awards protesting the ongoing Israeli war against the Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles police prevented the demonstrators, who carried Palestinian flags and banners demanding freedom for Palestine, from reaching the ceremony and arrested a number of them to disperse the protest outside the Arena.

As of yesterday, Israel has killed 27,365 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 66,630 others, most of them children and women. More than two million Palestinians are suffering from hunger and are struggling to survive without clean water and shelter, according to local reports and the UN.