Italians blasted 90s grunge music legends Pearl Jam after the band called on the country to open its ports of entry to boats carrying illegal migrants.
The band made the statement at a June 26 concert at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, where frontman Eddie Vedder read a pro-migrant message, as they proceeded to play the John Lennon hit, “Imagine.”
An English translation from Rolling Stone Italy describes:
"The image projected on the giant screens is a virtual flyer that for days circulates on the net, an appeal to rescue the abandoned migrants at sea that is sent to the Coast Guard along with a text: “We call for compliance with the Conventions on the right of the sea, but also to the profound sense of humanity that has always distinguished the Italian Coast Guard: it is not exempt now from the protection of people."
The band displayed the following image of a life preserver, with the hashtags, #apriteiporti (open the ports) and #saveisnotacrime.
60s Italian singer Rita Pavone weighed in on the matter, saying it was “unethical and highly opportunistic” for the Seattle-based band to use their concert to spread political propaganda.
“…I answer that I consider it unethical and highly opportunistic [to] take advantage of a concert to give advice, while singing a wonderful song to others. If you want to say yours, make a concert specifically for that cause. As they did with Live Aid Michael Jackson [and] a lot of others…” reads a rough translation of tweets from Pavone.
Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini applauded Pavone’s remarks on Facebook, saying, “Honor to Rita Peacock, who does not bow to the unique thought!”
The leader of the Brothers of Italy coalition, Giorgia Meloni – whose party adheres to a Trump-like “Italians first” mantra – also struck back at Pearl Jam’s audacity. In a post on Facebook, Meloni called on Italians to take the band’s advice and redirect migrant ships to an exclusive VIP Pearl Jam concert in Costa Smeralda.
“Let’s listen to Pearl Jam,” Meloni wrote on Thursday, “let’s go and get the immigrants’ boats and take them to the exclusive party of the same Pearl Jam organized in the next days on the Costa Smeralda!”
Adding to the outrage, the mayor of Riola Sardo, Ivo Zoncu, called on the interior minister to arrest the band.
“Salvini arrests Pearl Jam: the accomplices of the murderers who trade human flesh must be imprisoned: journalists, artists, religious, pseudo-political, pseudo lawyers, pseudo writers. The accomplices of slavers must be arrested!” reads a translation of Zoncu’s Facebook post, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.
On Friday, Salvini indicated that Italian ports would remain closed and that NGO ships approaching Italy loaded with migrants will be turned away.
“NGO rescue ships will only see Italy on postcards,” he said in an interview Friday, adding that “ports will remain closed throughout the summer.”
RT reports: “Although numbers have plummeted dramatically this year, with just 14,500 migrants arriving to date, Salvini vowed to not only stop the influx – but also to proceed with massive deportations.”
You can read this article as it originally appeared at Infowars here.
(PHOTO: Alive87 / Flickr)