Peter Gabriel and Mark Ruffalo support Talib Kweli after German festival removal

Rocker Peter Gabriel and actor Mark Ruffalo are among the stars who have condemned the removal of Talib Kweli from a German festival line-up after the rapper refused to denounce a pro-Palestine campaign.
The Get By hitmaker and activist was recently forced to scrap plans to tour Germany after he was dropped from the bill of Dusseldorf’s upcoming Open Source Festival for reportedly failing to distance himself from supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes a cultural boycott of Israel.
Organisers’ controversial decision has sparked an outcry among Kweli’s peers in the entertainment industry, who have banded together to sign an open letter attacking event bosses for the move.
Former Roxy Music star Brian Eno, rockers Thurston Moore and Tom Morello, rapper David Banner, filmmaker Boots Riley, and Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham are also among the 103 signatories to add their names to the notice, published in Britain’s The Guardian on Wednesday (03Jul19).
The letter read: “We are shocked that the Open Source Festival in Dusseldorf has disinvited the black American rapper Talib Kweli, leading to the cancellation of his Germany tour, after he refused to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.
“Attempts in Germany to impose political conditions on artists who support Palestinian rights, particularly targeting people of colour and queer artists, comprise a shameful trend of censorship, anti-Palestinian repression, and attacks on freedom of conscience…
“We firmly oppose all forms of racism and discrimination, including anti-blackness, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and sexism,” the note continued, before taking issue with German politicians for equating the BDS movement to bigotry.
“Supporting a nonviolent struggle for freedom, justice and equality, for Palestinians or others, should never be conflated with bigotry. It’s a right,” the signatories added. “For many, it’s also a moral duty.”
Grateful for the public show of support, Kweli took to social media and shared a link to the letter, writing, “In the Guardian today. To the activists and artists that signed this petition in support of my artistic freedom, I salute and thank you.”
Open Source Festival bosses have yet to respond to the controversy.