Pussy Riot: The band who make Slipknot look like The Wurzels

We in the guild accept we are pathetic when compared to the world’s most vital and dangerous pop group. We speak of course of Pussy Riot, the band who make Slipknot look like The Wurzels.

Pussy Riot, if we were lazy journalists, could be described as a ‘Russian Feminist Punk group’, but they’re so much more. They’ve just been been thrown in jail over their February protest at a Moscow cathedral, the only anti-Putin protest which is getting any attention outside Russia. Did you see the cheapo campaigns Putin’s ‘rivals’ put out? Didn’t look like a fair election to us, or anyone.

Two of the band have been remanded in custody, and they’re on hunger strike. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhin are protesting against the conditions of their arrest, which will see them kept behind bars until a late April hearing. They both have young children.

They face up to seven years in prison.

There’s ten in the band and plenty of Public Enemy-style supporting members. Their open-air ‘guerilla’ gigs see them dressed in brightly-coloured balaclavas and mini-skirts. The agenda focuses on pushing for judicial, educational and cultural reform. It’s a rally against Russia’s authoritarianism, inspired by the spirit of British punk rock.  

Now, the most notorious of Pussy Riot’s ‘open air protest’ gigs has landed them in jail. On 21st February they broke into the Moscow Christ the Saviour cathedral, performing a song entitled ‘Holy Shit’ at the altar, a tune attacking the Orthodox church’s close ties to Putin. The chorus goes:

“Holy Mother, blessed Virgin, chase Putin out!”

Here’s a quote from their website: “Our patriarch is not ashamed of wearing watches worth $40,000, which is intolerable when so many families in Russia are on the edge of poverty. Our position is to think critically, to doubt all ‘natural’ things, and find lies.”

For what it’s worth, in our own humble way, we URGE you to support Pussy Riot. This is gross censorship. On 8 March, International Women’s Day, a number of flash mobs in support of the group are planned to take place all over Moscow. We wish them luck.  

You can read more about the case and how the band’s lawyer is being dicked around by the authorities here http://uncut.indexoncensorship.org/2012/03/russia-pussy-riot-arrest/

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