Massive Attack Cancel Georgia Show Over Its Government’s “Attack On Basic Human Rights”

Posted by

Massive Attack are currently on tour in Europe. They were supposed to make a stop next month in the country of Georgia, which has been making headlines recently due to a controversial nationalist bill their government just passed known colloquially as the “Russia Law.” Now, Massive Attack have cancelled their show there in solidarity with protestors of that bill.

Passed back in May, the “Russia Law” gets its nickname because of similar legislation Moscow uses to denounce independent news media and organizations. Critics of the bill argue that it stifles important grassroots movements and will make it harder for the country to join the European Union. Here’s Massive Attack’s statement:

We’ve decided to cancel our show in Georgia on 28 July in protest of the Georgian government’s attack on basic human rights. At this moment, performing at the state-owned Black Sea Arena could be seen as an endorsement of their violent crackdown against peaceful protests and civil society.

Beatings, arrests, threats, and violence against peaceful protesters, activists, and opponents, along with laws smearing civil society and denying LGBTI rights, go against everything we stand for.

We stand in solidarity with peaceful protesters in Georgia defying state violence & feel that it is their voices that need to be heard and their struggle that needs to be under the international spotlight. We’ll return and perform with you in freedom.

Under the “Russia Law,” the Associated Press reports that all “media, nongovernmental organizations, and other nonprofits” receiving more than 20% of funding from abroad have to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power.” That sure sounds absurd. Georgian police have been brutalizing and arresting peaceful protestors left and right, to the point where even the White House voiced their concern.

Last week at their Gothenburg gig, Massive Attack also dedicated their song “Safe From Harm” to the people of Palestine. Hell yeah. They’re also finally coming to the US in October for III Points festival. See their statement on Georgia below.