Sunday, 19 August 2012

Free Pussy Riot

I thought it was about time I blogged about a campaign I feel quite strongly about, and also kind of a way of informing others on the campaign as despite the news coverage I'm still finding people who don't have a clue what I'm going on about.

Who the Hell are Pussy Riot and why do we need to free them?
Pussy Riot are an all female political feminist punk band from Russia- their catchphrase is "We are all Pussy Riot" so they all don brightly coloured balaclava's for anonymity- as well as not using their real names- this is all part of their catchphrase- we don't need to know their names or what their faces look like because "we are all pussy riot". The band perform provocative songs in unusual locations- like on the top of a bus for example- and then the videos go up on Youtube to spread their political message around the world.

Back in February, four of the members performed an Anti Putin (Russian president Vladimir Putin) song in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The performance was stopped after 30 seconds by police officials- here's the video of the performance

here are the English lyrics to the song they sang:
St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!
(end chorus)

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners are crawling and bowing
The ghost of freedom is in heaven
Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend the Holy
Women have to give birth and to love

Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!

St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist
Become a feminist, Become a feminist
(end chorus)

Church praises the rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
In school you are going to meet with a teacher-preacher
Go to class - bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, you better believed in God
Belt of the Virgin is no substitute for mass-meetings
In protest of our Ever-Virgin Mary!

St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!
(end chorus)

A few weeks later after the footage appeared on the internet - three members were arrested for hooliganism. The women have been in prison since then (March) and the trial only began in late July with it coming to it's climax last Friday- they were found guilty and sentenced to two years each. The women are-  Maria Vladimirovna Alyokhina- who is only 24 and is a student and a mother,  30 year old Yekaterina Stanislavovna Samutsevich who is a computer programmer and 22 year old Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova who is also a student, and is married with a four year old daughter. Maria is also a vegan and reportedly collapsed from starvation due to not being given vegan food.

The women have had a lot of support from all over the world from such celebrities as Madonna, Bjork, Kate Nash and even Paul McCartney. On the day of the trial there were protest actions all over the world including in London, Barcelona, Lisbon, New York, Paris, Moscow itself and many, many more.

I was lucky enough that I was able to join in with the London action near the Russian Embassy. There were people of all ages and gender gathered, many with balaclavas or masks, and many bright colours.

Whilst I was there, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by my favourite journalist feminist activist Laurie Penny- and in her published article I'm quoted in the very first line! The article is here and you can spot me in one of the photos too!

Pussy Riot are an inspiration as they aren't afraid to speak their minds even in a country which seems to regard freedom of speech as an act of crime. The women have been arrested for singing and dancing for 30 seconds in a nutshell- where's the justice in that?

There is a petition you can sign here - you can also find a link on that page to download Peaches 'Free Pussy Riot' song. Here's the video to it- 

and finally you can buy an awesome 'Free Pussy Riot' t shirt from this site, and the profits go to the free pussy riot cause

here's me modelling mine!
The main site for news, updates and information is here

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Riot Grrrrl Sunday Service no.2

Have some modern day riot grrrl to brighten your day!

I totally love this right now: