BERLIN (AA) – Musician and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is taking a legal action against planned bans on his concerts in the German cities of Frankfurt and Munich.
Waters believes "this blatant attempt to silence him could have serious and far-reaching consequences for artists and activists around the world if left unchallenged," the artist's management in London said Tuesday night.
The cancellation of the concerts was "unconstitutional" and "unjustified," the management defended. They were based "on the false accusation that Roger Waters is anti-Semitic, which he is not," it added.
The musician has "instructed his lawyers to immediately take all necessary steps to reverse this unjustified decision and ensure that his fundamental human right to freedom of expression is protected," the statement continued.
In February, the government of the German state of Hesse and the magistrate of the city of Frankfurt said they would cancel a Roger Waters concert scheduled for May 28 at Frankfurt's Festhalle.
The reason for the decision was the artist's "persistently anti-Israel appearance," the city had announced. Waters is considered "one of the world's most far-reaching anti-Semites," the city added. A concert planned for May 21 in Munich is also to be canceled.
Rogers is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. He also made several comparisons between the Israeli government and the former South African apartheid regime.
Another criticism is that a flying balloon in the shape of a pig, which Waters has used at his concerts since the 1980s, features a Star of David in addition to a cross symbol, a crescent moon with a star, a hammer and sickle, the logos of Shell and McDonald's, a dollar sign, and a Mercedes star.
In a 2017 interview with the US magazine CounterPunch, Waters said, "There were a lot of people who pretended that the oppression of the Jews wasn't happening. Between 1933 and 1946. Now there's a new scenario. Only now it's the Palestinians who are being murdered."
Meanwhile, however, there is support for the Pink Floyd co-founder on the Change.org platform, as numerous musicians, artists, writers, and journalists are calling for Waters to be allowed to perform after all.
The initiators of the petition write that they are "deeply concerned" that Waters is to be "discredited and silenced" by officials.
The petition was signed by musicians such as Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and Robert Wyatt. His former bandmate, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, also supports Waters.
In addition to the aforementioned musicians, actress Susan Sarandon, linguist Noam Chomsky, director and Monty Python comedian Terry Gilliam, painter Julian Schnabel, author Norman Finkelstein, and artist Sophie Calle also signed the online petition.