Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters says Berlin gig controversy a ‘smear’
A ‘smear’ is being spread against Pink Floyd’s Berlin gig controversy, according to Roger Waters
Waters said depictions of an ‘unhinged fascist demagogue’ have been featured at Pink Floyd concerts since 1980. He said these scenes were intended to be a warning about the dangers of unchecked power. Waters said he believes the same message is relevant today and that he wanted to remind people that they have the power to resist authoritarianism. He said it’s important to remember that we should never let ourselves become complacent about the threats posed by authoritarian regimes. He urged people to take action to protect democracy and human rights.
Pink Floyd’s frontman Roger Waters opposes “fascism” in all its forms following a furore in Germany. The rockstar’s Nazi-style uniform at a Berlin concert sparked a police investigation. Waters has since apologized for his “terrible misjudgment” and expressed his “deep sympathy” to those offended. He has since become an advocate for human rights and a vocal opponent of fascism and racism. He has publicly spoken out against the rise of far-right politics in Europe and beyond and has also used his platform to support several charitable causes. He has been a staunch advocate for human rights and social justice, often using his music to express his views.
Berlin police said on Friday they were probing Waters after images of the Pink Floyd co-founder circulated on social media. The images showed him on stage last week at the Mercedes-Benz arena wearing a long, black coat with red armbands and firing an imitation World War II sub-machine gun. The images sparked criticism on social media, with some calling it a trivialization of the Holocaust. Waters has not responded to the criticism. Berlin police said they were examining whether the images violated German law.
Police are investigating the “suspicion of incitement to public hatred because the clothing worn on stage could be used to glorify or justify Nazi rule”, a police spokesman told the French news agency AFP. The incident occurred during a music festival in the city of Nuremberg. The band in question has since apologized for any offence caused and has removed the items of clothing from their wardrobe. The investigation is ongoing. Nuremberg is the city where Nazi rallies were held during the Third Reich and is a particularly sensitive topic for the people of Germany. The band’s apology has been accepted by the authorities, and they have been cleared to continue their tour as usual.
When the police investigation is concluded, the case will be handed over to Berlin prosecutors, police said. The band has agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to a charity dedicated to helping survivors of the Holocaust. They have also agreed to hold a special performance in Nuremberg to show their commitment to understanding and respecting the city’s history. The band members are also planning to meet with Holocaust survivors and visit memorial sites in Germany as part of their tour. They hope that their tour can serve as an example to other musicians and inspire them to become more aware of the history and more mindful of their actions.
Felix Klein, the German government’s commissioner on anti-Semitism, called for Waters to be held accountable. Klein said authorities need to be “vigilant” following the incident and music venues should rethink their relationship with the musician. This is according to a report in Germany’s Funke media group. Waters has since apologized for his comments, saying he was not aware of the anti-Semitic connotations of what he said. However, many people have called for him to be held accountable for his actions. The incident has reignited discussions about anti-Semitism in Germany and the need for greater awareness.
“Concert organisers should consider whether they want to offer conspiracy theorists a platform,” Klein said. Klein also urged the government to take action against those who are spreading hate speech and anti-Semitism. He suggested that the German government should introduce tougher laws and sanctions to punish those who use hate speech. He also called for educational campaigns to raise awareness of anti-Semitism and its dangers. Klein also stressed the importance of educating young people about the dangers of hate speech and anti-Semitism. He argued that this kind of education should be a priority in schools and universities. He also recommended that measures be taken to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and hate speech online.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account on Saturday, Waters said his Berlin concert had “attracted bad faith attacks from those who want to smear and destroy me because they disagree with my political views”. He went on to say, “I will not be silenced or intimidated. I stand in solidarity with the people of Berlin and all those who fight for human rights, justice, and equality. We will not be silenced.” I will not be deterred from speaking out for the rights of those who are oppressed and marginalized. I urge everyone to join me in standing up for the values we believe in. We must not be silenced.
Waters said attempts to portray his performance as anything but anti-Fascist were “disingenuous and politically motivated”. He ended his statement by saying, “We will not be intimidated and we will not be silenced. We will never give up fighting for justice and for what is right.” He continued, “I stand in solidarity with all those who are oppressed by oppressive systems and governments. We will continue to fight for our freedom and the freedom of all people.”
“The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms,” he said.
“The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ in 1980,” he said.
“I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression where I set it… My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price,” he said.
“Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it.”
Water is a well-known pro-Palestinian activist accused of anti-Jewish views. He floated an inflatable pig emblazoned with the Star of David at his concerts. The singer denies anti-Semitism accusations, saying he protested against Israeli policies, not Jewish people. He defended his actions, saying that he has many Jewish friends and is not an anti-Semite. However, his actions have caused outrage and controversy, leading to boycotts of his music. He has since apologized and removed the inflatable from his shows. He has also made efforts to engage with the Jewish community and to promote a more positive dialogue. He has also encouraged fans to support pro-Palestinian human rights organizations.
Waters has played in several German cities in recent weeks as part of his “This Is Not A Drill” tour. But it has been hugely controversial with some city officials even trying, unsuccessfully, to ban him from performing. Critics of Waters argue that his music promotes anti-Semitism and other forms of racism. Waters, however, has denied this, claiming that his music is simply a comment on the current political situation. Moreover, his concerts have sold out consistently, showing that many fans disagree with the criticism.
At the same Berlin concert, Waters also flashed the names of several deceased people on a large screen. This included Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp. The names of some of Waters’ friends who had died were also included in the display. This moving tribute highlighted the tragedy of the Holocaust and the devastating effect of war.
Also named was slain Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last year.
Abu Akleh’s family have submitted an official complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to demand justice for her death.
Waters is due to play his final German concert in Frankfurt on Sunday evening and protesters are planning to demonstrate outside the venue. Activists are calling for Waters to cancel the show to honour Abu Akleh’s memory and send a message that such violence will not be tolerated. The protest is set to take place regardless of whether Waters decides to cancel or not. Waters has yet to comment on the protest, but it is expected that he will address the issue before the show. It remains to be seen whether Waters will consider the activists’ demands and cancel the show.
Frankfurt city authorities sought to stop the concert but a court ruled against them, citing artistic freedom. Waters has yet to reveal if he will follow the court’s ruling or the activists’ demands. The decision he makes will likely have a significant impact on the concert and the future of the protest. The court has stated that the concert should go ahead, but the activists are still adamant that the concert should be cancelled. It remains to be seen how Waters will respond to the conflicting demands, and the outcome could be decisive in determining the future of the protest.