Amy Levin: The Russians are rioting! They’re also coming to church and going to jail. If you haven’t been following the latest Putin uproar, three members of the feminist punk band, Pussy Riot, were arrested back in February for performing an anti-Putin “punk prayer” in Moscow’s largest Cathedral. Pussy Riot is known for their political performances, but this most recent stunt created an unbridled uproar from Putin, his constituents, and the Russian Orthodoxy. The three members—Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Maria Alekhina, 24; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29—have been detained for five months, hunger strike and all. Despite public protests in support of their release, including from musicians like Madonna, the trio remains behind bars.
The situation escalated last week, when prosecutors called for a three-year jail term in court. According to Miriam Elder at The Guardian, the band’s members have been charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” The women claim that they did not intend to offend anyone on religious terms, and that the protest “was designed to call attention to the politicisation of the Orthodox Church.” The trio apologized for offending anyone’s religious beliefs.
The verdict is expected in the next few days, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, tune into some Pussy Riot pleasure.