Jailed Pussy Riot Grrls Face Monday Trial

Jailed Pussy Riot Grrls Face Monday Trial

So Putin is having a bit of a public turnaround. Good. Because punk rock group Pussy Riot having been awaiting trial since March. Because of a protest song.

Why are Russian activist grrls Pussy Riot in jail? Good question.

On February 8 2012, Putin pledged to put £120 million into the building of Orthodox churches, saying “we must move away from the primitive notion of separation between church and state”.

Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich awaiting trial. Since March. For a protest song.

On February 21, punk collective Pussy Riot staged an anti-Putin, anti-Orthodox protest song. Clad in balaclavas and bright summer dresses (in the dead of Winter: hardcore), four Pussy Riot grrls rocked out with a “punk prayer” variously titled “Holy Sh*t” and “Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!”, depending on which source you go with. The song was performed on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in direct response to Putin’s pledge, racked up a quarter of a million YouTube views with the video and became a sort of call to arms for a youthful anti-Putin movement just beginning to find its voice, aided and galvanised with the protests of Pussy Riot and another protest collective called Voina (“War” in Russian).

Four girls and a cameraman participated in this protest. On March 5, the day after Putin scored another term of office, two members of Pussy Riot were arrested and were soon joined by a third in prison.

Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich have been in prison since March. Realistically, they could have been charged with a trespassing misdemeanour or disturbing the peace.

Photo: Igor Mukhin

Actually, the Pussy Riot grrls are being charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, which carries a jail term of at least two years and a maximum of seven.

And Putin’s regime might have got away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky kids.

With huge internet backlash and visibility, Putin seems to be keen to make a gesture to the West, and recently publicly announced that the Pussy Riot grrls shouldn’t “be judged so harshly”.

Pussy Riot defence lawyer Nikolai Polozov says of Putin’s apparent turnaround:

Photo: Igor Mukhin

“In my opinion this is a gesture towards the West, towards the consumers of Russian energy resources and [Mr Putin’s] business partners. Given the significance of such signals, we can expect some softening of the prosecution’s position.”

So there you have it. Pussy Riot will be judged in a trial on Monday.

Keep posting, sharing and talking about this. It’s already made a difference. Even a minimum sentence of two years for a non-violent protest is a long, long time.

Also, not that it will make any active difference whatsoever, it’s still excellent to know Craftzine have come up with a free cabled balaclava knitting pattern for knitters, supporters and emulators of Pussy Riot. Something to do in between those online discussions and calls to arms…

Finally, if you want to get involved, check out the Amnesty International Campaign for Pussy Riot.

Support for Pussy Riot is getting off the internet and onto the streets with pickets and protests. Photo: Kyiv Post


write for Mookychick