Peter Gabriel has issued a statement responding to last week’s death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
“Along with the civilised world I was horrified by the racist murder of George Floyd,” the veteran singer/songwriter and longtime human rights activist writes in a message posted online Monday. “This type of brutality needs to be confronted directly, with justice clearly seen to be done whenever and wherever it occurs.”
Gabriel, who co-founded the human rights organization Witness in 1989, notes that the organization “has been helping groups monitoring police violence and they are all over this.”
The 70-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer goes on to say that his Real World record label fully supports the Black Out Tuesday initiative taking place today, which asks artists and companies that are a part of or related to music industry refrain from doing any business on June 2.
He adds, “I hope these protests will not only lead to the addressing of the problems at the root of this, but also encourage a worldwide look at how each country is dealing with racism and religious persecution within their own borders.”
Gabriel’s message concludes, “Politicians are trying to win support by fuelling nationalism and racism for their own gain. If we don’t like the way things are going we have to speak out and act. The world can only be what we choose to make it.”
In a separate note accompanying his message, Peter announces that both Real World and WOMAD, the international arts festival he co-founded, will observe Black Out Tuesday, “[i]n solidarity with black artists all over the world, and black colleagues in the music industry.” Attached to the note are the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #TheShowMustBePaused.
By Matt Friedlander
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