The Paul McCartney Project

Paul McCartney sent his support to Russian band Pussy Riot

Thursday, August 16, 2012 • Posted in “A day in the life

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About

From Wikipedia:

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist protest punk rock and performance art group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has had a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33 (as of 2012). The group staged unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in public places, performances that were filmed as music videos and posted on the Internet. The collective’s lyrical themes included feminism, LGBT rights, and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the group considered to be a dictator, and his policies. These themes also encompassed Putin’s links to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The group gained global notoriety when five members of the group staged a performance inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on February 21, 2012. The group’s actions were condemned as sacrilegious by the Orthodox clergy and eventually stopped by church security officials. The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leaders’ support for Putin during his election campaign. On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and each was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation and her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld.

The trial and sentence attracted considerable attention and criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human-rights groups, including Amnesty International, which designated the women as prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards them. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013, after the State Duma approved an amnesty.

From paulmccartney.com, August 16, 2012:

I’m writing to show my support for you at this difficult time.  I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest.  Many people in the civilised world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies.  I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.
 
Wishing you the very best of luck,

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney would reiterate his support to the band, in May 2013.

Last updated on November 11, 2020


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