Bomb Threat Disrupts Meeting Held to Protest UNESCO Actions

A bomb threat forced participants in a protest meeting against UNESCO at the Shubert Theater today to evacuate the theater and to hold the meeting outside in freezing weather. According to the police, a telephoned bomb threat was received by CBS network from an unidentified caller. The police arrived at the theater as the meeting was about to begin and ordered the more than 100 theater personalities to leave the hall. No bomb was found.

The meeting then took place in Shubert Alley, adjacent to the theater, with many celebrities and representatives of various theater unions and guilds in the United States. The meeting and the press conference was sponsored by Actors Equity and other theatrical groups with Writers and Artists for Peace in the Mideast. Theodore Bikel, who addressed the meeting, said it had been called to protest UNESCO’s anti-Israel resolutions. “American theater says to UNESCO ‘clean your house,’ ” he said. UNESCO passed several anti-Israel resolutions recently depriving Israel of aid and excluding Israel from any regional UNESCO grouping.

Actress Julie Harris read the declaration of protest against UNESCO which said, in part: “We of the American theater–actors and technicians, dramatists, producers, managers, musicians, singers, dancers, publicists, stagehands, scenic designers, directors and choreographers–add our voices, some 120,000 of them, to those which have already been raised in protest against the capricious actions of UNESCO’s General Conference. We pledge–individually and collectively–to withhold our services and our cooperation from any event sponsored by or connected with UNESCO until that body recognizes Israel’s right to be included in the family of nations once more.”

Among the personalities who signed the protest statement were: Joanne Woodward, Sandy Dennis, Hal Prince, Neil Simon, Agnes DeMille, Clive Barnes, Gwen Verdon, E.G. Marshall, Alvin Ailey, Abe Burrows, Maureen Stapleton, Stephen Sondheim, Cleavon Little, Murray Schisgal, Estelle Parsons, Virginia Capers, Garson Kanin, Ruth Gordon, Richard Barr, Joseph Papp, Cy Coleman, Henry Denker and Paddy Chayefsky.

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