“Say You, Say Me,” say you aren’t going to Saudi Arabia, Lionel!

Lionel Richie was one of the most beloved musical artists on the planet. In the 1980s, he charmed the world with such hits as such as “Endless Love” (with Diana Ross), “Say You, Say Me,” “All Night Long (All Night),” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.” But last month — despite calls for him to cancel — he performed in Apartheid Israel and now, on February 28, 2020, he is scheduled to perform in Saudi Arabia.

Add your name to our letter asking Lionel Richie to stop crossing picket lines and cancel his February 2020 concert at the Tantora festival in Saudi Arabia.


Dear Lionel Richie,

We appeal to you to cancel your February 28, 2020 concert at the Tantora cultural festival in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia.

In July 2019, hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj canceled her performance at the Jeddah festival in Saudi Arabia after learning about the terrible human rights abuses committed by Saudi Arabia. “While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” she said.

Not only does Saudi Arabia not allow LBGTQ+ individuals and women the basic rights of self-expression — less than six months ago, Saudi Arabia executed five men for “crime” homosexuality after exacting confessions from them through torture — but since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been waging a war on Yemen so brutal that around 85,000 children under the age of five have died of hunger and more continue to perish every day. According to the UN, every 10 minutes a Yemeni child dies from war and hunger.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has still not been held accountable for the barbaric murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose dead body was chopped up with a bone saw and dissolved in acid to hide the evidence.

Though Saudi women have recently seen a small increase basic rights as they were granted the right to drive in 2018, the very women who campaigned for this right in Saudi Arabiahave since been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured through electroshock, beatings, sexual harassment, and waterboarding. On August 1, 2019, Saudi Arabia announced that they would be doing away with part of their oppressive male guardianship system, finally allowing women to travel without permission from a male relative, but Saudi women still have to get the permission of their male guardian to marry or divorce and they still face state-sponsored misogyny and gender-segregation.

We hope you will follow Nicki Minaj’s lead and cancel your show for the sake of Yemeni children, the LGBTQ community, Saudi women, journalists, and anyone seeking to love their partners and speak for themselves.

This past summer, we appealed to you to cancel your September 12 concert in Tel Aviv in accordance with the call to boycott Israel until Palestinians have freedom and equality. Unfortunately, you chose to cross the picket line and go ahead with that performance. We hope this time,for the sake of Yemeni children, Saudi women, queer Saudis, dissidents and journalists — including justice for Jamal Khashoggi —, you will decide to follow Nicki’s Minaj’s lead and cancel your February 28 concert at the Tantora festival in Saudi Arabia.

Sincerely,

Who's signing

Ryan Hodge
Susan Smith-Beeftink
Kai Forlie
Lawrence Zweig
Wendy Behr
Mary Lucchese
Ghadeer Husseini
Chuck O'Neil
Sika Guluva
Ahmed Chicktay
Ahmet Yazgan
Hatem Yassine
Janet Weidman
David Van Wyk
Zofia Wantuch
Linda Anderson
Marcella Stevenson
Ali Hasan
Melly Ailabouni
Diane Matchett
Molly McNeilly
James Cummons
Doug Poole
jodie Evans
1,526 signatures

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Comments

  • Ryan Hodge
    signed 2019-07-29 19:59:55 -0400
  • Susan Smith-Beeftink
    signed via 2019-07-29 19:07:45 -0400
  • Kai Forlie
    signed 2019-07-29 18:27:02 -0400
  • Lawrence Zweig
    signed 2019-07-29 18:14:23 -0400
    As a believing Jew, and a Brooklyn born Israeli I support and go beyond BDS.

    It’s good for us to get all these problems behind us. We need Justice for ALL, and BDS is a good way to move in that direction.
  • Wendy Behr
    signed 2019-07-29 18:03:24 -0400
    Ferguson and Israel have a lot in common!
  • Mary Lucchese
    signed 2019-07-29 17:47:02 -0400
  • Ghadeer Husseini
    signed via 2019-07-29 17:20:04 -0400
    **Lionel Richi please be part of the solution by supporting Peace through justice!! by canceling the Tel Aviv concert you are saying no to apartheid.
  • Chuck O'Neil
    signed 2019-07-29 16:47:04 -0400
  • Sika Guluva
    signed 2019-07-29 16:34:30 -0400
  • Ahmed Chicktay
    signed 2019-07-29 16:27:33 -0400
  • Ahmet Yazgan
    signed 2019-07-29 16:20:35 -0400
  • Hatem Yassine
    signed via 2019-07-29 16:13:21 -0400
  • Janet Weidman
    signed 2019-07-29 16:12:09 -0400
  • David Van Wyk
    signed 2019-07-29 16:09:49 -0400
  • Zofia Wantuch
    signed 2019-07-29 15:48:47 -0400
  • Linda Anderson
    signed 2019-07-29 15:25:29 -0400
  • Marcella Stevenson
    signed 2019-07-29 15:19:40 -0400
  • Ali Hasan
    signed via 2019-07-29 15:14:08 -0400
  • Ariel Gold
    @ArielElyseGold tweeted link to this page. 2019-07-29 15:01:17 -0400
    Dear @LionelRichie, please don’t go ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ of demolished Palestinian homes Please cancel your Tel Aviv concert. #LionelDontGo to apartheid Israel. https://www.codepink.org/lioneldontgo?recruiter_id=686775
  • Melly Ailabouni
    signed 2019-07-29 15:00:16 -0400
    Melly Ailabouni
  • Diane Matchett
    signed 2019-07-29 14:48:25 -0400
  • Molly McNeilly
    signed via 2019-07-29 14:18:12 -0400
  • James Cummons
    signed via 2019-07-29 13:44:20 -0400
    Instead, Visit Baltimore
  • Doug Poole
    signed 2019-07-29 13:43:22 -0400
  • jodie Evans
    @MsJodieEvans tweeted link to this page. 2019-07-29 13:35:03 -0400
    Dear @LionelRichie, please don’t go ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ of demolished Palestinian homes Please cancel your Tel Aviv concert. #LionelDontGo to apartheid Israel. https://www.codepink.org/lioneldontgo?recruiter_id=666217
  • jodie Evans
    signed 2019-07-29 13:34:57 -0400
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