Event: Pussy Riot: Punk Prayer

Date: February 21, 2012

Place:  Holy platform of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Event: Punk Prayer Protest

What happened:

Pussy Riot is a movement in Russia founded in 2011. It’s a collection of anonymous women who identify as a feminist punk rock protest group, they wear balaclavas during the performances. Pussy Riot: Punk Prayer is a now infamous performance given in Moscow’s Cathedral where five band members performed: Punk Prayer: Mother of God, Chase Putin away! Their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Putin during his election campaign. Two band members escaped Russia, the remaining three were convicted of  “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, The defendants pleaded not guilty, saying that they had not meant their protest to be offensive. Each was sentenced to two years imprisonment. These three women are: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich. Yekaterina was freed after two months when she appealed. Maria and Nadezhda are still serving sentences. Nadeshda is recently been on hunger strike and is protesting against the treatment within prison.

Quotes:

‘Putin calls them ‘childish’. We call them prisoners of conscience. We call Maria, Nadezhda and Ekaterina prisoners of conscience because we believe that they were arrested and then sentenced purely for peacefully expressing their opinions – an integral part of everyone’s human right to free speech.’ Amnesty International.

‘A threatening, anxious atmosphere pervades the work zone. Eternally sleep-deprived, overwhelmed by the endless race to fulfill inhumanly large quotas, prisoners are always on the verge of breaking down, screaming at each other, fighting over the smallest things. Just recently, a young woman got stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors because she didn’t turn in a pair of pants on time. Another tried to cut her own stomach open with a hacksaw. They stopped her….The living and working-condition violations at PC-14 are endless. However, my main and most important grievance is bigger than any one of these. It is that the colony administration prevents any complaints or claims regarding conditions at PC-14 from leaving colony walls by the harshest means available. The administration forces people to remain silent. It does not scorn stooping to the very lowest and cruelest means to this end.’ Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s open letter. 

‘We put on political punk performances in response to a government that is rife with rigidity, reticence, and caste-like hierarchal structures. It is so clearly invested in serving only narrow corporate interests, it makes us sick just to breathe the Russian air.’ Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s trial statement. 

 

Re-enaction of Punk Prayer

Re-enaction of Punk Prayer

 

 

 

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