Krakow cancels Roger Waters concerts, urges him to travel to Ukraine – CBS17.com
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish city of Krakow has canceled concerts by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters due to his sympathetic stance toward Russia in its war on Ukraine, a local councilor said Monday. , inviting the singer to travel to Ukraine with him to see the extent of Russian crimes.
Councilman Lukasz Wantuch said the city owned the arena where two Waters concerts were scheduled in April before they were canceled. He said the city would not tolerate them being used by an artist spreading ideas that are objectionable to most Poles. And he said Waters was free to perform in a private venue if he wished.
“He doesn’t realize the truth,” Wantuch told The Associated Press. “He does not understand what is happening in Ukraine.
Polish media reported on Saturday that the concerts were canceled by Waters’ management in response to outcry over his views. Waters denied this on Sunday and Wantuch confirmed that Krakow and the venue had made the decision to cancel the concerts.
Wantuch, who has been on 27 humanitarian missions to Ukraine since the war began, spearheaded a symbolic resolution to declare Waters “persona non grata” in that town. A vote is scheduled.
Wantuch invited Waters in a Facebook post opened on Monday to join him on a visit to Ukraine to see for himself the extent of the devastation wrought by the Russian attacks.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Waters accused Wantuch of “draconian censorship of my work.”
He said: “Wantuch seems to know nothing of my history of working, my whole life, at personal cost, in the service of human rights.”
Waters, who left Pink Floyd in 1985 and has largely kept his distance from his former bandmates since then, blamed both NATO and Ukraine for the war. He wrote an open letter this month to Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska in which he accused Ukraine’s “extremist nationalists” of having “put your country on the path to this disastrous war”. He also criticized the West for supplying arms to Ukraine, blaming Washington in particular.
He has also openly sided with China on the Taiwan issue.
Wantuch wrote in his open message to Waters that with 2.6 million social media followers, he has the power to sway many minds.
“You are calling on the West to stop military aid, which effectively means Ukraine’s surrender,” Wantuch wrote. “Ukraine will not give up, they will fight, but because of people like you, because of what you say and write, it will be a much tougher fight.”
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine