Friday, July 20, 2012

Punk lives in Russia

Yet another reminder, punk rock is alive and well (and still dangerous) in certain parts of the world.

MOSCOW — In a sign of Russian authorities’ determination to clamp down on dissent, a court extended for six months on Friday the detention of three punk rockers who had staged a protest performance in a cathedral. 
The three young women were among a group of five mask-wearing singers known as Pussy Riot who took to the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in February and chanted what they described as a punk prayer. In it, they called on divine intervention to drive then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin from office two weeks before his election as president. 
The women — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 — were arrested shortly afterward. In a preliminary hearing Friday, prosecutors said they needed more time to investigate and asked for an extension until January. By then the women will have been behind bars for a total of 10 months, accused of blasphemy and offending Orthodox believers. They are being held on hooliganism charges, which can bring up to seven years in jail.
Last December, concert-goers at a punk show in Indonesia were arrested and forced to undergo "re-education."

VICE has a nice interview up with Pussy Riot, which describes itself as a "militant, punk-feminist, street band."  Here's a video of them performing on the roof of a building, facing a detention center housing political dissidents.

UPDATE: Gawker has a nice piece up detailing Pussy Riot and their legal predicament: "The Know-Nothing's Guide to Pussy Riot, the Realest Punks Around."

UPDATE 2: Russian authorities are seeking a penalty of three years against the band.

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