Voice Article Pussy Riot Grrrl Power

 
                PUSSY RIOT GRRL POWER.
 
 
 
Last week’s sentencing of three members of the Russian punk collective band “Pussy Riot” drew worldwide attention and criticism to Putin’s crackdown on dissident voices inside Russia. Instead of using the traditional tools of protestors, it was their world view and youthful spirit which highlighted the movement of conservatism inside Putin’s State. Three members of the group were arrested inside The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow minutes after performing a punk prayer. In a trial which has been covered by the world media the three women were sentenced to two years in a penal colony.
 
 
 
The severity of their sentences is demonstrative of the crackdown on Ant-Putin conservative sentiments. After the May Riots dozens of protestors were detained and arrested. On Friday the Russian Law Courts also upheld a one hundred year ban on Gay Pride marches. The women’s actions were called “blasphemous” by some in the Orthodox Church though they appealed for moderation in sentencing. Amnesty International and Human Rights watch are among the groups who have raised their growing concerns about the continuing breaches of human rights they see in Russia.
 
 
 
In several of their interviews the women have quoted the “Grrl punk” movement as one of their influences. Emerging from Washington and Washington DC in the early nineties, this was a reaction to “boy punk”. A breathe of fresh air which embraced Gender politics and critiqued the right wing of America. “grrl” represented the expression and world view of adolescent women which the movement tried to encapsulate. The power of the “Pussy Riot” protests is that they did everything their own way in a riot of colour and wearing balaclavas their babushka might have knitted. Some of Russian patriarchal society might have judged them to be only “devushtiki or girls but the power of their protest has hit hard at the very centre of Russian life.
 
 
 
There have been international protests from well-known musician and artistes who have called for their release. Marseille is one of the bastions of power of the far right in France. On the eve of the France wide ban on covering of the face some women protestors were detained for wearing “Pussy Riot” type balaclavas. The women themselves are aware of the power of their protest. At the end of the trial, in a closing statement one of the three Samustsevich said.
 
“We have won; the whole world now sees the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot concede the repressive nature of this trial.”
 
 
Some might regard the “Pussy Riot’s” three reaction of laughing and joking at their sentencing was just a nonchalant gesture. However this was a very brave act of defiance. They now face their sentences inside a women’s penal colony one that is recognised as one of the harshest regime. They face separation from their families and friends all because of the brave stance they took. Other members of the band not detained will continue to carry on their protest through their art. A new single called “Putin Lights Up The Fires” was released last week with an accompanying video made up of protests and trial footage. It is clear this grrl band refuse to be silenced
 
 

About sandrassp

I am the mum to two sons who both live with autism. I am an ambassador for NAS Scotland and co-spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party. I am passionate about my politics both upper and Lower key, the arts in general and like to comment on everything that shapes my landscape. I am a mature student and have begun to dabble my toes into writing. I blog about family life and my day to day experiences. My philosophy is Up and At them and Always with a smile on my face.
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