A dispute over Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters could put an end to the singer's tour of Germany in May. In Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main or Munich, there are protests everywhere against the concerts.
The singer had positioned himself clearly anti-Semitic, said Bavaria's anti-Semitism officer Ludwig Spaenle. With regard to Russia's attack on Ukraine, he criticized the fact that Waters had recently spoken out in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is also a prominent supporter of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which calls for a boycott of the state of Israel and its goods because of the Palestinian policy.
"In a democracy, one can criticize the concrete policies of the Israeli government. But the state of Israel's right to exist is non-negotiable," explained Spaenle. Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Jewish Community in Munich and Upper Bavaria, had previously made a similar statement. "For me, the fact that Roger Waters' hatred is not allowed to be staged in Munich is a question of democratic self-respect," wrote the 90-year-old on Twitter.
In Munich, the Economic Committee should actually decide on how to proceed on Tuesday. The proposed decision by the economic department states that Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) should instruct the management of Olympiapark München GmbH to cancel the planned concert on May 21 in the Olympiahalle. But the decision was postponed to the general assembly on March 22, said a department spokesman.
One reason might be the complicated legal situation. It makes it more difficult to terminate contracts for performances in communal spaces. Before the plenary session, the government of Upper Bavaria should now examine the legality of the decision, the spokesman said.
The city made public the statement of a law firm from November, which also mentions a judgment of the Federal Administrative Court of January 20, 2022, which attaches great importance to freedom of expression. Against the background of the protective area of freedom of expression, strongly polarizing opinions of artists are also included and should not be taken as the sole reason for excluding an artist from using public facilities, writes the law firm. The lawyers see possibilities, for example, in the case of concrete indications that violations of criminal offenses such as incitement to hatred or insults are to be expected.
The Munich Department for Democracy cites quotes from Roger Waters that it considers questionable. He justified the war in Ukraine by saying that Putin wanted to fight fascism in the country. He called the United States the main aggressor. And at concerts he released pig-shaped balloons with a Star of David.