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Roger Waters

Roger Waters performs 'The Wall Live' at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on June 11, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo: Joey Foley/Getty Images)

Another Brick In the Wall: Roger Waters Will Not Be A Party To Zuckerberg's Bullshit

Abby Zimet

Amidst a growing movement by America's right-wing pols and educators to suppress ugly truths about pretty much everything - sedition, elections, voting rights, white supremacy, police brutality, governmental abuses of power, the racism embedded in our history and the moral imperative to educate our children about it—legendary Pink Floyd frontman and longtime activist Roger Waters joined a People’s Forum gathering Friday to support Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a guy jailed for speaking the ugly truth about American wars and war crimes. The event was part of a U.S. tour by Assange's brother and father to raise awareness about  Assange, still languishing in the U.K.'s Belmarsh Prison after seven years holed up in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, and to highlight the threat to worldwide press freedom posed by his prosecution. "Julian exposed the truth, over and over and over," Chris Hedges has written of a vengeful campaign by global elites that represents "a window into the collapse of the rule of law." "A society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice." Waters likewise views the long offensive and "sham prosecution" as retribution by those in power against Assange, and other truth-tellers like Snowden and Manning: "He is being held as an example. Keep your mouth shut or this will happen to you."

Coincidentally, Waters told the crowd, he'd just gotten "a missive" from an irony-immune Mark Zuckerberg offering him "a huge, huge amount of money" for the rights to his classic 1979 track Another Brick In the Wall (Part 2), an "anarchistic hymn" Waters has called "a song about rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you who are wrong." He said Zuck - "this little prick who started (Facebook) with, 'She’s pretty, give her a four out of five' - how the fuck did he get any power in anything?” - wanted to use the song to promote Instagram, "to make it even bigger and more powerful than it already is so it can continue to censor all of us in this room" and prevent stories like Assange's from reaching the public. Many noted the dazzling arrogance and dissonance of a request that shows "how hegemony rolls - it co-opts dissent, defuses it, diffuses it, hollows it out." Part of a trilogy about a depressed rocker, "Brick" is a protest against the kind of oppressive education that makes creative kids build walls around themselves, turning them into faceless, "putty-faced" clones "who knew the definition of an acre yet could not produce an original, imaginative thought" - and a call to rebellion. "We want to thank you for considering this project," Waters read straight-faced from Zuck's letter. "We feel the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and necessary today." He mentioned the ask as "the insidious movement to take over absolutely everything,” noted Waters, who includes Zuckerberg in his upcoming, corporate-dystopia show "This Is Not A Drill." "Those of us who do have any power - and I do a little bit, in terms of (publishing) my songs anyway - will not be a party to this bullshit...The answer is, ‘Fuck you. No fucking way.'” 


Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email: azimet18@gmail.com

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