Friday 2 June 2017

A reply to Thom Yorke's comments in Rolling Stone

Dear Thom,

Let's get one thing clear. You say you're not happy that people "throw shit" at you in public rather than trying to engage. Well, we tried to engage. We sent you letters in the post, we politely tried to hand them to a band member at a public event, we called your agents and your publicists, and you ignored us. Not even an acknowledgement, nothing at all. We tried to open a dialogue and it was you who refused. It was you.

At Glastonbury I will be one of those people "at a distance... waving flags". If you really care, come and talk to us Thom. But don't you dare ignore us and then moan about people not trying to engage.

To demand that people not tell you what to think is pure entitlement. You just don't want to be criticised for your choices. Well, Thom, you're the biggest band in the world and have gotten pretty rich off it. Plus you've been politically outspoken yourself over the years. Now you want the right to do what you want without being criticised? That's pure entitlement. Are we meant to believe you didn't realise this show would attract criticism?

You say it's "mind-boggling" that people don't trust you to make decisions yourselves, yet you apparently think it's fine to use an ableist slur. You're clearly not as politically mature as you think. Maybe you should listen to others a bit more.

You seem to think the call to BDS comes from a group of artists rather than Palestinian civil society. It is the Palestinian people who have asked you to boycott and if you're going to justify your show in Tel Aviv it is them you you should be addressing. Saying you're upset because Ken Loach didn't call allows you to avoid the real point, which is that you are playing on occupied land against the wishes of an oppressed people. And you're ignoring the voices of those people. Do you even care?

You accuse people of throwing the word "apartheid" around. You do realise one of the signatories of the letter was Desmond Tutu, right? You do realise that a United Nations report in March stated explicitly that Israel is imposing apartheid on the Palestinian people? If you actually had any respect for Palestinians, or those artists who risk their careers to speak out, you wouldn't say something so flippant and dismissive. This is a serious situation and none of us talk about it lightly. Have some fucking respect.

Finally, as a fan, I suggest you go listen to 'A Reminder'. When you asked us to hold you to that song, I assume today's comments are what you had in mind.

It is still not too late to change your mind.


Radiohead Fans for Palestine