Holocaust survivor's daughter speaks out after being 'manhandled' from Roger Waters' O2 arena gig

8 June 2023, 13:38 | Updated: 9 June 2023, 09:59

Roger Waters' controversial show went ahead at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday night
Roger Waters' controversial show went ahead at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday night. Picture: Handout/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor who was ejected from Roger Waters' controversial show at the O2 Arena London has told LBC she "refuses to be silenced".

Waters' show has been criticised for a segment where the Pink Floyd co-founder wears a black trench coat with a SS-styled emblem.

Jewish activists gathered outside the O2 Arena in Greenwich on Tuesday and Wednesday, holding flags that showed the message: 'Hey Roger leave us Jews alone'.

Last night - Waters' second London show - Yochy Davis, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, bought tickets for the show as a protest.

"We were outside in the two nights that he was playing, we had placards and flags and leaflets to give…a lot of his followers don’t even know why we object to his behaviour," Ms Davis told LBC.

When Rogers wore his SS-styled uniform, which he says is a "depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue", Ms Davis and several others held up their flags, chanting: "Leave us Jews alone."

Ms Davis, who is from Israel, says she was quickly "manhandled" out of the venue.

"I was dragged away by a massive, massive guy. He was holding me really tightly, at some points he was lifting me off the ground. I kept saying he was hurting me, but he didn’t want to listen. Other people were really sympathetic," she said.

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A spokesperson for the O2 Arena said: "The safety and security of visitors, performers, tour crew and our staff are of utmost importance to The O2.

"We recognise the right of people to conduct peaceful demonstrations and on the evenings of 6th and 7th June we facilitated peaceful protests outside the venue.

"We did not permit protests to take place inside the venue on the basis that it would disrupt the performance and affect the safety and enjoyment of our guests.

"As part of our standard terms and conditions of entry (as stated on our website here), The O2 reserves the right to prohibit the use of flags within the venue."

Ms Davis continued: "It really upsets me that it’s allowed. It’s shocking that it’s allowed. He shouldn’t be allowed to pretend to not be causing harm by wearing that uniform."

Speaking about why she felt the need to protest, Ms Davis told LBC: "I always grew up in the shadow of it. I can’t be silent, I just can’t."

It comes after Berlin police said they were investigating the singer on suspicion of "incitement of the people" following his performance in Germany.

Meanwhile, authorities in the United States labelled Waters' performance "deeply offensive to Jewish people".

Read More: Pressure builds on O2 arena to rethink decision to allow Roger Waters to perform at the venue next week

Read More: Roger Waters releases statement as police investigate concert costume

Waters has also come under intense criticism over his performance from politicians in the UK.

Leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer called for the show to be cancelled, saying “the show should not be allowed to go ahead”.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove said Waters' behaviour falls short of what is expected of public figures.

Roger Waters in his controversial uniform
Roger Waters in his controversial uniform. Picture: Getty
Jewish activists protesting outside the O2 in London
Jewish activists protesting outside the O2 in London. Picture: Getty

After facing criticism for his performance in Berlin, Waters hit back at claims his show is anti-semitic, saying he is being targeted by "bad faith actors".

Posting his statement online, Waters said: "My recent performance in Berlin has attracted bad faith actors from those who want to smear and silence me because they disagree with my political views and moral principles.

"The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms.

He continued: "Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated. The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' in 1980.

"I have spoken out my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression from whenever I see it.

"When I was a child after the war, the name of Anne Frank was often spoken in our house, she became a permanent reminder of what happens when fascism is left unchecked.

"My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price.

"Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it."