Simon Wiesenthal Center urges boycott of Roger Waters concert in Mexico
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Simon Wiesenthal Center urges boycott of Roger Waters concert in Mexico

Advocacy group says Pink Floyd founding member uses music to ‘camouflage discrimination,’ push ‘violent and racist message’

Roger Waters poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Roger Waters Us + Them' at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sepember. 6, 2019. (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
Roger Waters poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Roger Waters Us + Them' at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sepember. 6, 2019. (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

A US-based Jewish advocacy group has launched a campaign to prevent Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters from performing on tour in Mexico.

Waters, 76, is due on stage in Mexico City on October 7 as part of his “This Is Not A Drill” North American tour that begins in Pittsburgh in July.

But the Latin American branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which supports Holocaust survivors and confronts anti-Semitism, has written to businesses sponsoring and promoting Waters’s concert in Mexico, urging them to pull out.

“Your company’s prestige should not be stained by those that use music to camouflage discrimination and the diffusion of a violent and racist message,” said the letter, signed by the center’s international relations directors Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung.

Waters is a well-known pro-Palestinian activist who supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.

He has urged fellow artists not to perform concerts in Israel.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center however has accused Waters of anti-Semitism over his use of an inflatable pig bearing the Star of David during previous concerts.

The consumption of pork is banned in Judaism while the Star of David is synonymous with the religion.

“These images refer to medieval German anti-Semitic iconography,” said the center, which launched a “Resist the Racist” campaign the last time Waters performed in Mexico in 2018.

The center was named after Simon Wiesenthal, an Austrian Holocaust survivor and well-known Nazi hunter.

The center, founded in 1977, promotes the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, fights anti-Semitism and teaches about the Holocaust.

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