1) Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk-rock collective that stages politically provocative impromptu performances in Moscow, on subjects such as the status of women in Russia, and, most recently, against the election campaign of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for President of Russia.
2) Pussy Riot is an Italian grunge band from Bologna inspired by the riot grrrl movement. Formed in 2004 by Katerina (guitar, vocals), Anastasia (bass), and Luisa (drums).The band recorded its first official demo “ThisTroy” on September 2006. https://myspace.com/pussyriot
1) In March 2012, three women from the band were arrested and charged with hooliganism; their trial began in late July. The women have attracted considerable sympathy both within Russia and internationally, due to allegations of harsh treatment while they have been in custody, and the threat of a possible seven year jail sentence. The trial has been compared by some foreign observers to a show trial.
Performances and influencesTheir usual costume is brightly-colored dresses and tights, even in bitterly cold weather, with their faces masked by balaclavas, both while performing and giving interviews, for which they always use pseudonyms. The collective is made up of about 10 performers, and about 15 people who handle the technical work of shooting and editing their videos, which are posted to the Internet. The group cites punk rock and Oi! bands Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects, Sham 69, Era and The 4-Skins as their most important musical inspiration.
The band also cite American punk rock band Bikini Kill and the Riot grrrl movement of the 1990s as an inspiration. They have said: “What we have in common is impudence, politically loaded lyrics, the importance of feminist discourse and a non-standard female image”.
Interior of the Cathedral of Christ the SaviourOn February 21, 2012, as a part of a protest movement against re-election of Vladimir Putin, three women from the group came to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, crossed themselves and began to perform a song. After less than one minute, they were escorted outside the building by guards. The film of the performance was later used to create a video clip for the song.
In the song, the group asked the “Theotokos” (Mother of God, i.e. the Virgin Mary) (rus. Bogoroditsa) to “chase Putin away”. The song also mentioned Russian Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow as someone who believes in Putin rather than in God.
Arrest and prosecutionOn March 3 Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, two alleged members of Pussy Riot, were arrested by Russian authorities and accused of “hooliganism”. Both women at first denied being members of the group and started a hunger strike in protest against being held in jail away from their young children until their case came to trial in April. On March 16 another woman, Ekaterina Samutsevitch, who had earlier been questioned as a witness in this case, was similarly arrested and charged.
On June 4, the group was presented with formal charges on an indictment 2,800 pages long. On July 4 they were suddenly informed that they would have to finish preparing their defense by July 9. They announced a hunger strike in response, saying that two working days was inadequate time for preparations for a trial defense. On July 21 the court extended their pre-trial detention by another six months.
The three detained members of Pussy Riot are recognized as political prisoners by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (SPP). Amnesty International named them prisoners of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities”.
Some prominently expressed opinions in Russia have been much harsher. Speaking at a liturgy in Moscow’s Deposition of the Robe Church on March 21, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill I condemned Pussy Riot’s actions as “blasphemous” saying that the “Devil has laughed at all of us … We have no future if we allow mocking in front of great shrines, and if some see such mocking as some sort of valour, as an expression of political protest, as an acceptable action or a harmless joke.” Meanwhile, several thousand Orthodox and Catholic believers, people of other religions and atheists signed a petition to Patriarch Kirill, begging the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to stand up for the women.Singer Alla Pugachyova appealed on the women's behalf, stating that they should be ordered to perform community service rather than be imprisoned. According to BBC correspondent Daniel Sandford, “Their treatment has caused deep disquiet among many Russians, who feel the women are – to coin a phrase from the 1967 trial of members of the Rolling Stones – butterflies being broken on a wheel.”
By late June 2012, growing disquiet over the trio’s detention without setting a trial date and concern over what was regarded as excessive and arbitrary treatment, led to the drawing up of an open letter. It was signed by leading oppositional figures as well as director Fyodor Bondarchuk, a supporter of Putin, and actors Chulpan Khamatova and Yevgeny Mironov, both of whom had appeared in videos for Putin’s re-election campaign. Pro-Kremlin Nikita Mikhalkov, head of the Russian Cinematographers' Union, stated in an interview that he would gladly sign an open letter against them.
In July 2012, sociologist Alek D. Epstein published a compilation of artistic works by various Russian artists entitled “Art on the barricades: Pussy Riot, the Bus Exhibit and the protest art-activism” in support of the trio.
The trial of the three women started in Moscow's Khamovniki, or Khamovichesky, District Court on July 30. Charged with "premeditated hooliganism performed by organized group of people motivated by religious hatred or hostility", they face possible sentences of up to seven years imprisonment. In early July, a poll conducted in Moscow found that half of the respondents oppose the trial while 36 percent support it; the rest being undecided. The defendants pleaded not guilty, insisting that they had not meant their protest to be offensive. On July 31, The Financial Times published an editorial saying the women had become "an international cause célèbre" due to the harsh treatment they have received.
The accused have received support from foreign musicians such as Kate Nash, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sting, Jarvis Cocker, Pete Townshend,Peaches, Madonna, and Yoko Ono. Also, 121 members of the German parliament, the Bundestag have sent a letter to the Russian Ambassador to Germany, Vladimir Grinin, in support of the three jailed members. The letter from the Bundestag referred to proceedings against the women as being disproportionate and draconian.
1.^ Corey Flintoff (February 8, 2012). "In Russia, Punk-Rock Riot Girls Rage Against Putin". NPR. http://www.npr.org/2012/02/08/146581790/in-russia-punk-rock-riot-girls-rage-against-putin. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
2.^ Elder, Miriam (February 2, 2012). "Feminist punk band Pussy Riot take revolt to the Kremlin". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/02/pussy-riot-protest-russia.
3.^ Veli Itäläinen (March 26, 2012). "Pimppimellakka omin sanoin" (in Finnish). Fifi, Voima. http://fifi.voima.fi/blogikirjoitus/2012/maaliskuu/pimppimellakka-omin-sanoin.
4.^ Henry Langston (March 2012). "A Russian Pussy Riot". Vice. http://www.vice.com/read/A-Russian-Pussy-Riot.
5.^ Sergey Chernov (February 1, 2012). "Female Fury". The St. Petersburg Times (1693 (4)). http://sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=35092.
6.^ 19.04.2012 (2012-04-19). "Интервью | Гости | Русская служба новостей". Rusnovosti.ru. http://rusnovosti.ru/guests/interviews/163402/198518/. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
7.^ Pussy Riot (February 21, 2012). "The text of the song in Russian". http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/12442.html. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
8.^ "Russian punk band Pussy Riot go on hunger strike in Moscow". The Week. March 6, 2012. http://www.theweek.co.uk/russia/russia-election/45722/russian-punk-band-pussy-riot-go-hunger-strike-moscow.
9.^ "Third member of “Pussy Riot” charged over punk prayer". RT. March 16, 2012. http://rt.com/news/prime-time/third-member-pussy-riot-765/.
10.^ Участниц Pussy Riot официально обвинили в хулиганстве по мотивам религиозной ненависти (Pussy Riot members officially charged with disorderly conduct motivated by religious hatred). In Russian. Google translation
11.^ Jonathan Earle (July 4, 2012). "Pussy Riot Suspects Go on Hunger Strike". The Moscow Times. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/pussy-riot-suspects-go-on-hunger-strike/461594.html. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
12.^ "Russia extends jailing of Pussy Riot activists". Reuters. July 21, 2012. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/20/russia-pussyriot-trial-idINL6E8IKGPU20120720. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
13.^ "Троих предполагаемых участниц Pussy Riot признали политзаключенными " (in Russian). Росбалт. March 25,2012. http://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2012/03/25/961247.html. Google translation.
14.^ "Russia: Release punk singers held after performance in church". Amnesty International. April 3, 2012. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR46/014/2012/en/c9edb950-30b6-4b90-a4d3-ddf8b97bc4c3/eur460142012en.html. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
15.^ "Pussy Riot reply to Patriarch". RT. March 27, 2012. http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/pussy-riot-clash-patriarch-567/.
16.^ "Russia’s Pop Queen Wants Freedom for Pussy Riot". RIA Novosti. 16 April 2012. http://en.ria.ru/society/20120416/172852228.html. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
17.^ Daniel Sandford (July 30, 2012). "Pussy Riot trial: Muscovites reflect on divisive case". BBC News Online. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19041458. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
18.^ Miriam Elder (30 June 2012). "Russians join in call for Pussy Riot trio’s release". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/30/support-pussy-riot-trio. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
19.^ The Independent, 20 September 2011.
20.^ "Mikhalkov against Pussy Riot" (in Russian). echomsk.spb.ru. 25 July 2012. http://www.echomsk.spb.ru/news/obschestvo/mikhalkov-pismo-protiv-pussy-riot.html. Google translation
21.^ Valery Ledenev (July 23, 2012). "Борьба продолжается!". artchronika.ru. http://artchronika.ru/blog/epstein-pussy-riot/. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
22.^ Meyer, Henry (July 30, 2012). "Punk Girls Sorry Anti-Putin Act Hurt Devout as Trial Starts". Business Week. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-30/punk-girls-sorry-anti-putin-prayer-hurt-faithful-as-trial-opens.
23.^ a b "Pussy Riot trial over Putin altar protest begins". The Guardian. July 30, 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/pussy-riot-trial-putin-russia-church?newsfeed=true. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
24.^ "Pussy Riot trial: A glance case against anti-Putin feminist rockers". July 30, 2012. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pussy-riot-trial-a-glance-case-anti-putin-feminist-rockers-article-1.1125140?pgno=1. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
25.^ Editorial (2012-07-31). "The Pussy Riot act" ((registration required)). The Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/50dd210a-db1a-11e1-8074-00144feab49a.html. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
26.^ "Pop stars line up to support jailed Russian female punk band Pussy Riot who dared to criticise Putin". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2182600/Pussy-Riot-trial-British-pop-stars-jailed-Russian-band-criticised-Putin.html?ito=feeds-newsxml. Retrieved August 04, 2012.
27.^ Madonna asks for leniency for Pussy Riot, The West Australian, August 7, 2012
28.^ "Twitter feed of Yoko Ono". Yoko Ono. http://twitter.com/yokoono/status/232951434914705408. Retrieved August 07, 2012.
29.^ "121 German Parliamentarians Support Jailed Pussy Riot Members". RIA Novosti. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120808/175059708.html. Retrieved August 08, 2012.
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