Russia: Rock‘n’roll support for Pussy Riot

As the case against the Russian feminist punk protest band Pussy Riot gains international attention, musicians and artists from all corners of the world have joined the long line of human rights activists’ protests against the continued persecution of three of the band members.

Photos: courtesy of ‘Free Pussy Riot Campaign’ & ITAR – TASS

Kiedis support letter. Photo: courtesy of Vainona Twitter Group

In mid-July 2012, Anthony Kiedis, lead singer of the world-famous American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, appeared in a shirt with a Pussy Riot logo at two concerts in Russia. Together with the band’s legendary bass player ‘Flea’, the lead singer also wrote support letters to the imprisoned band members, which have since circulated on Twitter and other social media.

 


 

Support from Franz Ferdinand
The band Franz Ferdinand furthermore dedicated one of their songs, ‘This Fire’, to the imprisoned Russian punk band at a well-attended outdoor concert in Moscow.

Flea’s support letter. Photo: courtesy of Vainona Twitter Group

“This song is dedicated to all of those musicians that end up in jail – for just saying what they think. This is for the girls in Pussy Riot”, lead singer of Franz Ferdinand shouted to an exited Russian audience.

 

 

See Franz Ferdinand’s statement in this video clip: 

www.youtube.com

 

 

Support from American pop singer Madonna
“I am against censorship and throughout my whole career I’ve always promoted freedom of expression, freedom of speech. So obviously, I think that what happened to them [Pussy Riot] is unfair,” Madonna told Reuters Television. She urged Russia not to jail the women:

“I hope they do not have to serve seven years in jail. That would be a tragedy,” she said.

“I think art should be political. Historically speaking, art always reflects what’s going on socially. So for me, it’s hard to separate the idea of being an artist and being political.”

 

 

Support from American pop singer Sting
The world-renowned musician Sting announced on 25 July 2012 that he joined Amnesty International in condemning the Russian authorities’ treatment of Pussy Riot.
Sting, who was on tour and performing in Moscow on 25 July and in St. Petersburg on 27 July commented:

“It’s appalling that the musicians from Pussy Riot could face prison sentences of up to seven years in jail. Dissent is a legitimate and essential right in any democracy and modern politicians must accept this fact with tolerance. A sense of proportion – and a sense of humor – is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Surely the Russian authorities will completely drop these spurious charges and allow the women, these artists, to get back to their lives and to their children.”

 

 

Not a criminal act
“The women are imprisoned not for a real crime but for being critical of Putin.
I object classifying the performance of the Pussy Riot band in the Temple of Christ the Savior on 21 February 2012 as a criminal act because it does not contain component elements of a crime.
Second, it is unacceptable to equate a conflict with Russian Orthodox Church policy to a criminal offence because the Constitution of the Russian Federation separates the Church from the State.”
From the Change.org petition letter:

 

 

 

 

Amnesty International in USA:
Pussy Riot support and action page

 

Amnesty International in Russia:
Pussy Riot support and action page

 

PEN International:
Appeals: Please send letters

 

Action for Faith and Freedom:
action.veraisvoboda.info/../petitions/to-world-council-of-churches

 

ИНТЕЛЛИГЕНЦИЯ ПРИЗЫВАЕТ ОСВОБОДИТЬ PUSSY RIOT

 

 

Background: About Pussy Riot’s case in brief
Three members of Pussy Riot – a feminist protest punk group have staged  a series of political happenings in Moscow – were detained in March 2012 after they had disrupted a service in a church in Moscow and staged a ‘punk prayer’ calling for the Holy to please ‘throw out Putin’.

The three imprisoned women, all in their 20s, have been refused bail, and in July the local court extended their detention until January 2013. They are accused of hooliganism with a religious hate motive and risk seven years in prison if convicted.

 

Learn more:

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – 30 July 2012:’
Pussy Riot: The Punk Band That Isn’t And The Concert That Wasn’t

 

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – 26 July 2012:
Finnish Jazzman Cancels Shows Over Pussy Riot

Read more: about Pussy Riot on artsfreedom.org 

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