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The Pussy Heard ’round The World

from The Guardian

Pussy riot trial: ‘We are representatives of our generation’

As three members of the Russian punk band await a verdict, we examine how they managed to find themselves in the dock

By Miriam Elder in Moscow

They have targeted some of Moscow’s most well-secured sites with their flash concerts – the metro, a jail, Red Square – but it was a 40-second performance inside Russia‘s official church that proved a step too far for a system increasingly intolerant of dissent.

“We are representatives of our generation,” Maria Alyokhina told the court in an opening statement that reads like a manifesto, as Pussy Riot went on trial on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. “It is important for me to understand whether the church is growing along with society or whether it remains a conservative institution. In the search for an answer, I did not expect a repressive and inquisition-like reaction.”

Pussy Riot formed as an anonymous feminist punk collective in October 2010, in the weeks after Putin’s declaration that he would return to the presidency after four years as prime minister. He had stepped down because the constitution did not allow more than two consecutive terms as president. His formal return, although expected, sent a wave of anger through segments of Russian society. Some began to refer to him as Tsar; others used the word “authoritarian”.

The women of Pussy Riot, students and graduates of some of Moscow’s most prestigious schools, were among that number.

“A lot of us couldn’t sleep after this announcement,” a member of the band, who identified herself as Tyurya, told the Guardian during a rare interview early this year. “We felt such anger because of this rudeness, this arrogance towards citizens. So we decided, damn it, we need to do something.”

[ click to read full article at The Guardian ]

Posted on August 17, 2012 by Editor

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