Adam Easton / BBC News, Warsaw
Roger Waters, co-founder of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd, scheduled concerts in Poland was canceled due to anger over the musician’s stance on the Ukraine war.
The organizer of the concert, Live Nation Poland, confirmed the cancellation of the concerts, but did not give any reason.
The debate began with an open letter that Waters wrote to Olena Zelanzka, the wife of Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelelenski.
Waters wrote in the letter that “extremist nationalists have put your country on the path of this disastrous war” in Ukraine.
Roger Waters accused Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky of not keeping the promise he made in his election campaign to bring peace to the Donbas region, but he never mentioned Russia’s responsibility in the war.
Zelenska also responded to Waters on Twitter, saying that it was Russia that invaded Ukraine, emphasizing that she is now razing Ukrainian cities and killing civilians. Zelenska also added, “Roger Waters, you should ask the leader of another country for peace.”
Reacting to Waters’ open letter, Krakow City Council member Lukasz Wantuch called on the public to boycott the concerts.
Members of the legislature also drafted a bill declaring Waters “persona non grata” and will be put to a vote on September 28.
“Considering Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the war crimes that have come to light by Russian soldiers, lawmakers express their outrage at these and Roger Waters’ statements about the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the bill said.
Waters, who is currently on tour in the US, responded with a Facebook statement saying, “Hey Lukasz Wantuch, Leave them kids alone (Leave the kids alone)”, referring to the lyrics of the Pink Floyd classic song Another Brick in the Wall.
Waters also denied reports that he or his managers had canceled concerts and accused Wantuch of censoring their work.
The Polish government is one of Zelensky’s main allies. Poland is sending hundreds of Soviet-era tanks and other weapons to Ukraine, encouraging the European Union to impose tougher embargoes against Russia.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the Polish government opened the country’s borders to millions of Ukrainian women and children fleeing the conflict.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1.4 million Ukrainians received temporary protection status from Poland.
The Polish people also opened their own homes to hundreds of thousands of refugees.