We are horrified by what happened in Berlin this week. All our thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends.
This year alone religious extremists have killed hundreds in the West and thousands in the Middle East. It's heartbreaking. And when it happens in your own city- one of the most tolerant and open minded places in the world- it's difficult to not let fear get the better of you. Without even realising it you start looking over your shoulder, suspicious of anyone who looks a little different.
And that's exactly what these people want. Fear is their weapon and when we turn on each other in our need for someone to blame, they grow stronger. This year terrorists have killed 7257 people in Iraq, 2217 in Syria (this doesn't include people killed by Assad's regime), 987 in Afghanistan, 729 in Nigeria, 669 in Libya, 610 in Yemen, 542 in Somalia, 497 in Pakistan, 479 in Turkey, 217 in Egypt, 98 in France, 49 in the US, 32 in Belgium, 21 in Germany... the list goes on. The victims are of every religion, colour and nationality.
It's more important than ever that we have each other's backs. We have to get past our tendency to stereotype and stand together against this evil. Then, and only then, will we be able to finally defeat it.
Feels like the right time to share this... Part 1 of our gig and interview at the refugee centre in Berlin. Had a little help for our cover of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' :) Let's not forget we're all human and we're all in this together.
Met these guys from Amnesty International when we played in the park on Sunday. They were braving the heat to spread the word about a journalist imprisoned 2 years ago in Egypt- just for photographing security forces’ violent behaviour during a protest. He's now facing the death penalty for a bunch of phoney charges. Crazy. There's no such thing as freedom without freedom of the press.
Lend your voice to the petition to free him at amnesty.org
To all our British friends and fans who've fallen victim to the #PostRefRacism sweeping the country - we stand with you.
Scenes like the one below are unfolding all over the UK. My mother was born in Wales - I have family and friends over there. Several of them have had vile racist & xenophobic comments hurled at them on the street since the Brexit referendum. Threats of physical violence. They're scared... and I don't blame them. Makes me wonder how I'll be treated when we tour the UK again (despite being a British citizen).
These are not isolated incidents. It's clearly evident there's a bigger problem with racism in the UK than most of us realised, or would like to admit. The only difference is now many more people feel justified acting on their ignorant views.
Doesn't matter how you voted. In or out of the EU- this problem is real, significant and needs to be dealt with before it tears the country apart. Over the last few days Britain has come to be viewed as one of the most toxic and racially intolerant countries in the Western world. That's a big fall for a nation which lost so many fighting against fascism 70 years ago.
We hope you'll start doing something (anything?!) to turn this around ASAP. Not just for the short term, but for the long run.