Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33. They stage unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. Their lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Their actions were stopped by church security officials. By that evening, they had turned the performance into a music video entitled “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Putin during his election campaign.
On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Two other members of the group, who escaped arrest after February’s protest, reportedly left Russia fearing prosecution. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation, her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld. In late October 2012, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sent to separate prisons.
The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human rights groups including Amnesty International, which designated the women prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the women. Putin stated that the band had “undermined the moral foundations” of the nation and “got what they asked for”. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he did not think the three members of Pussy Riot should have been sent to jail, but stressed that the release of the remaining two imprisoned members was a matter for the courts. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013 after the State Duma approved an amnesty.
Vlad, in addition to having the perkiest nipples of any major world leader which he loves to expose at every opportunity by posing topless, is a 16 year veteran of the KGB rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. To say he’s a ruthless corrupt despot is as obvious as pointing out that homophobic persecution is sypmtomatic of individuals who have unresolved issues with their own sexual desires.
Before taping February 4th, Pussy Riot said that now that Jake and Elwood were out of Joliet they’ll be putting the band back together with “Too Big” Hall, “The Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, “Murph” Dunne, Alan Rubin, “Blue Lou” Marini and Matt “Guitar” Murphy.
Pussy Riot tell New York ahead of Sochi they will perform again
By Edith Honan, Reuters
NEW YORK Tue Feb 4, 2014 7:16pm EST
Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot may have remade themselves as global human rights advocates since their imprisonment for hooliganism, but on Tuesday they vowed to return to the stage as performers.
“It’s absolutely impossible to take this out of us,” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24 told a New York news conference ahead of Pussy Riot’s appearance at an Amnesty International concert on Wednesday, a day before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, Russia.
Tolokonnikova and her bandmate, Maria Alyokhina, 25, will be introduced at the Amnesty concert by pop star Madonna, and will speak but are not expected to perform at the event.
Have I mentioned Free YouTube Download? Not that I approve of piracy (argh), but I imagine there will be an (ahem) unexpected abscence soon. In any event it’s not my problem.
You may have read the headlines about how Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have been booted from Pussy Riot because they appeared at the Amnesty International concert.
There was an open letter published on the group’s website-
… which professed to be from Pussy Riot’s current membership. “It is no secret that Masha and Nadia are no longer members of the group, and will no longer take part in radical actionism,” they wrote. “Yes, we have lost two friends, two ideological teammates, but the world has acquired two brave human rights defenders … Unfortunately we cannot congratulate them in person because they refuse to have any contact with us.
According to this letter, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s appearance at an Amnesty International event in New York would never have been endorsed by the anti-Putin punks. “Our performances are always illegal,” they wrote. “We never sell tickets to our ‘shows’.” They also took offence to the advertising of the Amnesty gig, which included the image of a man wearing one of Pussy Riot’s distinctive balaclavas. “We are an all-female separatist collective – no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality.”
Really? News to them.
“I don’t know who they are, these people who claim to be from Pussy Riot and write on social networks,” Tolokonnikova said at yesterday’s Berlin press conference. “We never left Pussy Riot.” In a separate interview with the New York Times, Alyokhina asserted that she and Tolokonnikova are “still in contact with … the people we performed with” at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
Not so, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina told the Times. “Pussy Riot can be anyone”, including men, “and no one can excluded from Pussy Riot”, Tolokonnikova said. “[This letter] doesn’t follow the ideology of Pussy Riot … Pussy Riot can only grow.” The two women also seemed bewildered by the pseudonymous Pussy Rioters who had signed the online document – Garadja, Fara, Shaiba, Cat, Seraphima and Schumacher. Apparently this list of names includes Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s former aliases.
Speculation is that their website was hacked by the Putin Dictatorship and this letter is pure disinformation.
Nice guy Mr. Perky Nips, ain’t he?