Let’s Start A Riot!

Pussy Riot, founded in 2011, is a feminist, activist, punk rock band based in Moscow.  Part of their shtick is that they where brightly colored balaclavas and bright dresses, even outside in the freezing weather of Moscow.  They are loud, straight forward with their demands, and most-likely would not be considered peaceful protestors. What Pussy Riot likes to do is go to public, busy spaces and perform their “concerts” for all to hear.  Often their performances are done in very strategic locations to be able to prove a point.

There is one performance that truly brought fame to Pussy Riot, but prior to that, they had a few other notable performances.  “Kill the Sexist” was the first song they performed as an announcing of the creation of their band.  “Release the Cobblestones” was a performance that encouraged Russians to protest parliamentary elections and to throw cobblestones during street scuffles.  “Kropotkin Vodka” is a song they performed in an upscale shopping district where they sang in store display windows and on top of an automobile display.  “Death to Prison, Freedom to Protests” was a performance they did outside of a prison where prisoners cheered them on.  “Putin Zassal” was a song they performed in Moscow’s Red Square where they screamed about their hate for Putin.

The performance that truly put Pussy Riot on the map was the concert(link here) they did at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior entitled “Mother of God, Drive Putin Away”, on February 21, 2012.  The purpose of the performance was to protest and reject the lack of a separation of church and state in Russia  Unfortunately for Pussy Riot, the people in the cathedral were not happy about the free entertainment.  Three members, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested on charges of Criminal Hooliganism and Blasphemy.  They were all convicted and sentenced to two years in a penal colony, however Samutsevich was released after appealing the ruling, and was given two years probation instead, thanks to her lawyer. The two members not released were not happy with her and believed that she was betraying them and the purpose behind what they did.  Putin himself was even accused with influencing the outcome of this case.

This trial was highly publicized and reached not only Russian citizens, but people all over the world.  Various musical artists even expressed sympathy for the members of Pussy riot, including Madonna, Bjork, and Paul McCartney.  They were even invited by Madonna on stage at one of her concerts.  Considering how highly publicized it all was, the trial by itself brought attention to major issues within the Russian legal system.

More recently, they have been releasing videos to continue their activism on a more global level.  They even have a music video where Masha and Nadya are buried alive as the words of Eric Garner are read in the background.

Pussy riot is an idea and a lifestyle, and will not be put down by the oppressors they wish to destroy.

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