The protests to American pop-singer Madonna’s upcoming concert in Poland are gathering momentum as over 17,000 letters have been sent to government ministers and event organizers and more public figures are making statements condemning both the singer’s suggestive performances and the scheduling of the show to coincide with the August 15th celebration of the Feast of the Assumption, the day Roman Catholics honor the Virgin Mary’s assumption to Heaven.
At the special website well over 17 thousand people have sent letters to Polish and American organizers of the show, as well as to Poland’s Minister of Interior Affairs and Administration. You can add your voice by clicking on the "zaprotestuj" button underneath the Polish and English texts and filling out the form. Letters will be sent in your name.
Poland’s Commissioner for Civil Rights Janusz Kochanowski joined the critique of the planned concert.
In a letter to Warsaw city officials, he wrote that "there are borders, which should not be crossed." He also called for "respect towards religious feelings of others."
"Her artistic name, as well as behavior on and off the stage is perceived as provocative by many people. To organize a concert in Warsaw on the Feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, stirs up serious opposition and distaste," Kochanowski wrote, adding that the Constitutional right to free speech is no excuse in this case. He also asked for explanations from Warsaw city officials who agreed to stage the concert on that day.
An American organization, the Society for Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) has also joined the protest.
In a press release, the group states, "Many see the choice of this special day as a provocation. It only adds to the controversy surrounding the 50-year-old singer who has long mixed blasphemy with sexual themes. Even if the event were to be on another day, Madonna’s message is clearly offensive to Poles."
TFP is sponsoring an email protest campaign directed to Poland’s Minister of the Interior asking him to prevent the concert and noting that "the event does not promote the common good and that since its promoters have shown that they intend to offend the religious sentiment of Polish Catholics, it is a violation of Article 196 of the Polish Criminal Code."
Unforeseen problems are in fact turning up with the staging of the concert.
Polish media report that Warsaw’s fire department is refusing to issue a fire service permit for the event, which is to take place at the old Bemowo airfield on the outskirts of Warsaw, because of the lack of fire fighter inspection of the area.
"Warsaw city officials sympathetic to the show, met with the city’s fire department, trying to talk them into issuing the fire service permit after all," the reports said.
Protesters have also pointed to the collapse of the stage roof at the Madonna concert venue in Marseille, France, which killed two people, a 23-year-old Briton and a 53-year-old Frenchmen, and injured thirty more, as a possible sign that the concerts may not only be morally reprehensible but physically dangerous.
Police in Marseille have launched a manslaughter investigation into the collapse of the stage roof, according to the UK Guardian , after examining the 60 tonnes of collapsed girders and cables at the French city’s Vélodrome stadium.
See previous LSN reports:
Uproar in Poland as Pop Diva Madonna Schedules Concert for Catholic Holy Day