Köln (epd). In Cologne, around 200 people protested against Roger Waters’ planned appearance in Cologne’s Lanxess Arena on Tuesday. Art cannot simply be banned in a democracy, said Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker (independent) on Monday at the rally on Roncalliplatz near Cologne Cathedral. However, it is important to organize opposition. The head of the synagogue community in Cologne, Abraham Lehrer, reiterated his demand for a ban on performances.
Artistic freedom must take a back seat to human dignity, said Lehrer, who is also Vice President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. The Protestant city superintendent Bernhard Seiger and the Catholic city dean Robert Kleine also criticized Water’s performance. The organizer of the protest rally under the motto “No stage for anti-Semitism” was an alliance of the Protestant and Catholic churches, synagogue communities, parties and other organizations and initiatives.
The alliance accuses the 79-year-old former musician of the rock band “Pink Floyd” of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic statements. He is also a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which advocates a boycott of Israel.
Waters’ concert tour “This is not a drill” includes further performances in Germany in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt am Main. In view of the allegations of anti-Semitism, the city of Frankfurt and the state of Hesse canceled the concert on May 28 in the Frankfurt Festhalle and terminated the event contract. On the other hand, the musician had successfully defended himself in court. The city of Munich had already announced in March that, after a legal opinion, it saw no possibility of banning the controversial musician’s concert in the Olympiahalle on May 21.