courtesy of Person Behind the Scenes
Despite the threat of inclement weather and permit issues with the DC government, today’s Rally for Pussy Riot will go on. Join the protest from 4:30-6pm outside the Russian Embassy (2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW) with representatives from Amnesty International, Philippa Hughes of the Pink Line Project and Mark Andersen of Positive Force explaining the case’s ramifications for global human rights and the importance of free artistic expression. The event is organized by DC artist and peace activist Andrea Collins, who recently held a month-long action for Pussy Riot at Art-O-Matic.
Unfamiliar with the case? We tend to get protest-weary in Washington, sometimes completely disregarding the issues and believing they don’t affect us, but I urge you to read up on this one. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Ekaterina Samutsevich have been held without bail in a Moscow prison since their March arrest. They are charged with “hooliganism” for allegedly performing a protest song as members of the feminist punk art collective Pussy Riot at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior on February 21. If convicted they could face up to seven years in prison. The New Yorker recently published a chilling blog article on the case, discussing the government’s use of the Russian Orthodox Church to crack down on liberal opposition.
Members of local DC bands were planning on a longer punk concert after the rally, but due to the recent permit push-back will instead go guerrilla with their performances. Keep up to date on the event’s Facebook page. Consultant Mark Yoffe will also be speaking at the event, whose sole goal is to raise international awareness of the situation to help free the three incarcerated women, who also need assistance with their legal fund and to support their children, who they have been separated from since their arrest.
“I think that DC with its venerable punk tradition should lead the American movement to help free Pussy Riot,” Yoffe said.
Agreed. If you don’t think that it could happen here, then one day it will.