Roger Waters Urges George Floyd Protesters To Remember Mahatma Gandhi
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
Roger Waters has voiced his views on the civil unrest sweeping the United States in a new interview with RT America.
The conversation follows Waters’ recent comment that he believes Minnesota resident George Floyd was unlawfully killed when being subdued by a local police offer.
Sparking the passions of a nation and the world at large, protests over Floyd’s death continue to spread as government responses escalate.
Appearing on RT America Roger Waters denounced the “vicious” police reaction to the protests.
“Donald Trump is trying, with the whole holding up the Bible thing, to reinforce the idea he wants a civil war between the white supremacist Christian right and anyone willing to stand up with a baseball bat and say no,” Waters shared with his RT host Manila Chan.
Expressing other protestors’ anger the former Pink Floyd visionary urged viewers to embrace non-violent means of protest.
“I know it is very easy for me to sit here and pontificate,” Water shared, “but we have to remember Mahatma Gandhi. You have to remember how important nonviolent protest is, and also how effective it is and how effective it was in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.”
An activist who wrestled India’s independence from colonial British rule, Gandhi emphasized the noble means of assertion of truth and non-violence as tools of achieving political change.
He can be attributed with quotes such as “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” and, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
He did not believe injustice to be part of the natural or unnatural order of the world.
“They have got bullets,” Roger Waters continued during his discussion with RT. “And they have got assault rifles and the techniques that fired this – like the knee of the neck.”
(The knee-to-neck police restraint technique is one usually reserved only for life-threatening situations, which is widely believed not to have been the case in the instance of George Floyd’s death.)
“Leave the baseball bats at home,” Waters implored.
Waters also contend COVID-19 lockdown and unemployment had contributed to tensions overboiling.
“These people are angry,” Roger added, “and so they should be.”
Waters was also critical of the music industry’s #showgomustnotgoon the initiative where prominent entertainers posted a black square to social media as a show of solidarity.
“We don’t want your squares,” he said, relayed the sentiments of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza. “Take your video cameras with you everywhere. This is your weapon. You don’t want a baseball bat you want a video camera. Take it with you, do not resist but make sure that you film everything because it is getting through on social media.”
“We all saw those pictures of young men in uniform running people down in their SUVs callously,” the former Pink Floyd visionary asserts. “This is what they’ve been trained for, this is what they live for… don’t give them the cause.”
Roger Waters urged any and every protestor to document acts of violence from US authorities towards protesters.
“Everyone with any platform should speak up,” Waters contends. “The greatest sin of all is to standby silent and indifferent. Well, we’re not indifferent fn we will not be silent. We are living in very difficult times and this is scary. This looks like the Weimer Republic in the early 1930s in Germany.”
Watch Waters’ full interview below.
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