Rocker Roger Waters savaged Donald Trump with a pig balloon caricature as he vowed to make the most of his platform Sunday at a first-of-a-kind festival of rock elders.
The former Pink Floyd songwriter, who also renewed his longstanding criticism of Israel, closed out the first three-day weekend of Desert Trip which earlier brought the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney to a vast stage in California.
As Waters played “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” Pink Floyd’s 1977 assault on power mongers, an oversize swine-like balloon floated into the crowd with a sketch on it of the Republican presidential candidate.
“Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist,” ran the words on the balloon’s side, as overhead screens flashed inflammatory quotes from Trump including his boasts of groping women that were recently aired in an explosive video.
Unflattering drawings of Trump — in one he is naked with a miniscule member and in another he androgynously has developed breasts — also appeared on screens before the message in bold letters: “Donald Trump is a Pig.”
Waters drove home the point with a notch more subtlety as he performed Pink Floyd’s classic “Another Brick in the Wall,” bringing to stage a troupe of singing teenagers, mostly ethnic minorities, who wore T-shirts that read “Derriba El Muro” — Spanish for “tear down the wall.”
Trump, who is running against Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election, launched his campaign on promises to build a wall on the Mexican border as he alleged that undocumented immigrants were rapists.
“The Wall,” Pink Floyd’s rock opera, takes the barrier as a symbol for personal isolation but it has since frequently become a political metaphor, with Waters proud of his role as an activist.
Speaking to the 75,000-strong crowd, Waters hailed California students at the forefront of the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that aims to exert economic and cultural pressure on Israel.
“It’s rare that somebody like me gets a platform like this, so I’m going to use this platform,” said the 73-year-old British rocker.
“I’m going to send out all my most heartfelt love and support to all those young people on the campuses of the universities of California who are standing up for their brothers and sisters in Palestine,” Waters said, hoping the boycott movement would “encourage the government of Israel to end the occupation.”
Israel and a number of US Jewish groups strongly oppose the boycott movement and recently won a victory when California barred companies that do business with the state from shunning individual countries.
While Waters’ anti-Trump stance elicited cheers, albeit not universally, his statement on Israel drew a more muted response with some fans clapping but others booing and at least one proudly waving an Israeli flag as a counter-protest.
Desert Trip, which will take place again next weekend with an identical lineup, is likely to be the most lucrative festival ever and also featured The Who, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.Punch