Kraków City Council blocks Roger Waters concert due to pro-Russian comments

Roger Waters performs at the United Center on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters’ concerts in Poland have been canceled after he commented on the war in Ukraine. The musician, who is involved in social and political matters, recently criticized U.S. and NATO involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. He also addressed a letter to Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, among others, suggesting that Ukraine would not benefit from Western help. In the letter, Waters said the West should stop providing arms to Ukraine; he also accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of allowing “extreme nationalism” in Ukraine and urged him to “put an end to this deadly war.”

Councilors of Kraków City Council were outraged with the comments made by Waters regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a series of social media posts, they declared that everyone “who supports or praises the pro-Kremlin regime should be considered not welcome, or ‘persona non grata.’”

“Roger Waters will not perform in Kraków. Those who support Putin and his propaganda should have no entry to our city,” wrote Rafał Komarewicz, the Chairman of Kraków City Council.

One of the councilors, Lukasz Wantuch, had urged city residents to boycott the Waters concerts, describing the musician as an “open supporter of Putin.”

“It would be shameful for our city,” Wantuch posted on social media, adding: “Let him sing in Moscow.”

Initially, it was reported that Waters decided to cancel the concert himself, but in a statement sent to British newspaper The Guardian and Poland’s Gazeta Krakowska paper, Waters explained that he was forced to do that under pressure from Kraków City Council, which threatened to call him “persona non grata.”

The other living members of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason and David Gilmour, do not oppose supporting Ukraine in the fight against the Russian aggression.

After the outbreak of the war, they published a song “Hey Hey Rise Up!” featuring Ukrainian Boombox vocalist Andriy Khlyvnyuk. The Ukrainian musician performed “Chervona kalyna” with the accompaniment of progressive rock legends; the money earned was given to support Ukraine.

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