Pussy Riot vs. Putin

From Foreign Policy Mon Mar 26 2012, 15:23:48

In Communist Czechoslovakia it was the Zappa-inspired absurdism of Plastic People of the Universe. In military-ruled Brazil it was the whimsical psychedelia of Os Mutantes. In Ben Ali's Tunisia it was the aggressive political hip-hop of El General

Now it seems, the anti-Putin opposition may have found its musical standard bearer in the masked, riot grrrl provocateurs of Pussy Riot. The 20-ish anonymous members of the punk-feminist collective have become known for spontaneous stunts like appearing in Red Square to perform a song called "Putin Pissed Himself."

Other songs include "Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest", and "Fuck the Sexist, Fuck Putin's Henchman." But Pussy Riot took things to the next level at the end of February, shortly before Russia's recent presidential election, with an unauthorized "Punk Prayer" inside Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral that included lines like "Mother Mary, drive Putin away":

The performance was meant to highlight the Orthodox church's close ties to Putin.  Three members of the band have been arrested and charged with hate crimes and disturbing public order. They have been jailed for at least 60 days pending an investigation. They could face up to seven years behind bars if convicted. The three have reportedly begun a hunger strike in prison.

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