Feminist Friday: Pussy Riot Imprisonment, One Year Later

On Feburary 21, 2012, members of the punk band Pussy Riot, staged a protest against Vladimir Putin in a Russian Orthodox church. Two members, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were sentenced to two years in jail. Yekaterina Samutsevich was imprisoned, but was released in October after hiring a new attorney. The remaining two members at the protest remain at large.

One year after the protest,  Samutsevich says she has no regrets:

I don’t regret the performance. I only regret that they put us in prison. But it’s the government, which brought criminal charges, that’s guilty in this [. . . ] Many people are now critical of the government and state authorities [because of Pussy Riot]. They see the injustice. The situation has changed.

Pussy Riot, an art collective consisting of anonymous members (with 10-20 members at any given time), has not staged any major protests since last year, though Samutsevich has focused her work on the collective rather than on her other career as a computer programmer.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova are 24 and 23, respectively. They’re giving up two years of their lives as punishment for trying to incite political change in Russia. Reading news reports reminding me that a year has passed already reminds me to take stock of my values and beliefs. What would I be willing to go to jail for? What would be worth giving up my freedom? Perhaps this is purely a hypothetical question. But it’s one that I think we need to ask ourselves every now and then. Do we believe in our politics enough to risk imprisonment (or worse)? And if we don’t, then what do we do?

One thought on “Feminist Friday: Pussy Riot Imprisonment, One Year Later

  1. My blog is dedicated to these ladies. I would give up my freedom for the rights of others as perps have done so in years gone by for us. Our fight is others gain and there’s a whole lot of fighting still to be done. FREE PUSSY RIOT!

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