Sunday, October 26, 2014


Transmission

More Western Rock 'N' Roll Solidarity For Pussy Riot

Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis shows some support for Pussy Riot at a concert in Moscow.
Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis shows some support for Pussy Riot at a concert in Moscow.
Legally speaking, Russian dissident punk collective Pussy Riot has had a rough few months. Some high-profile Western rockers are trying to lend a helping hand.  

Three weeks after legendary metal band Faith No More granted Pussy Riot members some free stage time in Moscow, the group got some more public encouragement over the weekend from Franz Ferdinand and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Performing at the Afisha Picnic -- a popular annual outdoor music festival outside of Moscow -- Glasgow-based Franz Ferdinand dedicated their song “This Fire” to jailed Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alyokhina.

“This song is dedicated to all of those musicians that end up in jail for just saying what they think,” frontman Alex Kapranos can be heard telling the crowd in a clip uploaded to YouTube. “This is for the girls in Pussy Riot.”

WATCH: Franz Ferdinand dedicates a song to Pussy Riot


While Franz Ferdinand was getting the outdoor festival crowd riled up, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were spreading the word to Moscow’s arena rock fans. Two days after sporting a T-shirt with "Pussy Riot” scrawled across it for a concert in St. Petersburg, lead singer Anthony Kiedis wore a similar shirt for the Moscow show and met with the group’s lawyer, Nikolai Polozov.

According to Polozov’s Twitter feed, the lawyer was backstage at the Moscow show where he met with Kiedis and bass legend Flea about how the band could continue to support the Pussy Riot cause, with Kiedis apparently telling Polozov that he would "make an effort to change their fates." 

Both Kiedis and Flea penned letters of support to the Pussy Riot members that have been shared by the Voina group on Twitter. A picture of Flea writing the letter was posted on Instagram by Dmitriy Kuminov.
The dissident collective needs all the support it can get. Jailed since March, the three members of the group face up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism over their “Punk Prayer” performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. On July 20th, a Moscow court extended the women’s pretrial detention for a further six months -- the third such extension handed down by the court. Their trial is set to begin on July 30.

-- Zach Peterson

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina in the dock during a court hearing on July 23.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina in the dock during a court hearing on July 23.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sey from: World
July 23, 2012 15:11
I don't know what exactly you're supporting RFE/RL. These punks desecrated a cathedral and offended Christianity. This has nothing to do with being dissidents, they are, at the very least, vandals and they deserve being prosecuted for vandalism at a site of religious significance.

Being a dissident is not equal to being a vandal. I can say what I think, but I at least should show respect for spaces considered holy.
In Response

by: Kubs from: World
July 24, 2012 10:28
I think the informed majority supporting the case of Pussy Riot asks for a just trial. nothing more. you should look up the definition of dissent and then the articles about vandalism in russian law, then make a comment. your conclusion after that would probably be much different than what you have presented here...

7 years in prison?...holy, christianity and church is secularized from the russian politics. law although is not. I would like the law in russia to be applied respectfully...
In Response

by: Matvei from: USA
July 24, 2012 14:36
You know what is an offense against Christianity? Turning a church into a marketplace! Have you ever been to the Church of Christ the Savior? It is a virtual goods store, where the cash registers ring constantly. Jesus had something to say about turning His temple into a marketplace. Pussy Riot did not respect the church, I agree. They could have sone this outside the cathedral. But their critique was aimed at Vladimir Putin, not Christianity. Unless, of course, the church is somehow equated with Putin, as all too many Orthodox seem to think today.
In Response

by: Marko from: USA
July 24, 2012 16:01
The actions involved were deeply disrespectful of the sanctity of the church and of others' rights-- they went beyond any kind of ordinary dissent. The women involved seem to be self-indulgent, counter-culture, spoiled brats. That said; seven years seems way way too harsh. A sentence of a few months in the pokey and a stiff fine should about cover it. I'm guessing that is what will happen in the end-- we'll see. The Russian judicial system actually is generally pretty soft in the sentencing department in terms of length of term (even in politically charged cases). Espionage cases, for example, usually yield sentences far shorter that those handed out here in the US.
In Response

by: Rikje Thie from: Amsterdam
July 27, 2012 11:32
There should be more respect for liberty of speech then for what you consider holy. I consider freedom of speech and human rights as holy. Everyone who does not respect human rights is a dissident in my opinion!! Free those girls!!!

by: Theodosius from: Ohio
July 31, 2012 09:07
Artists huh? adolescent nihilism -- maybe; a narcissist overestimation of ability -- likely; privileged spoilt brats in need of a spanking -- definitely. And those “great minds” who’ve somehow managed to convince themselves that this is of some importance -- just plain nuts.
In Response

by: Micah from: Tulsa, Oklahoma(us)
August 12, 2012 07:11
You don't think it's important that it seems like Russia is headed back to Soviet-style militarism/totalitarionism? Jailing these girls sets a precedent that says "if you speak your mind we're going to lock you up in a gulag".It's the USSR all over again which means a whole lot of people's struggle to be free during the 20th century meant nothing.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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