Sting Warns That Democracy is in “Grave Danger” at Recent Concert

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Sting recently issued a reminder that “Every Breath You Take” matters.

At a recent concert in Warsaw, Poland, the artist halted his performance to warn show-goers that democracy is under attack. Sting pointed to the war in Ukraine as an immediate example of this danger saying that the war is “an absurdity based upon a lie.”

The singer continued, “If we swallow that lie, the lie will eat us.”

Translating his message into Polish was the Polish actor and comedian, Maciej Stuhr, who Sting brought on stage to add a level of gravity (as well as clarity) to his words. Sting (and Stuhr a moment behind) stated that democracy is “in grave danger of being lost unless we defend it.”

“The alternative to democracy is a prison, a prison of the mind. The alternative to democracy is violence, oppression, imprisonment, and silence,” the singer added while reportedly making a throat-cutting gesture.

This message was delivered in the capital city of Poland, a country that borders Ukraine. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia earlier this year has sparked global outrage and activism in the months following. Additionally, the music world has rallied around Ukraine as its people continue to battle the Russian troops. In a recent show of support, pop singer Ellie Goulding visited Ukraine as a guest of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska to speak at the First Ladies Summit. Countless other musicians and artists have also spoken out on the issue.

Watch a clip of Sting’s statement about Ukraine and the state democracy below.

After Sting finished his statement, he segued into performing his 1987 song “Fragile.” The song’s lyrics include the poignant verses, That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could/ For all those born beneath an angry star/ Lest we forget how fragile we are.

Photo Credit: Martin Kierszenbaum

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