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YouTube silences BDS flash mob

As you watch the above video, there is no need to adjust the volume or look for a different version with sound. There is no audio for a reason.

The video is of a flash mob staged at Grand Central Station in New York at the end of March in support of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sactions (BDS) movement that involved 30 dancers accompanied by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra signing and dancing to a parody of “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.

As a press release from Adalah-NY, the group that organized the action, explains:

“Don’t stop boycottin’,” they sang, “Think when you’re shopping.” They called out companies benefiting from Israeli occupation, and celebrated Roger Waters, Gil Scott Heron, and Elvis Costello, who are among the many artists to have heeded the Palestinian civil society call to boycott Israel until it complies with international law.

After receiving 30,000 views in just two days, YouTube removed the video after claiming they received notice of copyright infringement. In response, Adalah-NY has posted the above video without sound.

As Adbusters writes:

Activists see it as an example of using selective copyright enforcement for political censorship and argue that a pattern is developing. In January, YouTube removed a Saint Louis Boycott Motorola Flash Mob video that parodied the Beyonce/Lady Gaga song “Telephone” as the video reached 35,000 views. As was the case with the Saint Louis flash mob video, there are tens of parody versions of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” currently posted on YouTube. Others have argued that parody is an activity protected from copyright claims.