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Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS is One of “Most Admirable” Displays of Resistance in the World

Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS is One of “Most Admirable” Displays of Resistance in the World

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now,,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Today, we spend the hour with the world-famous
British musician Roger Waters, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. The band is perhaps most well known for their
records The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. Roger Waters recently released his first new
studio album in 25 years and is touring stadiums across the country. But the tour has not been without controversy. Waters is scheduled to play on Friday and
Saturday nights in Long Island, despite attempts by Nassau County officials to shut down the
concerts, which will take place at the county-owned Nassau Coliseum. The reason? Water’s outspoken support for BDS, the Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Nassau County officials had claimed the concerts
would violate a local law which prohibits the county from doing business with any company
participating in the economic boycott of Israel. Waters has also been met by protests on many
other stops on the tour. Ahead of his concert in Miami, the Greater
Miami Jewish Federation took out a full-page ad in the Miami Herald with the headline “Anti-Semitism
and Hatred Are Not Welcome in Miami.” The group also pressured the city of Miami
Beach to prevent a group of schoolchildren from appearing on stage with Waters to sing
during the concert. Despite all this, Roger Waters has continued
to speak out. Last week, he wrote a piece in The New York
Times. The op-ed was headlined “Congress Shouldn’t
Silence Human Rights Advocates.” In the op-ed, he criticized a bill being considered
in the Senate to silence supporters of BDS. Waters writes, quote, “By endorsing this McCarthyite
bill, senators would take away Americans’ First Amendment rights in order to protect
Israel from nonviolent pressure to end its 50-year-old occupation of Palestinian territory
and other abuses of Palestinian rights.” Well, Democracy Now!’s Nermeen Shaikh and
I spoke to Roger Waters on Wednesday. I began by asking him to respond to a recent
statement by Howard Kopel, a Nassau County legislator, who attempted to shut down Roger
Waters’ upcoming concerts in Long Island. He called Waters a, quote, “virulent anti-semite”
and said, quote, “[E]mbrace the BDS movement and Nassau will not do business with you. There is no room for hatred in Nassau.” ROGER WATERS: Well, the first thing that leaps
out of that statement is the notion that I might be in some way anti-Semitic or against
Jewish people or against the Jewish religion or against anything that has Jewishness attached
to it, because I’m not. I’m clearly not. You know, they comb through my past, and they
find it very difficult to substantiate that accusation. But they use that accusation as they do with
anybody who supports BDS or anybody who criticizes Israeli foreign policy or the occupation. That is their standard go-to response, is
to call you an anti-Semite, to start calling you names, and, hopefully, to discredit you. As far as Nassau Coliseum is concerned, and
the specific thing there, I was hoping that the state’s attorney, I guess—I’ve forgotten
his name for the moment—was was going to try and take the case to court, and was going
to actually litigate with the management of Nassau Coliseum on the grounds that they were
breaking some law, because it would have given us a chance to have our day in court and for
what I consider to be the side of reason and dialogue and decency and the law and the Constitution
and freedom and rights and being grown up about things. I think they—eventually, they’ve looked
at it and thought it was too dangerous, because if they had gone to court with us, I think
there’s no question but that we would have won the case. And it would have provided a precedent to
stop legislatures around the rest of the United States from bringing frivolous cases in similar
circumstances. So, guys, I don’t know where you are, but
I’m really sorry that you didn’t bring this out into the open, because it bears discussion
that they’re attempting to take away the First Amendment rights of American citizens
and others. AMY GOODMAN: But you are playing Friday and
Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum. ROGER WATERS: Yeah, we are. And I really look forward to it. And we will be playing, you know, to great
audiences, who will completely understand, as well, that there is no hatred in my show. I mean, I’m somewhat critical of the current
administration in a satirical and playful way, I like to think. But my show is all about the idea that if
this—if this race, the human race, is to survive even the next 50 or 100 years, we
need to start looking at the possibility of the transcendental nature of love, and we
have to start looking after one another and recognizing our responsibility to others,
which is what BDS is about, really. NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Roger Waters, you wrote
recently this op-ed piece for The New York Times headlined “Congress Shouldn’t Silence
Human Rights Advocates,” and this is about the proposed bill, the Israel Anti-Boycott
Act. So could you explain what the act calls for
and what your own experience has been with it? ROGER WATERS: Well, yeah. As I read it—I haven’t read the complete
draft, but—and I know it sounds ludicrous, but it’s true. There is a bill before Congress, S 720, which
seeks to criminalize support for Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions, which is a nonviolent
international protest movement to protest the occupation of Palestinian land that’s
been going on for 50 years. And they want to make it a felony to support
BDS, as far as I understand it, with criminal penalties that are, in my view, absurd. Somebody like me, for instance, if the bill
was passed in its current drafting, would be subject to a fine of between $250,000 and
$1 million and a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years—for peaceful, nonviolent political
protest on behalf of basic human rights for beleaguered people, which is absurd, clearly. When you put it like that, you think, “Well,
that’s ridiculous.” Why would Congress—why would Congress even
be using any of the precious time in the legislature to even discuss such a thing, contravening
as it does the First Amendment to the Constitution, which is one of the basic rights that American
citizens have, freedom of speech, to say what they believe. NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, explain your own involvement
with BDS. How did you come to learn of it and then to
support it in the way that you have? ROGER WATERS: Well, many years ago, in 2006,
in fact, I was doing a tour, and I was asked to play in Israel, to do a gig in Tel Aviv. And I’ll try and tell this very quickly. And I started getting—and I agreed to do
a gig in Tel Aviv. And I immediately started getting emails from
people saying, “Are you sure you want to do this?” And then I was told about BDS, which was started
by Palestinian civil society in 2005. And I engaged in a dialogue—that famous
word—with these people and with Palestinians, and they convinced me that I should cancel
the gig that we were going to play in Tel Aviv. But as a kind of an act of compromise, I moved
the gig to a place called Neve Shalom, or Wahat as-Salam, I think it is, in Arabic,
which is an agricultural community where many different religions—Christians, Jews, Muslims,
Druze—all live together. Their children all go to school together. And, you know, so it’s an—they grow chickpeas
for a living. And so we did the gig there, outdoors. And it was a huge success. Sixty thousand Israelis came. No Palestinians, of course, because they are
not allowed to travel, but—which is kind of the start of my story. At the end of that gig, I stood up, and they’d
been hugely enthusiastic, the audience. And I said, “You are the generation of young
Israelis who have the responsibility to make peace with your neighbors and to figure out
this terrible mess that your country has got itself into.” And there was complete silence. It was like—I saw the 60,000 kids all looking
at me, going, “What is he talking about? This is not in the script.” So, anyway, I went back the next year, at
the invitation of UNRWA. AMY GOODMAN: The United Nations agency? ROGER WATERS: Yes, exactly. And a lovely woman called Allegra Pacheco,
who—and we went all over the West Bank. We didn’t go to Gaza, unfortunately, but
we went everywhere else that we could think of in the West Bank. And I was flabbergasted. I mean, I had never been—I had never been
into—I’d never seen that kind of repression in action—you know, the roads that the Palestinians
aren’t allowed to drive on. And they start showing me the development
of the settlements. This is 10 years ago now, 11 years ago now. And so—and I went and talked to people in
the refugee camps. And I determined, when I left there, that
I would do everything that I could, until there was some kind of justice for the people
who live there, to help them, which is why we’re here today. So, and the fight goes on. But I’m happy to say that it’s a fight
that is being won by BDS. This is why there are people beginning to
picket my gigs. They haven’t done for the last 10 or 11
years, but now they are, because they’re beginning to panic, I think. AMY GOODMAN: Roger Waters, founding member
of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. We’ll be back with him in a minute and look
at the documentary he narrates, The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations
War in the United States.

100 comments on “Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS is One of “Most Admirable” Displays of Resistance in the World

  1. "Anti-semitism and hatred are not welcome in Miami" << So, basically this is saying being against murdering and stealing land is same as being against semites, meaning the writer of this sentence thinks murderer=semite. Case closed.

  2. BDS is a legitimate civil peaceful non-violent protest movement… Roger Waters is a courageous man who has taken a stand for justice for the Palestinians when many would not dare to speak out the truth.

  3. WELL/ IF he wasnt a pedofile that rapes children wherever they proform, i would be sorry. but he knows exactly he is trashing israel. he is pretending to be a' freedom figter ''while basicly he is a pedofile

  4. Why is that Palestinians celebrate the most obscene, evil actions?
    WATCH: Fatah Marks 40th Anniversary by glorifying Palestinian terrorist Dalal Maghrabi who murdered 37 Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv in 78

  5. The Palestinian side consists of homicidal and suicidal murderers and the other side is Israel built on compassion and hatred of tyranny.
    The Palestinian Authority "Pay-for-Slay" program is simple: The more Jews your murder, the richer you will get

  6. They called for the revokation of Natalie Portmans Israeli citizenship when she came out in support of BDS. Could you imagine that? Banning a natural born citizen from their own country for not supporting the government?

  7. How come a channel called "democracy now" stands with authoritarian dictatorships and theocracies against the only democracy in the middle east? This is confusing..

  8. Full support for Israel from a evangelic chrisitan; the BDS is a joke, BDS using israeli software, in every PC and Iphone is a piece of Israel in it. The Boycot against Israel will only work when the antichrist will be in power.

  9. And what about contex to history facts regarding the lands? And what about the fact that israel offered the palestinians state so many times before but was answered back with terror and missles instead? And what about the agenda of hamas, the leaders of the palestinians, calling for the destruction of israel, imagiing they can occupy all israel…so many uneducated people in the world, its sad the the leader of pink floyd is actually stupid uneducated man as well…truth will always win and the present proves it…israel forever!!

  10. ISRAEL is chosen by mighty god if you believe in GOD like MUSLIMS and CHRISTIANS .Fighting GOD's wish is not good thing to do.

  11. dont believe to this antisemitic ,israel great cuntry with old history ,god give this land to Jewish people its a fact from bible ,jerusalem was of Jewish mor then 3000 yers ago since king david .

  12. Boyyyy they must be afraid of him!  any other entertainer would have been whacked on the  11th.  The flying Pig with a Jewish star is hilarious !  people need to walk away from ALL 501C3 church/Banks  and see these 13th tribe frauds for what they are !  I hope he has  good security… these scoundrels didn't wait 240 years to let a musician get in their way.

  13. He makes no difference. He may have good points on some things, but let's be real and admit Israel and Palenstine do a lot of nasty things to each other and despise one another. Let's be real and admit that no matter how horrible Trump is, he won because other American politicians on both sides of the aisle are every bit as horrible. I think extremists like Roger paint themselves into a corner. I personally find it difficult to wholeheartedly support most any black or white position on politics. The gray area is where truth usually lies, why bother to be so staunch and extreme? To be radical is not very intellectual in my opinion. I like Pink Floyd music, and Roger is free to be radical. He alienates a lot of people though, and I think he needs to give more consideration to opposing ideas and opinions. That demeanor is sorely lacking in today's world. Sad…

  14. America is with you, Israel.  No matter how many enemies you have surrounding you, we are one with you.

  15. BDS is Bolshevistic.Dement Suckers & is BS! Fuck BDS & boycott her members personally! Boycott against boycott!

  16. It's startling to hear this gentleman speak. For decades, I was under the impression that Roger Waters was some deranged, drug-addled hermit who ranted at the full moon. Oh my gosh, what an articulate, well educated, disciplined, and painfully sane man he is. This is Chomskyan stuff!

  17. A real sad shame that this brilliant man and musician, partly responsible for Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, is choosing to bookend his life with a ferocious and unforgivable act of anti-Semitism.

  18. Both Waters and Goodman are anti-Semitic. waters says he's not anti-Semitic but has had swastikas in his shows.

  19. We will always have Jew haters and there iis no point to debate
    Any issues. It is emotional hatred
    And we will deal with another Person who hates Jews.

  20. Waters. No matter how much you do for them, you are an infidel.
    Waters, we are at the same level, you, me and the rest, why? because according to them you are an infidel and we only have two options: you die or accept their religion of "peace".
    Waters, what you wanted to avoid with the pain of the loss of your father because of the war and the almost military rigor of your education, now you impose it on others disguising it as "humanitarianism".
    You fight against an "apharteid" creating an apharteid with "humanitarian cause" dehumanizing those who are in front of your sight.

    Waters … you're just a useful idiot. And your artists do not have brains, they can not decide for themselves. You are not a leader Leader are the internal demons that drive your steps. Waters, greetings to Federika. She already has it clear and you … still rambling. Waters = useful idiot.

  21. You hipocrats, syria is bleading, yeman is dyeing, iran killes its on citizens, and you critisize israel??? Fuck you all and waters to, fuck you.

  22. Rodger Waters has not had anything interesting or new to say since 1979 and even then he needed David Gilmour to sing it for him to get anyone to listen…..
    His latest album is absolute garbage……

    And for the record …..blaming others for your problems is childish and blaming Israel and the jews….IS anti-semetic….
    STOP supporting violence ….and there will be peace.

  23. So I am a Progressive, thank you. BDS is a socially acceptable way to show my dislike for White Jewish people and my support for Islam, without actually helping the Palestinian Muslims on the ground one bit, or even hurting the Israeli economy. Makes me feel like I am accomplishing something virtuous without actually accomplishing anything. I am a Progressive. I am thinking about a trip to progressive China or the Turkish Islamic Republic next year !

  24. BDS was founded by Omar Baragutti who claims to destory israel (he said many times…."Palestine from the river to the sea" which means borders that don't support Israel existence).

  25. Israel is disgusting. Israel is not a 'holy' state above reproach, but rather a repressive occupier and a rogue state ignoring international law.

  26. I hope that Roger waters get testicular cancer or a heart attack and then that he refuse to use medicine or a defibrillator because it was developed by a Jew.

  27. Why no BDS against Russia, china and turkey because BDS supports are either terrorist supporters like Roger Waters and Rashia tlaib or anti-smeities

    BDS is sucssful with people who hate Jews

  28. Roger Waters, I/we wish more people of the arts like yourself, will stand by you and defend our minuscule democracy! I’m sure you have the supports of the masses around the globe!

  29. Dear Roger you are a true artist because you stand for dignity, honor, and prosperity. The Zionist crimes are about to end because people of the world are waking up.

  30. This proposed anti-BDS law is total BS… and there is a hidden agenda – money as usual. Israeli entities will use this unconstitutional law to garner advantage over other bidders for business with American companies. When all things are equal you will have to prove why you are not discriminating against Israel. They will be suing American companies left and right. Companies and individuals have the right to criticize Israel and to buy products from whomever they choose.

  31. Where are the so called “constitutionalist conservatives”?! Or are they only loud and obnoxious when it comes to the second amendment but let the Zionist scum piss all over the first amendment?! This is infuriating. All you christian Zionist asshats don’t give a rat’s ass about America or its constitution. Just admit it and be honest once in your miserable life.

  32. According to the Palestinians all of Israel is occupied Palestinian land. Thus, BDS is aimed at destroying all of Israel, and those who support BDS want Isreal to be completely destroyed. Roger Waters does not clarify what he and/or the Palestinians consider to be Palestinian land.

  33. This nation is called America,not Israel,they speak of us like we are dogs,and is a violation of our free speech,period!!!!!!!

  34. i pick Israel over Islam any day. Palestinian and all muslims can burn in hell also i liked pink floyd better without roger waters

  35. Hey, Israeli Jew here.

    I just want to make it clear that yes, criticizing the army or government's actions in ANY country should be allowed, and ours is considerably flawed for a first world democracy. Personally, I do not support our current government and I really want them gone, but… And this is a major 'but'; BDS isn't the right choice.
    I don't mind my country being criticized, but from what I know BDS isn't just a movement which opposes our government and our actions in our disputed territory, but a group which verges into the realm of antisemitism and hate towards Israelis.
    It seems to me as if their main goal isn't to criticize, but rather spread hate and enforce a cultural and economic blockade which is really unlikely to bring anything positive.
    Criticizm/disagreement: yes
    BDS/hate: no

    Just to prove my point: a quick scroll through the comments instantly showed people comparing Israelis to Nazis and comparing the Gaza Strip to a concentration camp.

    I can't believe what I'm reading here… Yes, the government, military and democracy in Israel are flawed, and there have been some violations of UN laws, but this is not a one way street, and both parties are to blame. For example, the thing that is happening now in Israel, and has been for the past year or so is that Palestinians send kites and balloons containing flammables which burn our crops and create wildfires.
    Also, the nothing done by the Israeli government can be compared to Apartheid, Genocide or concentration camps. It's hard for me to say the facts and remain unbiased, especially since I am a kid, but my advice is for the people who are invited in the conflict and who criticize Israel (or Palestine) to come over, or at least do extensive research and understand both sides before criticism turns to hate, hate which I have experienced. Thanks

  36. Hitler was the founder of Nazis. Roger is the fiunder of b.d.s. summillar minds think the same. However, notsure if hitler was Peodophiles like rogers.

  37. I discovered Demacracy Now like year ago. (Sorry so late) Roger Waters a true musical genius and humanitarian on DN. Wow Amy Goodman and the DN crew never disappoint. Great work. True journalism.

  38. No this isn't "Democracy Now"…it's Fascism Now and I wouldn't trust this old hag with my freedom anymore than I would Comrade Stalin! Roger Watters is a giant "SCHMUCK" …and a know-nothing…but then the English have a long history of hating Jews.

  39. Roger Waters is a good bass player but he should stick to that instead of being an anti-Semitic hate monger of Jews. Why doesn't he criticize any other countries in the world but only talks about Israel. What about Russia, China, Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Sudan, North Korea. Why does every other country get a pass from Roger Waters except Israel.

  40. One of old brainless duck !
    don’t know nothing about what happened in Middle East …what about peace in Syria 1,000,000 dead people in war…???
    Where your human rights ???
    Jews from bible time to nowadays great people and the only nation that help us was Israel.
    Darkness “Palestines” fake arabs lies made brainwashing to people like you .
    Israel great nation ! God always Support them and punish your sol .
    Man Your opinions and involvement sucks

  41. The atrocious US funding of Israel is not contingent on whether Dems or Republicans are in office. In September 2016, Obama signed a $38 billion, ten year agreement with Netanyahu. That’s over $10 million dollars PER DAY that can be going to our veterans and homeless

  42. How on earth can someone be an antisemite by speaking on behalf of the Palestinians?
    We are against Israeli oppression, bullying and its policy towards other people in general but especially against the Palestinian people. We are against Zionism. And Zionists are the biggest haters of real Jews. And real Jews are against Israeli actions because the Zionists don`t live by the Thora. People are throwing words into each other's faces without understanding the meaning of them and without making the effort of learning some basic historical facts.

  43. To Whom this may concern:

    antifa…is it anti-fada or anti-fascist?

    Thanks for your support of Roger Waters/Pink Floyd I've studied his/their work for some 35 years and would love to see musicians and artists help him and free the Melanated Human of the Planet.

    "Would you like to see our colored cousins rule again, my friend?"…

    Please Stand with him and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as I believe in this.

    Help end apartheid and end the oppression of the indigenous people of the Planet.

    *I've learned that John Hanson (melanated) was the first President of the United States as well as the 7 presidents that served after him. (Blackamoors)

    *also that King James was melanated. (Had bible translated and wrote The Book of Demonology.

    *The United States was built upon the backs of Melanated Humans from the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade (1619-2019 400+ years) while slaughtering the aboriginal inhabitants of the land.

    *Please seriously consider purchasing the book:

    "The Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams

    Great Issues of a Race from 4,500 B.C. To 2,000 A.D."

    or listening to the "audio book" here on the internet.

    Roger is not a fan of mine as I don't have any idols but however know that I have loathed neo-Nazism, fascism, crypto-fascism and the Klu Klux Klan weather in robes with pointed hats or suits with ties since being terrorized by this as a child myself.

    I served in the Navy ('86-'90) and we could've been "U.S.S. Liberty'd" sitting in the forward gun turret or worse, killed innocents by my L.S.O. position in the turret.

    *Also, David Gilmour has helped insure royalties to Syd since he left the band.

    *I am an RH- GMO white European male kind-of-human that knows that the seed of MAN originates from mitochondrial Eve originating in what is today called Africa.
    I realize and believe that the white humanoid race is around '6000 years old or so.

    *I hope that this "electronic mail" gets to you and yours in time.

    God'Speed 💌💨

    "You're either with US, or you are with the terrorists" …is an ultimatum.

    "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace is the most dangerous concept known to mankind."

    A Kind of Man…

    Again, I, Scott Green, believe in the Declaration of Human Rights.

    "I Never had the Nerve to Make The Final Cut…"

    Atrazine-"Since 2003, the European Union has banned this chemical in Europe."

  44. Israel solves it’s water problems with world class desalination technology. The best Palestinians do is lob cheap bombs. Israel is an island of progress surrounded by self-imposed dysfunctional societies.

  45. Waters you are great stupid Old 🦆
    Using fake truth and not understanding the reality .go live with your Islamic friend in Iran
    Love Israel 🇮🇱 and not to love you

  46. Israel forever… signed., The God of the universes. The Zionist God of Israel.
    Joel 3
    The Lord roars from Zion
    And utters His voice from Jerusalem,
    And the heavens and the earth tremble.
    But the Lord is a refuge for His people
    And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.
    17 Then you will know that I am the Lord your God,
    Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.
    So Jerusalem will be holy,
    And strangers will pass through it no more.

    Amen and Amen
    As it is written, so it shall be.

  47. The transcendental nature of love ? Oh please Roger. You can’t even get on with your band mates . OK BDS is fine. I support it but stay away from the hippieanese nonsense .

  48. Maybe Roger Waters would have had similar problems supporting a BDS protest against the genocide of Native Americans. The Constitution is a piece of paper interpreted by elected officials and those appointed by them. Any interpretation is possible. Torture becomes enhanced interrogation. Butchering woman and children becomes national defense, neutralizing enemy forces, or killing terrorists. It is all justified in the states propaganda as part of their overall agenda. Both the USA and Israel operate with a manifest destiny philosophy that is hidden behind obfuscating rhetoric.

  49. does anyone remember Adolf Hitler? I bet Syd Barrett does. His Dad was killed by Nazi's. What do you think tiger's broke free is about? Hitler started off the same way as bds. I guess no matter how hard we try we are all doomed to repeat history

  50. The BDS does more harm to the Palestinians rather than the israelis.. when they tried to boycott soda stream all the palestinians that were working there were fired because of that, in fact BDS has never done anything that have ever harmed Israel or anything Israel owns.. and besides all that BDS claims that Israeli does to the palestinians is completely wrong.. most people that boycott Israel have never actually been in Israel a single time in their lives. Because when Hamas takes away all of Palestinian's money, controsl them in every possible way, then bombs Israel and kill innocent Israeli no body gives a shit.. because of course the only ones that matter are obviously the Palestinians right?

  51. We Americans have got to kick these ruthless Jews who are trying to take our basic rights away from us here in our own country. THE JEWISH INFLUENCE BRIBING AMERICAN POLITICIANS WITH MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS the he’ll out of our peaceful country

  52. I’ll criticize any country I want I’ll boycott Israel my whole life and guess what I won’t let one single American politician take my 1st amendment rights away from me nor should you do too. If Israel keeps whining and crying over the truth getting out into the world then Israel best stop its apartheid against Palestinians

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