16 Jun 2012
Pussy Riot, Putin, The Church, and Human Rights
Katya Soldak, Contributor
“In this day and age if you don’t break the rules nobody pays attention to you”, David Gross, a producer for music events in New York City, said. Together with Bryan Swirsky they are organizing a Free Pussy Riot benefit concert in New York. More than a dozen bands will play at Knitting Factory in Williamsburg on June 23rd to raise money. The proceeds will be given to Amnesty International, where a special account has been created for Pussy Riot, and the money will be transferred to Russia to provide a proper legal defense for the punk band.
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14 Jun 2012
Free 'Pussy Riot'!
June 13, 2012
by Liliana Silverman
In the past few months these three feminists from an anonymous group have become Russian symbols for government resistance. Free Pussy Riot demonstrations have sprung up throughout Europe and the United States. Amnesty International has named them prisoners of conscience. But with all of the interest in this case it is important to remember that it is about three jailed women, two of which are mothers of small children, who are facing a long jail term if convicted. Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich's pre-trial jail time, they have been detained since March, has been extended until their June 24th trial date. The defendants have reported unlawful 24-hour surveillance and threats from investigators to terminate their parental rights. Russia has a conviction rate of approximately 99 percent; a fair trial for the alleged Pussy Riot members looks bleak. Despite the odds against Pussy Riot's acquittal, fighting for their freedom, and a free democratic Russian state, must continue.
Read Full Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liliana-silverman/pussy-riot-arrest_b_1595092.html
11 Jun 2012
Putin, Protests, and Pussy Riot (oh, and, yes, a little Boris Groys): The Update from Moscow
Baibakov Art Projects June 9, 2012
This means had Boris Groys spoken at Occupy Abai one week later, he could have been out at least $300, based on the OMON’s characterization of his involvement. While Groy’s speech didn’t make too many ripples – in the end, one eyewitness lamented it was too short and hard to hear – he did publish a more extensive interview with Yury Saprykin of Afisha, where the esteemed professor touches on everything from Kabakov to Pussy Riot. In the defense of the latter (who will have another defense delivered next week at the Palais de Tokyo), he compares the group to Alexander Brener, the controversial artist who defaced a Malevich. Whereas Brener’s actions knowingly broke a law, Groys observes, the legality or illegality of Pussy Riot’s actions are much more contested. Furthermore, Groys believes that their actions have drawn the amount of attention they have already speaks to the relevance of those actions, whatever their aesthetic merit. After all, the purpose of contemporary art isn’t to make something everyone likes; as Groys exclaims in the interview title: “Do you think everyone in the West likes contemporary art? Hell no!”
Read Full Article: http://baibakovartprojects.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/putin-protests-and-pussy-riot-oh-and-yes-a-little-boris-groys-the-update-from-moscow/
09 Jun 2012
NY Times: Real Punk Belongs to Fighters
By JESSICA BRUDER
Published: June 8, 2012
NEW YORK — Exactly 35 years after the Sex Pistols were arrested for trying to perform their version of “God Save The Queen” while boating down the Thames, punk’s politically subversive snarl has never been louder. But you won’t hear it in the U.S. and the U.K., the countries where punk was born.
nstead look to Moscow, where three women have been detained and face up to seven years in prison because their band, Pussy Riot, staged an anti-Putin “punk prayer” in a cathedral. Amnesty International now classifies them as prisoners of conscience.
Consider Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where six months ago officers hauled more than 60 young punks off to reeducation camps, sheared off their Mohawks, removed their piercings and forced them to bathe, change clothes and pray. Or contemplate Iraq, where human rights groups report that dozens of emo kids — followers of punk’s tender-hearted offshoot — have been slain by extremists since February, when the government’s interior ministry released a statement equating emo style with devil worship.
Burmese punk bands have to practice in secrecy to avoid arrest. As a member of the band Rebel Riot recently told the German magazine Der Spiegel, “In Burma, punk is not a game.” At the head of Cuba’s dissident music scene, Porno para Ricardo plays nose-thumbing punk anthems despite years of police harassment, including the lead singer Gorki Aguila’s latest arrest in February.
Read full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/opinion/real-punk-belongs-to-fighters.html?_r=3
07 Jun 2012
Pussy Riot Indictment Posted
June 7, 2012 13:03
On June 5, Mark Feigin, counsel to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, posted on his blog that Russian authorities decided on May 28 to prosecute his client under Part 2 of Article 213 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy of hate) over her alleged participation in Pussy Riot's punk prayer at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The indictment includes troubling passages that seem to be in direct conflict with elements of the Russian Constitution.
According to the text of the preliminary indictment, Tolokonnikova stands accused not only of being motivated by religious hatred, but also the hatred of a specific social group: Orthodox believers.
We emphasize once again our position that the prosecution of Pussy Riot on criminal charges is an illegitimate use of Russian law. Sova does not see in the actions of the punk prayer's participants any demonstration of religious hatred, that is, neither of hatred towards the Russian Orthodoxy or its adherents. The authors of the song played at the punk prayer at most delivered a strongly-worded but personal criticism of Patriarch Kirill for his support of the sitting Russian government. However, the song not only does not contain calls to violence against the Orthodox Church, but also lacks any criticism of the religion itself or its believers.
Read Full Article: http://www.sova-center.ru/en/religion/news-releases/2012/06/d24590/
07 Jun 2012
Pussy Riot are scapegoats for Russia's political crisis
June 7 2012
There is something oddly Shakespearian about the story of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk-rock collective staging impromptu events in balaclavas. It recalls the narrative of King Lear's Fool – the laughter dying, the farce drawing to a mysterious, possibly violent close. It likewise recalls the story of the Jester in Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev, a shimmering, brutal portrait of 15th century Russia. The Jester is obscene and irreverent, mocking both the state and the church – and suffers an unenviable fate.
Read Full Article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/07/pussy-riot-russia-punk-prayer-service
06 Jun 2012
Pussy Riot as Poster Girls - The Russian government seeks to make all protest illegal
By Ryan Cooper
June 7, 2012
Because this case is not really about Pussy Riot actions in the church, It's not even really about Pussy Riot's criticism of Vladimir Putin's rule or policies. Instead, the group is being used to serve as an example to any who might criticize his rule, or question his relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church.
And it's a relationship that bears questioning.
Many political critics are harshly critical of Putin's relationship with the church, charging that he's allowing its leaders to gain political power and monetary wealth in exchange for their support. And there is much to suggest this is true.
Read Article: http://punkmusic.about.com/od/punkinthenews/a/Pussy-Riot-As-Poster-Girls.htm
05 Jun 2012
Russia’s State Church – Analysis
June 5, 2012
By David Satter
The actions of Pussy Riot inspired indignation on the part of Church leaders and regime officials. Patriarch Kirill called their action a “mockery of a sacred place.” Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said it was “blasphemy.” The women were described as “satanic devils” and “prostitutes” and there were calls for them to be ripped to pieces on the ancient execution site in Red Square.
What was lost in all this was the identification of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Putin regime. Putin’s inauguration was marked by the ringing of church bells in the Kremlin. Kirill held a special prayer service for his “health” and “success in government,” in the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin. In the Novodevichy Monastery, the nuns sang psalms round the clock for Putin’s health.
Read Full Article: http://www.eurasiareview.com/05062012-russias-state-church-analysis/
Published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute
02 Jun 2012
Why are Pussy Riot girls still in prison?
30 May 2012
The Pussy Riot story has long since become more than just an art event; it has acquired political overtones and even Amnesty International has recognised the girls as prisoners of conscience. Some days ago one of the Pussy Riot girls went on hunger strike in support of her demand to be moved to solitary detention because relations with her cellmates were so bad. Her demands were only met on 21 May, some five days later, when the media had picked up information about her hunger strike.
Why is it that girls from a punk rock band are being held on remand and accused under the ‘hooliganism’ article of the Criminal Code, with a possible maximum sentence of 7 years, when all they did was to execute a few steps in the pulpit of the Cathedral?
Read Full Article: http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/yelena-fedotova/why-are-pussy-riot-girls-still-in-prison
27 May 2012
Jailed punk band Pussy Riot pushes free speech limits in Russia
John D. Sutter,
Fri May 25, 2012
CNN: Tell me about the idea behind the band.
Verzilov: Pussy Riot is this punk feminist band, which was formed by a collective of women who decided the best way to bring (forward) both political and feminist ideas in the context of present-day Putinist Russia was to do these unsanctioned punk performances with their faces covered. And at the same time bring on a very bright image, but avoid objectification of girls who take part in these events.
Read Full Interview: http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/25/world/europe/russia-punk-band-arrest/index...