Hell yeah, Pussy Riot bloodied but unbowed in their new protest action: Watch: Putin Will Teach You To Love The Motherland

Keep on stinging, Scorpio Sister. Happy Birthday, Nadya.

Life is most exciting when we are put in the uncomfortable position of having to evaluate our beliefs.

Pussy Riot by Denis Bochkarev, creative commons attribution.

#QuestionEverything #FreePussyRiot

A short snippet of Balaclavas, performed by Allison Wolfe, Drew Denny, and some weird old bag in a pink dress. Video by Angie Skull, from the LA ZineFest. #FreePussyRiot

If you haven’t seen this new video from Pussy Riot yet, watch it now. Start the Pussy Riot and never stop. Please re-post.

Now that the London Olympics have concluded and school is back in session, I find myself basking in the afterglow of the empowering bonding experience that the Games provided for me and my daughter. I also have time to ponder the significance of the increased participation of women.

For two weeks, my daughter and I made a daily habit of selecting a few events to watch from the hours and hours of Olympic programming we’d recorded. “What shall we watch today?” I asked one day, to which she responded, “I like watching the events with women in them.”  I smiled inwardly, thinking that I felt the very same way. My husband jokingly accused us of watching swimming events to ogle the scantily clad male swimmers but those events were really not the main attraction. It was much more interesting to watch women who had pursued their dreams and reached the height of excellence in their chosen sport. It was inspiring. 

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, athletic but I know how to swim, I’ve played volleyball before and I can (or maybe could) do a pretty good cartwheel. Suddenly, I could imagine myself on the U.S volleyball team, or swimming a lap in a relay or doing cartwheels while twirling a ribbon around. I know my daughter had the same experience because on the days when rhythmic gymnastics were on TV,  I had to take a circuitous route through the den to avoid bumping into her as she worked her way across the room, hula-hooping, or throwing and catching a small ball in imitation of the gymnasts.

It was exciting to learn that this was the first year in which every country participating had sent females athletes to compete; we felt like we were witnessing history in the making and in fact, we were. We watched Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia wear traditional Muslim head covering during her race.  She proudly represented her country; her presence there not only helped to dispel myths about women and Muslims, it also prompted the TV commentator to point out that Saudi Arabia is a country which still denies women the right to drive. Like many people who followed  #Women2Drive on Twitter, I was already aware of their struggle but for millions of TV watchers this was new information. Perhaps the dissemination of that information will gain Saudi women additional supporters and expedite their inevitable triumph. Maybe that’s why it took so long for Saudi Arabia to send female athletes. Perhaps it was this very thing they feared:  the Olympic spotlight can bring glory to a country but it can also attract scrutiny.

At the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government did not escape the scrutiny of human rights advocates. Although the IOC asks host countries to remedy human rights violations,  it is the public who must ultimately monitor and exert political and economic pressure on those who do not comply. I wonder how Russia will fare under that type of scrutiny as they prepare to welcome the world to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics? I wonder if Putin has given any thought to how his country and his administration will be perceived by the world if they choose to suppress dissenting views with trials that make the Russian judicial system the laughing stock of the rational world - why else would the judge in the Pussy Riot trial feel compelled to prohibit laughing? It would be funny if it weren’t so sad because these young women are being tried by what might as well be called the Russian Inquisition. 

Get ready for your close up, Mr. Putin.

We must speak for those whose voices have been silenced. #FREEPUSSYRIOT

We must speak for those whose voices have been silenced. #FREEPUSSYRIOT

Excerpt from Manifesto by N. Tolokonnikova 05/04/2012

"Those who judge the activists of the punk-group Pussy Riot (P.R.) assess their activity from the height of a non-critical understanding of truth whereby they assume that there exists only one truth and that only they who are bringing judgment to bear have the right to establish this truth. I call such truth patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, traditionalist, and fundamentalist.

They are not ignorant. But unfortunately they prefer that most Russians remain ignorant…

Let the Orthodox Church of Russia continue to postulate, to its heart’s content, its gender and ethics assumptions. But for an ethical consensus in society, it is not enough to have just one point of view. It is not possible to speak of consensus while the other side, which supports the idea of gender equality, is devoid of access to television channels and the paper media, to representatives in the higher echelons of power… I don’t mean to accuse anyone, but this manner of putting your opponent behind bars with the threat of 7 years of minimum security colony and then, standing next to the cell, speaking about ethical consensus – doesn’t this just smack of cowardice?”
Nadia Tolokno, SIZO 6, 5 April 2012
Scanned version of hand-written original in Pussy Riot live-journal: http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/22967.html

Excerpt from Manifesto by N. Tolokonnikova 05/04/2012

"Those who judge the activists of the punk-group Pussy Riot (P.R.) assess their activity from the height of a non-critical understanding of truth whereby they assume that there exists only one truth and that only they who are bringing judgment to bear have the right to establish this truth. I call such truth patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, traditionalist, and fundamentalist.

They are not ignorant. But unfortunately they prefer that most Russians remain ignorant…

Let the Orthodox Church of Russia continue to postulate, to its heart’s content, its gender and ethics assumptions. But for an ethical consensus in society, it is not enough to have just one point of view. It is not possible to speak of consensus while the other side, which supports the idea of gender equality, is devoid of access to television channels and the paper media, to representatives in the higher echelons of power… I don’t mean to accuse anyone, but this manner of putting your opponent behind bars with the threat of 7 years of minimum security colony and then, standing next to the cell, speaking about ethical consensus – doesn’t this just smack of cowardice?”

Nadia Tolokno, SIZO 6, 5 April 2012

Scanned version of hand-written original in Pussy Riot live-journal: http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com/22967.html

violencegirl:

“Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to any woman, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking girls only to undermine the government; to reassess and reorganize the senseless, archaic legal system (and initiate a more effective method of enforcement), to stop the blind acceptance of implausible media role models, to re-educate apathetic female puppets who distort the image and impair the evolution of women…and to repair men.”

Castration Squad Manifesto, 1980. With acknowledgment to Valerie Solanas.

"It remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking girls only to undermine the government"

RUSSIA EXTENDS JAILING OF PUSSY RIOT BY 6 MONTHS
By Gabriela Baczynska
MOSCOW, July 20 (Reuters) - Three members of female punk group Pussy Riot who derided President Vladimir Putin in a protest in Moscow’s main cathedral had their spell in jail extended by six months on Friday in what their lawyers called a show trial dictated by the Kremlin.
The women, who have been held in pre-trial custody for almost five months, face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism for storming the altar in multi-coloured masks to sing a “punk prayer” to the Virgin Mary to “Throw Putin Out!”
Pussy Riot’s brazen act was part of a protest movement against Putin’s 12-year dominance of Russia that at its peak saw 100,000 people take part in winter demonstrations in Moscow.
The Feb. 21 protest, which offended many believers in the mainly Orthodox Christian country, exposed deep divisions over the church leadership’s backing for Putin and the scale of punishment faced by the women, two of whom have young children.
Defence lawyer Mark Feigin said the court’s acquiescence to a prosecution request to hold Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich until Jan. 13, 2013, showed Russian leaders had given orders for their conviction.
"Today’s decision only proves again that our role as defendants here is a pure formality," Feigin told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the media.
"There is a lot of evidence that the judge will disregard justice in favour of a pre-set instructions on how to rule, which have been handed down by the authorities. They want to find them guilty… to punish them with real jail time.
"It is not a process but a judicial reprisal," he said.
Putin and the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, are among more than 30 people Feigin and his two colleagues want to call to testify as witnesses in the trial.
After the Pussy Riot performance, Kirill said the Church was “under attack by persecutors”. The patriarch has often praised Putin and in February likened his 12-year rule to a “miracle of God”.
Though neither the president nor the patriarch is likely to testify, defence lawyers said the request pointed to those they believe were pulling strings behind the scenes.
"They are trying to make it look like an attack on Russia by some dark powers. It is just a theatre of the absurd, not a real court," said Nikolai Polozov, another defence lawyer.

RECALLING KHODORKOVSKY
Court spokeswoman Darya Lyakh said a date would be announced on Monday for the start of the high-profile trial, which has drawn comparisons to the jailing of former oil tycoon, billionaire and Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The Pussy Riot hearing on Friday took place in the same Moscow where Khodorkovsky’s second trial took place.
Outside, Orthodox Church faithful mingled warily with Pussy Riot backers, some of whom wore T-shirts emblazoned with the band’s trademark brightly coloured balaclavas.
A church activist read Bible passages out loud, while one of the women’s supporters unfurled a banners “Throw Putin Out!”, raising chants of “Freedom, Freedom!” before he was detained.
"Believers’ feelings are not worth a prison sentence," read another sign held aloft, before rain dispersed the crowd.
The three women’s arrest has drawn widespread outrage among human rights groups and opposition activists already fuming over the church’s backing of Putin in a presidential election he won in March. Amnesty International has urged Russia to free the trio, criticising the severity of the response by authorities.
"The authorities have again chosen to take the toughest measures against Pussy Riot," said Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov. He added that this would "only provoke more outcry in society and provoke more support for the girls."
But some Orthodox believers have called for tough punishment for an act they regard as blasphemous.
"I was really upset at what happened," said Vadim Kvyatkovsky, a member of an Orthodox Christian youth group. "This was no act of art. If it was happening anywhere else, in the street, we could discuss that, but when it is in a cathedral then it just violates our freedoms."
Half of Muscovites surveyed this month by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, said they had negative views about the prosecution of Pussy Riot members while 36 percent said they welcomed the criminal case.
 
SUPPORT PUSSY RIOT! PUNK SOLIDARITY!
 

RUSSIA EXTENDS JAILING OF PUSSY RIOT BY 6 MONTHS

By Gabriela Baczynska

MOSCOW, July 20 (Reuters) - Three members of female punk group Pussy Riot who derided President Vladimir Putin in a protest in Moscow’s main cathedral had their spell in jail extended by six months on Friday in what their lawyers called a show trial dictated by the Kremlin.

The women, who have been held in pre-trial custody for almost five months, face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism for storming the altar in multi-coloured masks to sing a “punk prayer” to the Virgin Mary to “Throw Putin Out!”

Pussy Riot’s brazen act was part of a protest movement against Putin’s 12-year dominance of Russia that at its peak saw 100,000 people take part in winter demonstrations in Moscow.

The Feb. 21 protest, which offended many believers in the mainly Orthodox Christian country, exposed deep divisions over the church leadership’s backing for Putin and the scale of punishment faced by the women, two of whom have young children.

Defence lawyer Mark Feigin said the court’s acquiescence to a prosecution request to hold Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich until Jan. 13, 2013, showed Russian leaders had given orders for their conviction.

"Today’s decision only proves again that our role as defendants here is a pure formality," Feigin told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the media.

"There is a lot of evidence that the judge will disregard justice in favour of a pre-set instructions on how to rule, which have been handed down by the authorities. They want to find them guilty… to punish them with real jail time.

"It is not a process but a judicial reprisal," he said.

Putin and the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, are among more than 30 people Feigin and his two colleagues want to call to testify as witnesses in the trial.

After the Pussy Riot performance, Kirill said the Church was “under attack by persecutors”. The patriarch has often praised Putin and in February likened his 12-year rule to a “miracle of God”.

Though neither the president nor the patriarch is likely to testify, defence lawyers said the request pointed to those they believe were pulling strings behind the scenes.

"They are trying to make it look like an attack on Russia by some dark powers. It is just a theatre of the absurd, not a real court," said Nikolai Polozov, another defence lawyer.

RECALLING KHODORKOVSKY

Court spokeswoman Darya Lyakh said a date would be announced on Monday for the start of the high-profile trial, which has drawn comparisons to the jailing of former oil tycoon, billionaire and Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The Pussy Riot hearing on Friday took place in the same Moscow where Khodorkovsky’s second trial took place.

Outside, Orthodox Church faithful mingled warily with Pussy Riot backers, some of whom wore T-shirts emblazoned with the band’s trademark brightly coloured balaclavas.

A church activist read Bible passages out loud, while one of the women’s supporters unfurled a banners “Throw Putin Out!”, raising chants of “Freedom, Freedom!” before he was detained.

"Believers’ feelings are not worth a prison sentence," read another sign held aloft, before rain dispersed the crowd.

The three women’s arrest has drawn widespread outrage among human rights groups and opposition activists already fuming over the church’s backing of Putin in a presidential election he won in March. Amnesty International has urged Russia to free the trio, criticising the severity of the response by authorities.

"The authorities have again chosen to take the toughest measures against Pussy Riot," said Tolokonnikova’s husband, Pyotr Verzilov. He added that this would "only provoke more outcry in society and provoke more support for the girls."

But some Orthodox believers have called for tough punishment for an act they regard as blasphemous.

"I was really upset at what happened," said Vadim Kvyatkovsky, a member of an Orthodox Christian youth group. "This was no act of art. If it was happening anywhere else, in the street, we could discuss that, but when it is in a cathedral then it just violates our freedoms."

Half of Muscovites surveyed this month by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, said they had negative views about the prosecution of Pussy Riot members while 36 percent said they welcomed the criminal case.

 

SUPPORT PUSSY RIOT! PUNK SOLIDARITY!