24 Jan 2009
Over 100 protesters occupied BBC headquarters
Over 100 supporters of Scottish Stop the War Coalition and Palestinian groups occupied the BBC headquarters in Glasgow on Sunday demanding that the BBC reverse its decision not to broadcast an emergency aid appeal for Gaza.
The occupation lasted for five hours and gained significant media coverage. No one was arrested.
They believe the BBC's decision not to air an advertisement from the Disasters Emergency Committee, a group of charities that includes the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Save the Children, was wrong.
The BBC's refusal to broadcast an appeal by charities for aid in Gaza is attacked by the government, opposition and protesters.
All the other terrestrial broadcasters - Channel 4, ITV and Five have decided they will break with the BBC and broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal on Monday night.
Protest was also held in London on Saturday where thousand of people participated & gather outside BBC office & later march to Trafalgar Square.
The BBC, which is funded by an obligatory license fee paid by every British household with a television set, has previously given airtime to the Disasters Emergency Committee; in different forums angry people are encouraging each other to cancel their TV licences.
Similar appeals have raised millions of US dollars for people affected by war and natural disasters in Congo, Myanmar and elsewhere in past.
The occupation adds to the pressure the BBC is now receiving from all sides that the aid appeal be shown immediately. The BBC admits that over 11,000 people have complained already. To send your complaint
Meanwhile a parliamentary petition signed by more than 50 lawmakers -- which is to be introduced in the House of Commons on Monday -- seemed likely to add more pressure on the broadcaster to run the ad.
The BBC claims it rejected the advertisement because of concerns that showing it might harm its reputation for "impartiality".