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Geodissonance

Russian All-Girl Punk Band Pussy Riot Arrested for Political Protestations

Posted by on March 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Geo·dissonance: the metal movement is proliferating to all corners of the globe. In its relentless display of vitriolic truths and the ugliest questions of existence, we can hear the resounding riffs of heavy metal in the most conservative pockets of society. As your Punjabi, riff-worshiping correspondent, I've created Geodissonance to report the controversy: as metal unveils dissonance in cradles of brutality around the world. Read previous Geo-dissonance reports.

Setting the record straight for Russian church-goers and Putin-o-philes alike is all-girl, punk outfit, Pussy Riot; with their recent protestations (held rather unabashedly before an Orthodox Christian Church), the band’s voices inflamed Russian state officials beyond your ordinary “cat-fight” proportions. With sufficient proof of the damage done, written in the papers of The Moscow Times and on the lips of some offended, Orthodox folks, the band will now face “hooliganism charges” for their demonstrations against their current Prime Minister; if the charges come through, the band will be forced to serve seven years in jail. The state has issued their defenses on the charge, but many have been left wondering – what exactly constitutes the criminal charge of “hooliganism?”

It was on February 21st that the band packed their equipment, and hit their local church courtyard; there, they staged an impromptu performance of “Holy Shit,” as a tongue-and-cheek opposition to the Church’s alleged support for the country’s current prime minister – Vladimir Putin. Putin, who recently emerged as a victor in the Russian Presidential Election, was soon thereafter accused of fraud, despite his insistence that his matriculation was completely “clean.” The band did not let Putin's suspicious election slip through the cracks, even if it meant shaking the holy walls with some gritty, in-your-face, punk riffage. Despite the band’s successful flee, post-performance and prior to the police’s arrival, all members of the group, including three women and one man, were arrested last Saturday (March 3rd); two additional “hooligans” were arrested the next day.

By mere virtue of Pussy Riot taking the church as center-stage, the band has been implicated in acts of religious hatred; it was following the formal charges against the band that the Interior Minister expressed, "[these] citizens were taken in on suspicion of committing a crime, one involving a gross violation of public order, including inciting religious hatred as part of a planned conspiracy.” Thus, as far as the government is concerned, the act was neither religiously innocuous, nor “impromptu” – but rather, a punk conspiracy to be weeded out, and set to the (conformity-set) burner.

Legalities aside, RIA Novosti reports stated that two members of the band, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, have not taken their detainment as defeat; both parents (of underage children) have gone on hunger strike, in hopes of quite literally driving their voices of dissent home, and beyond political power lines. They have requested bail, citing their children as a clear indication that they will not flee. Thus, through a persistent display of self-obedience and starvation (amidst the bread and water of a repressive order), the couple now awaits an official verdict on their release. Until then, you could say Putin will get a momentary breather from the band’s raging reproach.

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