Russian Punk Rockers Pussy Riot Found Guilty Of Hooliganism, Sentenced To Two Years In Prison

by (@zaragolden)

Three members of Pussy Riot, the feminist punk collective who staged a bold anti-Vladimir Putin protest in Moscow’s main cathedral last February and whose conviction has become a cause célèbre for everyone from Kathleen Hanna and Madonna to Alicia Silverstone and Flea, were charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years in prison this morning. President Putin himself, after all, had called for leniency.

The guilty verdict was as expected, but the rebel girls left the court house in high spirits, confident that they have been successful in making their point. Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova told crowds that, “We are happy because we brought the revolution closer!” as she was led from the courtroom this morning. And Yekaterina Samutsevich explained boldly during her closing statement that: “On the one hand, we expected a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. The whole world now sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial.”

As we mentioned last week, Pussy Riot’s controversial “punk prayer” has united a chorus of supporters that is singing only louder yet today. In Moscow today, cries of “Shame!” and “Free Pussy Riot!” interrupted the proceedings, and already former chess champion Garry Kasparov has been arrested for fighting with the police outside the courtroom. Meanwhile, protests have been planned for all around the world, and The Guardian has premiered a new song from Pussy Riot called “Putin Lights Up the Fires” (in Russian, but some things are universal) to fuel it all. Rebel girls, you are the queens of our world today.

Russian Punk Band Is Sentenced to 2 Years in Prision for Anti-Putin Stunt [NYT]
Pussy Riot Jailed for two years – live updates [Guardian]
Join Pussy Riot Global Day 17 August [FreePussyRiot.org]