Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters has always spoken out against injustice in Latin America, whether it’s been the border wall or the Ayotzinapa kidnappings. The latest cause the rock star has chosen to address is the rise of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right candidate who is currently leading in Brazil’s contested presidential election.
On Tuesday, Waters performed at São Paulo’s Allianz Park stadium, where he projected a message stating “Neo-fascism is on the rise” along with a list of world leaders, like Trump, Putin, and finally, Bolsonaro. According to The Associated Press, the crowd of 40,000 fans was split in its reaction to the display; Waters was met with cheers and booing. He also projected the phrase “Ele Não,” the slogan of a movement against Bolsonaro, on the screen.
After the display, Waters spoke to the crowd in an emotional speech. “I know it’s none of my business – except that, by and large, I am against the resurgence of fascism all over the world,” he said. “And as a believer in human rights – and that includes the right to peaceful protest under the law – I would prefer not to live under the rule of someone who believes military dictatorship is a good thing,” he continued. “I remember the bad old days in South America – with the juntas of the military dictatorships – and it was ugly.”
Bolsonaro has not responded to the display, but supporters and detractors have stormed Waters’ social media pages to debate the criticism. As the Associated Press reports, the comments are widely varied. “Roger Waters, just sing your song. Don’t put your finger where you don’t know,” said one post. “When you go to another country don’t talk about politics, you don’t know anything about Brazil or what happens in the country.”
Another reads, “What is the matter of losing a fan that has never paid attention to his lyrics and on his values? Bolsonaro is against everything that Roger and Pink Floyd was for. It’s time to stand against xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and authoritarianism.”
Brazil will select its next president in a run-off election on October 28. Check out photos and videos of Waters’ display below: