By Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

My imprisonment does not anger me. I do not keep grudges, not personal grudges [at least]. I do, however, keep political grudges. Our imprisonment is a clear sign that the freedom is taken away from [all of us] -- from the entire country. This threat of destruction of Russian liberating and emancipatory forces is what makes me angry. [We all must see] the big picture in small events, a tendency in a [constellation of seemingly random] signs, and a common trend in specific occurrences.

The second-wave feminists said: "The private is political." This is true. The Pussy Riot case is showing how problems of three particular people who are charged with disorderly conduct, can give life to a political movement. This special case of suppression and persecution of those who dared to Speak Up in an authoritarian country, stirred up the entire world: activists, punks, pop stars, government members, comedians, environmentalists, feminists, masculinist, Islamic theologians, and Christians – all of them pray for Pussy Riot. These private problems have become a truly political matter.

The Pussy Riot case is bringing together very diverse and multi-directional forces, and I still have a hard time believing that this is not a dream. The unbelievable happens in the modern Russian politics: the demanding, persistent, powerful, and consistent pressure of society on the government authorities.

I am grateful to everyone who said: "Free Pussy Riot!» We all are now making [history] -- a large and important political event, -- and Putin's system will find it harder and harder to control it. Whatever Pussy Riot’s verdict is, we all are already winning. This is because we have learned how to be angry and vocal politically.

All Pussy Riot [members] are happy that we have been able to raise our fellow citizens to a truly communal action; we are happy that your political passion is so strong that it was able [to unite people] of different languages, cultures, ways of life, and economic and political statuses. Kant would have said he did not see any other reason for this Miracle than the moral foundations of a human being. Thank you for the Miracle.


Original publication in Russian: