Roger Waters dodges arrest with a last-minute slap at Brazil's Bolsonaro
October 28, 2018 05:00 PM NPT
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters during a show in Brazil. | Photo: Global Look Press / Lucas Tavares
LONDON, Oct 28: Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters toed the line during his show in Brazil when he urged people to stop right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro seconds before he could be arrested for violating election law.
Waters, an indisputable music icon, has been in Brazil with his Us+Them tour since October 9. The singer, songwriter, and bassist had performed six shows in the country before arriving in the city of Curitiba on Saturday.
At every one of his concerts, the legendary musician, known for his progressive views, decried neo-fascists, listing among them US President Donald Trump, Hungarian President Viktor Orban, and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
While touring Brazil, Waters added the frontrunner in the country's presidential race, Jair Bolsonaro, to this list. It caused mixed reactions among Waters' own fans, whose ranks include both supporters and opponents of the right-wing candidate from the Social Liberal Party (PSL)
Boos and cheers aside, matters became more serious for Waters as the Sunday vote inched closer. Before the show, the Electoral Court of Parana warned the musician and his Brazilian producer T4F that if he does not abide by the Brazilian law, which prohibits all campaigning after 10pm, he might be arrested and face imprisonment.
And it all went smoothly until two minutes before the deadline. Just as Waters' producers were, presumably, starting to breathe a collective sigh of relief, the stage went dark and silent. Then a message in Portuguese flashed on the big screen.
They told us we cannot talk about the election after 10 o'clock. We have 30 seconds. This is our last chance to resist fascism before Sunday. Not him!
"Not him" – "Ele Nao" in Portuguese – is the uniting slogan of everyone campaigning and protesting against Bolsonaro.
As the clock struck 10, the words "It's ten o'clock. Obey the law," appeared on the display.
In the run-up to Waters' performance, Bolsonaro tweeted that "any person in the national territory, even if he is not a Brazilian citizen, has inalienable rights as a human being, as well as having a duty to obey the laws of Brazil."
Bolsonaro, who is sometimes described as Brazil's Trump, is widely expected to seal the vote in Sunday's run-off. The right-wing politician cruised through the first round, winning 46 percent of the vote on October 7, with his main opponent, Fernando Haddad from the leftist Worker's Party, receiving only 29 percent.
The MDA poll released on Saturday predicted a comfortable win for Bolsonaro, who currently holds a double-digit advantage over Haddad. Tens of thousands have protested against Bolsonaro's all-but-secured rise to power both on the streets and online.