It looks like LMFAO’s party-rockin’ tour has been enlisted in whitewashing Bahrain’s human rights abuses. According to the state-owned Bahrain News Agency (BNA), the duo is set to perform in a free show for fans at the Bahrain Grand Prix Sunday.
Bahrain has borrowed a favourite from the iPod of fellow protest-crusher Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad to help ensure that the race goes forward.
Let’s recap: yesterday, ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces turned violent when stun grenades were fired at a demonstration outside of a cultural exhibition celebrating the upcoming race. Imprisoned hunger striker and activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is now entering his 71st day on hunger strike, despite international outrage over his continued detention.
While the BNA has been active in publicising the concert, which they claim was responsible for a recent spike in ticket purchases, LMFAO has kept mum about the concert. They have not publicised the performance, which suggests that they’re being used and they know it.
Both the Bahraini government and CEO of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone, have claimed that the race would be secured, and dismissed concerns about protesters. Ecclestone claimed that “there’s nothing happening” and that things were “peaceful” in the troubled kingdom. However, former assistant-commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, John Yates, admitted yesterday that they cannot “guarantee security” at the race. He also added that security forces would use live rounds if necessary, but dismissed the possibility as unlikely.
In honour of the group’s Bahrain performance, I’ve made a few memes. Feel free to post your own, and tweet them during their performance on American Idol tonight. Hopefully, their own fans can be made aware of what is happening in Bahrain, and place pressure on the group to avoid being used to take attention away from what has been a failure to make substantial reforms.