What is a Pussy Riot?

Here’s what we know:

-Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist political collective and punk band formed days after Vladimir Putin’s announcement in September 2011 that he would return to the presidency. It includes 30-some members and 10 performers.

-Since their formation, Pussy Riot has conducted flash protests in public locations around Moscow, performing politically charged punk songs specifically calling out Vladmir Putin’s regime and its hostility toward women’s issues. The locations of their protests have increased in daring, taunting authorites and drawing attention to the repression of free political expression in contemporary Russia.

-The members of Pussy Riot have maintained secret identities. They used day-glo balaclavas and tights to hide their faces and refused to reveal their names, ages or day jobs. Why? “It shows we can be anybody”, they said.

-On February 21, 2012, Pussy Riot stormed Christ the Savior Catherdral for a protest performance/ “punk prayer”. The group commanded the space for five minutes, performing the song “Holy Shit”, before being disrupted by authorities. Song lyrics included, “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, chase Putin out!”

-On March 3, 2012, on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s questionable reelection to the office of Russian president, arrests were made of two women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, suspected members of Pussy Riot in connection to the group’s performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral. The women have been incarcerated ever since and are facing charges of hooliganism that carry prison sentences of seven years! The women have gone on hunger strike and point to their young children awaiting their release.

-Protests 15 000 strong have broken out in the last few days in opposition to the government of Vladimir Putin with many protesters holding signs and banners that express solidarity with the incarcerated members of Pussy Riot. Their vocal supporters include a high profile group of Orthodox Christians and their names have been added to international lists of political prisoners. A campaign to support them has included billboards of drawings that style the women as religious icons.

This story is ongoing. Keep your ear to the ground and your eye on this website and other independent media outlets for updates.

Here is a link to Pussy Riot’s website.

Pussy Riot is interviewed here.
They explain their riot grrl roots and their aspirations to realize radical changes in Russia and to inspire others to protest around the world.

“Russia did not have enough explosive punk-feminist groups, pushing people to the development of a culture of protest. Our concerts were to become a pure protest saying: superheroes in balaclavas and acid bright tights seize public space in Moscow.”

Cath

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2 thoughts on “What is a Pussy Riot?

  1. Pingback: 2012 21 FEB, MOSCOW « perferktnaparabola

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