Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Roger Waters issues year-end statement

Roger Waters has issued a statement as 2013 draws to a close.

The former Pink Floyd bassist reflects on the year past and the year ahead, specifically addressing political issues that are important to him.

Beyond that, Waters shared two pieces of big news this year: first, a 93-year old veteran solved the mystery of the wartime death of his father (read about it here); and, second, he’s working on his first rock album in more than two decades (details here).

Last month, Waters was among the performers at the 7th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit as part of The New York Comedy Festival – watch his full set here.

Here’s Roger's year-end statement in full…

To all my friends, in fact to everyone, foe and friend.

Happy New Year!

We are all brothers and sisters in the family of man and we all deserve each others love and respect.

I have spent much of the holidays, take your pick which holiday, reading a remarkable book, “King Leopolds Ghost”. It tells the story of Leopold 11 of Belgium’s catastrophic colonization of the Congo in the late 19th century. It is an horrific read but serves us all well on a number of levels.

Firstly, it is a powerful indictment of colonialism, greed and un-regulated commerce. It would be easy to tut, tut, in disapproval of those bad old days, were it not disquietingly apparent that the rich and powerful are still much attached to the feathering of their own nests at any cost to others. (Chevron v The People of Ecuador) par example.
Secondly, there are heroes in this story, not least E.D. Morel, a humble cog in the machinery of shipping, who worked for a company in Liverpool England, discovered the calumny in the Congo through accounting, of all things, and devoted the rest of his life to exposing it. Then there is Sir Roger Casement, an Irish patriot and human rights activist who eventually gave his life for his part in the Irish republican struggle, on the gallows in Pentonville prison London in 1916.

So, here we stand, at the turning of one year into the next, looking back maybe at 2013, and wondering if there is anything to be done in 2014.

There is.

Firstly, we can learn from the examples of E.D. Morel and Roger Casement. We can admire their sacrifice, and give full voice to our admiration for contemporary whistle blowers. Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning we salute you and all the others who have gone before you. The whistle blowers are our life line to the survival of democracy, the corrupt in government cover their tracks assiduously, without The Pentagon papers how would we have ever known that President Lyndon Johnson had repeatedly lied to congress? Without these brave men, who are not prepared to hide behind the “just following orders” line of defense, the studded, padlocked, iron door marked, “CLASSIFIED” could forever stand, impenetrable, between you the people, and the information that is your constitutional right.

Secondly, keep asking awkward questions.

Is there a Palestinian Mandela?
Is there such a man, languishing in some dark prison cell?
Equally, is there an Israeli F.W. De Klerk?

Why is the Government of The U.S.A. slowly but inexorably turning its back on Mistress Liberty and The rule of Law?

I won’t bang-on, the new year is a time for positive thoughts and looking forward.

However, to look back for just a moment, it has been exciting in 2013 to see so many good people organizing in the Universities and the Churches, in the temples and the bars, uniting across boundaries of faith and nationality in support of Universal Human Rights. I feel your spirit abroad in the land, abroad across the globe. We are a fledgling movement, a mere two hundred and fifty years old, and arraigned as we are against the forces of commerce, racism, bigotry, religious extremism and narrow self-interest, the fight will be long and hard.. As Winston Churchill famously said in November 1942, “This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Let us make 2014 The End Of The Beginning.


See also:

Roger Waters working on first rock album in two decades
Roger Waters: Veteran solves mystery of father’s wartime death
VIDEO: Roger Waters performs at Stand Up For Heroes benefit
Roger Waters regrets suing Pink Floyd bandmates
Roger Waters to deliver keynote at Billboard Touring Conference
Bruce Springsteen to perform at Stand Up For Heroes event
Pink Floyd: The Making of Dark Side Of The Moon coming to Blu-ray
Pink Floyd: Rare promo single sells for $3,000 on eBay
VIDEO: Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon animated tribute
Pandora responds to Pink Floyd over royalty dispute
Pink Floyd: Pandora leads internet radio royalty ripoff
Pink Floyd fan jailed for loud late-night album sessions
Pink Floyd: In The Studio marks Dark Side Of The Moon’s 40th anniversary
Pink Floyd guitarist dismissed producer’s idea to add rap to the band
Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon inspires BBC radio play
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon added to Library Of Congress
Pink Floyd’s Animals featured on In The Studio
VIDEO: Roger Waters discusses The Wall on The Daily Show
Pearl Jam: Eddie Vedder joins Roger Waters at Sandy concert
VIDEO: Roger Waters - The Wall 2013 European tour press conference
Roger Waters working on new music
Pink Floyd’s former North London home sells for £1.2 million
Pink Floyd’s former North London home for sale
Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse Of Reason featured on In TheStudio
AUDIO: Pink Floyd jamming during the 1969 Moon landing
Pink Floyd: The Wall Retrospective opens in London next week
VIDEO: Pink Floyd – The Story Of Wish You Were Here DVD preview
VIDEO: Behind the scenes of Pink Floyd’s 2011 reunion
VIDEO: Roger Waters brings Pink Floyd’s The Wall back to North America
Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon hits 800th week on US charts
TODAY: David Gilmour offers free download on his birthday
VIDEO: Pink Floyd – Behind The Wall parts 1-3
Pink Floyd: Roger Waters marries for the fourth time
Pink Floyd: David Gilmour denies 2012 Olympics reunion
Pink Floyd to reunite for 2012 Olympics?
Christmas Rock: Very rare Pink Floyd
AUDIO: Pink Floyd – A Foot In The Door radio special
Roger Waters to wed for the fourth time
Pink Floyd guitarist’s son released from jail
New Pink Floyd App launched