16 May 2012
Russian punk collective Pussy Riot speaks exclusively to Index

UNCUT Free Speech on the Frontline
MAY 15, 2012
Members of Pussy Riot who have not yet been arrested are now in hiding. They gave this exclusive email interview to Index on Censorship.

- Did you expect these consequences — arrests, criminal proceedings, your supporters being beaten and insulted by radical nationalists — when you planned your cathedral performance? Would you repeat the performance if you knew how this would end?

– We didn’t expect the arrest. We are a women’s group which is forced to consume the ideas of patriarchal conservative society. We experience each process that happens in this society. Besides, we are a punk band, which can perform in any public place, especially one which is maintained through our taxes. That’s why we would definitely repeat our prayer. It was worth it: look at the awakened pluralism — political and religious!

Read Full Interiew: http://uncut.indexoncensorship.org/2012/05/pussy-riot-russia-protest/

13 May 2012
Autocrats step in as the west's money runs out

Nick Cohen
The Observer
Saturday 12 May 2012
For a moment at the Oslo Freedom Forum, it was possible to believe that Pyotr Verzilov was the coolest guy on the planet. Breathless and unshaven, the young performance artist arrived in Norway from the street protests in Moscow. With the élan of an exultant radical, he explained the personal and political reasons for taking on Putin's kleptocracy.
He had been lucky enough to persuade a member of Pussy Riot to be his wife. The celebrated feminist collective had been outraged when Patriarch Kirill continued the Russian Orthodox Church's subservience to whatever autocrat occupied the Kremlin by announcing that Putin's leadership had been a "miracle of God", and adding for good measure that the regime's opponents were a degenerate minority in love with western culture.
Read Full Article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/13/nick-cohen-democracy-russia

13 May 2012
Oslo Freedom Forum, 9 May 2012: "In Putin's Shadow"

Oslo Freedom Forum 
7,8,9 May 2012 

Session 6: In Putin’s Shadow

A panel discussion about the recent Russian elections, accompanying protests, and the future of democracy in the region.

Introduction: Eli Lake
Moderator: Jamie Kirchick
Denis Bilunov
Garry Kasparov
Natalia Pelevine
Pyotr Verzilov (husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, member of Pussy Riot)
Eli: Thank you and welcome this morning. This discussion comes at a particularly dark time, as this week we’ve witnessed a consolidation of power in Russia, in country where only 20 years ago we had high hopes for democracy.
Pyotr: We’re all a bit sleep deprived at the moment, as you might be able to tell. There are people who are out in the streets in Moscow at this moment, maneuvering against the police. And we’re trying to help in whatever way we can, but of course, this doesn’t really fit with getting much sleep, let alone the 8 hours of recommended sleep.
It’s not me who is a famous political operative, but I’m here to represent the Voina group, of which I am a founding member. And then of course, to represent the feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. You may be familiar with the latter, since it has had a bit of media attention lately. And it’s quite humorous to hear conservative American radio announcers try and say Pussy Riot 15 times in a two minute segment.
Read Full Transcript of the Session "In Putin's Shadow": http://www.oslofreedomforum.com/blog/2012/05/09/session-6-in-putins-shadow/

03 May 2012
A (Pussy) Riot of Our Own

Dissident Voice
by Alexander Billet
May 2nd, 2012
Hand-in-hand with this is the international profile that this case has received. Amnesty International has called Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich“prisoners of conscience.” April 21st, an international day of solidarity called by Pussy Riot’s supporters, saw actions from Mexico to the Czech Republic to Australia.
In my own city, at a march of a thousand people organized by Occupy Chicago on April 7th, I was randomly handed a button that read “Free Pussy Riot!” The button had been designed and made by local activist who I had never met before. Something is in the air with this case. And when something is in the air, it can travel across oceans.
Read Full Article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/05/a-pussy-riot-of-our-own/

02 May 2012
Free Pussy Riot

The Nation
Katrina vanden Heuvel

May 2, 2012 - 9:18 AM ET
Muckraking blogger, lawyer and protest leader Aleksei Navalny called the arrests “senseless and horrible cruelty, which is much worse than their very stupid but small offense”—an offense which he said “obviously cannot be punished harsher than five days of arrest.” He noted a recent case of an election commissioner’s daughter who “ran over two people,” one of whom died and the other was “maimed.” The sentence was three years “in a settlement colony”—and it was suspended for 14 years because the woman is the mother of a young child.

Read Article: http://www.thenation.com/blog/167647/free-pussy-riot

02 May 2012
In the spotlight: Dishing the dirt on Pussy Riot

Published: May 2, 2012 (Issue # 1706)
Last week, Rossia channel came out loud and clear with its position on the Pussy Riot punk group, airing a talk show called “Provocateurs” with a weeping nun and ominous graphics of snakes slithering over the screen.

01 May 2012
Pussy Riot and the Russian Orthodox Church: will the wound heal?- Translated Summation

Translated Summation of the article: Pussy Riot и РПЦ. Затянется ли ранка 
April 30, 2012
by Павел Быков

Too harsh of a reaction to the outburst of feminist group Pussy Riot in the Temple of Christ the Savior brought the Russian Orthodox Church more disadvantages than advantages, said a well-known Orthodox missionary Deacon Andrei Kuraev. This reaction contradicts the efforts of Patriach Kirill three years ago aimed at attracting young people, students, and intellectuals to the Church. It also goes against the positions of some officials. For example, Valentina Matvienko -- the chairman of the Federation Council -- said that, if it was up to her, she would let the girls go; although they have acted mischievously, she would have forgiven them. Also, the Minister of Justice Konovalov -- a graduate of the University of the Orthodox -- stated that, as a lawyer, he did not see any prospects for a prison sentence.

According to Kuraev, in light of these recent statements, the silence of the official Orthodox Church speakers is very loud; it illustrates a clear difference between the positions of the Government and the Church. Kuraev concluded that the Patriarch, the society, and the State share the common expectation from the Church: an active social position and compassionate service. Good charity cases on behalf of the Church would block the effect of the feminist actions. However, the Church acted exactly the opposite so far: it spoke not about the gifts, but the money-grubbing. Kuraev stressed that Church should respond to the critique against it not only with words, but also with good deeds. For, looking up from the Internet, people have seen that in real life, Christians are able to forgive, have compassion and sacrifice.
Read Actual Article (In Russian): http://www.newsland.ru/news/detail/id/947966/ 

27 Apr 2012
Punk’s cultural revolution

A.M. Gittlitz 
Aprirl 27, 2012
Pussy Riot's masked women have become icons of Russia's anti-Putin movement -- and turned the genre on its head
Perhaps part of the reason punk has begun to lash out so effectively in the former Soviet Union is the nature of the extreme oppression in Russian society. I spoke to Moscow anti-fascist Kostya about the dual dangers to the Russian anarchopunk — the right wing and the State:
I came up with the scene when it was possible to organize a strictly antifascist show, and you could be sure that only the right people will visit it. But still there was a danger of being attacked by Nazis before or after the show. Today it continues, but the situation is even worse. First of all, nobody fights with the fists, you’re more likely to be stabbed or shot with a traumatic gun. Secondly, and what is worse, there is strong oppression from the state and police. The situation in Russia isn’t stable, that’s why the government tries to control all the young people who can be dangerous today or in the future. They always try to put the same number of Nazis and anarchists in prison.

This piece was originally posted on The New Inquiry.

Read Full Article: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/27/punks_cultural_revolution/singleton/

26 Apr 2012
Free Pussy Riot, the Only Band that Matters in 2012

Tobi Vail
Pussy Riot haven’t made any records yet, but they have released several songs as soundtracks to YouTube videos of their guerilla theater actions. Each performance shows them seizing control of public space and jumping up and down in colorful costumes to wild, frenetic punk songs with aggressive female vocals, singing political lyrics that question authority and challenge the status quo. The chaotic, celebratory nature of their shows is invigorating. In an interview with Miriam Elder for the Guardian in early February, the band said they were interested in creating a “culture of protest,” arguing that there’s a need for many different kinds of actions, explaining, “We want to create a new form of protest — maybe not such a huge one, but we compensate for that with the bright provocative and illegal nature of our performances.”
Read Full Article: http://www.emusic.com/listen/#/music-news/spotlight/free-pussy-riot-the-only-band-that-matters-in-2012/?fref=300030&ecid=tafcb&tafisnid

25 Apr 2012
Russia: Where and under what conditions are the activists of Pussy Riot imprisoned?

By Oleg Lurye
(Source: Moscow Echo Radio)
Let us have a little wander round the detention prison, IZ – 77/6, where the three activists from the punk group Pussy Riot, Maria AlyokhinaNadezhda Tolokonnikova andEkaterina Samutsevitch are imprisoned. They are being charged with hooliganism, which comes under Article 213 of the Russian Republic’s Criminal Code and carries a sentence of up to 7 years. They will stay here at least till April 24. We shall also try to work out the why three girls are being kept in these conditions and whether their action (or their misdemeanour as the prosecutor puts it) is really commensurate with being kept in Moscow’s infamous detention prison No. 6.
Read Full Article: http://politzeki.tumblr.com/post/21776080124/russia-where-and-under-what-conditions-are-the