Thursday, August 21, 2014


Russia

Remaining Members Of Pussy Riot: 'We're Stronger Than The State'

The three Pussy Riot members gathered in a darkened studio, with all three wearing the brightly colored stockings and the group's requisite balaclavas in gold, orange, and blue.
The three Pussy Riot members gathered in a darkened studio, with all three wearing the brightly colored stockings and the group's requisite balaclavas in gold, orange, and blue.

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Russian Orthodox Church activists burst into a theater show about the Pussy Riot feminist punk performance-art group, shouting "Repent!" and "Why do you hate Russians?" in an act filmed by a national Russian television channel.
By Anastasia Kirilenko and Daisy Sindelar
MOSCOW -- Three of their members are facing jail time. Two more have fled the country. But the remaining members of Pussy Riot say they remain undaunted. 
 
"The sentence was aimed at stopping us, stifling us, so we would give up our activities," a member of the female protest group said during an exclusive interview with RFE/RL. "But we won't give up under any circumstances." 
 
The interview came just days after Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in jail for their February "punk prayer" in Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral. 
 
And with authorities looking to track down two additional members who participated in the stunt, the dozen or so remaining members of the group say they can't be too careful. 
 
Even scheduling a simple interview can involve a long series of e-mails and an elaborate scheme for escorting journalists, undetected, to a designated meeting point in a small, darkened studio. 
 
'Our Phones Are Bugged'

The three Pussy Riot members who participated in the interview began to speak only after all voice recorders were turned off and guarantees of anonymity were given. 
 
All three wore brightly colored stockings and the group's requisite balaclavas in gold, orange, and blue. "Any girl who takes off her balaclava automatically leaves the group," said one.

They women went on to extract a promise that no personal questions would be asked -- including any queries about whether they, like Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, had small children. 
 
"Our phones are bugged, so we're trying to be careful," said one. "When we're talking on the phone, we never discuss the addresses of where we're going to meet."
 
The women are cautious, but far from cowed. Asked whether they would curb the group's activities as a result of last week's sentencing, the response was a resounding no.
 
"It makes things more complicated," the woman in the orange balaclava acknowledged. "But we'll continue."
 
Women's Rights Still Vulnerable
 
No one agreed to discuss what concrete actions the group might be planning next, but they brushed off suggestions that they'll pair up with some of their better-known supporters.
 
"We're flattered, of course, that Madonna and Bjork have offered to perform with us," said Orange. "But the only performances we'll participate in are illegal ones. We refuse to perform as part of the capitalist system, at concerts where they sell tickets."
 
The women defended Pussy Riot's feminist agenda, saying women's rights remain vulnerable in Russia.
 
"Women carry a double burden -- work, as well as raising children," said Gold, noting that prior to her detention, Tolokonnikova and her husband, Pyotr Verzilov, divided their time evenly in caring for their 4-year-old daughter, Gera.
 
"During protests, it surprises me when I hear someone say [to the police], 'You can't beat women!' she added. "So it's OK if it's men who are getting beaten? Isn't that sexism? Let's talk about how it's not right to beat up anyone."
 
Orange chimed in again. In her opinion, there are many weak men -- and not only in Russia but across the world. She cited the Lars von Trier movie "Melancholy," which offers strong portrayals of women but presents men as quislings who commit suicide or run away.
 
All three women nodded when asked if they attended the trial of their fellow Pussy Riot members. Asked about their thoughts of the sentencing, Blue answered, "What kind of thoughts can you have? Innocent people living in a secular state were jailed according to the laws of the church."
 
It was this performance of a "punk prayer" in a Russian Orthodox cathedral that got the Pussy Riot members in trouble.
It was this performance of a "punk prayer" in a Russian Orthodox cathedral that got the Pussy Riot members in trouble.
Preparing For The Worst
 
Did they worry that Pussy Riot was not seeing as many balaclava-wearing supporters as the group would hope? No, said Orange. "It's already happening. It's taken on such a scale that it shows that Pussy Riot is stronger than the state."
 
Lawyers for Pussy Riot have already filed an appeal in hopes of scaling back the two-year sentences for Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and Samutsevich.
 
But at the same time, they're preparing for the possibility that the women may be forced to serve their terms. Supporters have already purchased underwear and clothing for the women to wear in jail -- all black, in accordance with prison policy -- and the legal team has proposed that the women be sent to penal colonies in either Mozhaisk, Oryol, or the republic of Mordovia.
 
"Unlike the male prisons, there's no clear hierarchy with the women," said Nikolai Polozov, Alyokhina's lawyer. "But all the same there are fights and violence, including rape and murder. And at a time when televisions are portraying Pussy Riot as a major public enemy, anything can happen."

Written in Prague by Daisy Sindelar based on reporting by Anastasia Kirilenko in Moscow

Daisy Sindelar

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by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 30, 2012 06:42
Women are stronger that the Russian State,
Since they poisoned Peter The First, Bagratiuoni,
Only if Germans from Moscow and Pitersburg that hate
And add it to hate of Russian bureaucrats and their cronies,
Inciting-instigating Varaga bosses, often marrying their maids.

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