Monday, April 30, 2012

Pussy Riot and free speech: How Russian capitalism and religion are attacking dissent

The feminist riot grrrl punk band Pussy Riot, which I’ve been covering here at Death and Taxes since their anti-Putin performance inside Christ the Savior Cathedral, have had their detention extended two months to June 24.

This for what essentially amounts to a variation on the flash mob. Is anyone surprised that the three prisoners are being detained by state and church, the twin pillars of mass oppression since time immemorial?

This past Saturday was Global Pussy Riot Action Day, which was an opportunity for supporters to raise awareness about the detention of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, who have refused to say if they are in fact members of Pussy Riot. Since Pussy Riot’s mid-March protest prayer, their situation has gradually infiltrated the mainstream media, whereas before it was mostly the concern of indie media. More press should hopefully raise awareness of the absurdity of the state and religious response.

To get a batter grasp of the situation in which the Pussy Riot members find themselves, it might be useful to examine the state of free speech in Russia. Read More