Roger Waters Calls for Russia-Ukraine Cease-Fire in UN Address
Roger Waters spoke at the United Nations Security Council meeting today, disavowing the cycle of endless war for profit and calling for an "immediate cease-fire" in Russia's war in Ukraine.
The former Pink Floyd bassist and singer spoke on behalf of the "voiceless majority" in his address, given at Russia's behest. "The voiceless majority is concerned that your wars — yes, your wars, for these perpetual wars are not of our choosing — that your wars will destroy the planet that is our home," he said.
"And along with every other living thing, we will be sacrificed on the altar of two things: profits from the war to line the pockets of the very, very few and the hegemonic march of some empire or other towards unipolar world domination," he continued. "Please reassure us that that is not your vision, for there is no good outcome down that road. That road leads only to disaster. Everyone on that road has a red button in their briefcase, and the further we go down that road, the closer the itchy fingers get to that red button, and the closer we all get to Armageddon."
You can watch the address below.
Later, Waters spoke specifically about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that neither party was faultless in the ongoing war. "The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation was illegal. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms," he said. "Also, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not unprovoked, so I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms."
Although he largely addressed the council soberly and stuck to the heavy subject matter, Waters did poke fun at the anonymous diplomat who reportedly griped, "Russian diplomacy used to be serious. What next? Mr. Bean?" upon learning of his speech. "For those of you who don't know, Mr. Bean is an ineffectual character in an English comedy show on television. So it's a penny to a pound the anonymous diplomat is an Englishman," Waters said with a laugh.
Centering himself again as one of the "voiceless millions," Waters wound down his address by unequivocally calling for an end to the Russia-Ukraine war. "We are many who do not share in the profits of the war industry. We do not willingly raise our sons and daughters to provide fodder for your canons," he implored. "In our opinion, the only sensible course of action today is to call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. No ifs, no buts, no ands. Not one more Ukrainian or Russian life is to be spent. They are all precious in our eyes.”
He further acknowledged that a cease-fire "will only be the starting point, but everything extrapolates from that starting point. Imagine the collective global sigh of relief, the outpouring of joy, the international joining of voices in harmony singing an anthem to peace. John Lennon pumping the air with his fist from the grave. We've finally been heard in the corridors of power. The bullies in the schoolyard agreed to stop playing nuclear chicken. We're not all going to die in a nuclear holocaust after all — at least, not today."