Entries tagged with: Pussy Riot
photos by Vianney Le Caer
Pussy Riot @ Dismaland, 9/25/2015
You may have heard about Banksy's "bemusement park," Dismaland, which was open in Somerset, UK and just closed its monthlong run. In addition to many large-scale installations, the "family theme park unsuitable for children" also hosted live music performances on Fridays, including Run the Jewels, De La Soul, and Damon Albarn. The final Friday (9/25) hosted Pussy Riot whose theatrical performance, created with The Connor Brothers, involved a riot between police and activists, with the band performing from a cage (something they know about). Their performance, and specifically new song "Refugees In," comments on the current hot-button issue of the millions of migrants seeking asylum in Europe, the largest number since World War II. As John Oliver noted on the most recent Last Week Tonight, these migrants are facing hostility, racism, and red tape. Pussy Riot offer solidarity with the refugees:
Regardless of ones political views we have a moral duty to offer refuge to people fleeing war and persecution. We recognize the challenge faced by Europe in accepting hundreds of thousands of displaced people, but this is more than a political challenge - it is a humanitarian crisis and as such we must act together and rise to the challenge. Having experienced persecution during the 2 years we spent in a Russian prison and repeated incidents of attack by Russian authorities we feel solidarity with those who suffer under oppressive regimes, and believe we have a moral duty to press governments into developing a united and comprehensive plan that puts humanity before politics."Dismaland, now closed, is currently being dismantled with the timbre and fixtures being donated to a refugee camp in Calais, France. You can check out more pics, as well as video, from Pussy Riot's Dismaland performance, below.
This song is for Eric and for all those from Russia to America and around the globe who suffer from state terror -- killed, choked, perished because of war and state sponsored violence of all kinds -- for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for changePussy Riot have released a new song/video, "I Can't Breathe," which is partially about Eric Garner who was killed by an NYC policeman last summer. The song was recorded in New York during the Garner protests and features Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner, Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt (both of whom were in the Vice party house band Pussy Riot performed with), and downtown legend Richard Hell who contributes spoken word (specifically, Garner's last words) to the end of the song. The video, meanwhile, has Pussy Riot's Masha and Nadya being "buried alive in the Russian riot police uniforms that are worn during the violent clashes of police and the protesters fighting for change in Russia." Watch it below...
Pussy Riot, who were in NYC earlier this month for Vice's big 20-years to-do, have just released a video for "Witches of Pussy Riot Clean Manezhka." You can watch it below. The song was released in conjunction with a massive protest that happened tonight in Moscow's Manezhka Square, about very recently imprisoned opposition activists Alexei and Oleg Navalny:
The Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was arrested on Tuesday after breaking house arrest to join an opposition rally in Moscow, hours after a court gave him a suspended sentence for fraud. His brother, Oleg, was jailed for three and a half years for the same offence.Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were released from Russian Prison almost a year ago. While they were, apparently, out of the collective for a while, they are both part of it again and are in the new video which you can watch below.
Police arrested Navalny soon after he emerged from the metro. Officers detained him outside the Ritz Carlton hotel, in Tverskaya street, before he had a chance to join demonstrators trying to reach the heavily guarded Manezh square, directly in front of the Kremlin.
Thousands of protesters gathered in freezing conditions to protest against the verdict on Navalny and his brother. They chanted anti-Putin slogans including: "No Putin, no war", "Crimea is not ours", "Putin is a thief" and "freedom". More than 100 protesters were arrested, including a Wall Street Journal reporter, and loaded into waiting buses, to cries of "shame!". - [The Guardian]
Earlier this week we started to hear rumblings of a super secret, giant Vice party taking place Friday night (tonight, 12/5) somewhere in Brooklyn. Many big names were rumored to be playing. Like the event they just threw in Toronto, it would be to celebrate the now-mega-company's 20 years of existence. Then last night Nick Zinner tweeted the above "Vice Confidential" memo which has the Yeah Yeahs guitarist playing as part of a house band which will be fronted by Karen O and a ton of other exciting guests, if it all comes true. Pussy Riot is even on there, as are a bunch of Vice Records artists, as you can see above.
The show is invite only, but apparently they'll at least be filming it all (for the benefit of those not in attendance, and for those who make it in but partake a bit too much in the open bar), and they gave away a few tickets.
It goes without saying that the timing of this, though surely coincidental, is just a bit unfortunate for everyone since the last time we used "Brooklyn", "Vice" and "party" in the same sentence, was to discuss the final night of Death By Audio less than two weeks ago (Glasslands closes on New Year's Eve).
For what it's worth, I don't think there's any crossover between the Vice lineup and who played the final month at DbA, though Hisham Bharoocha used to be in Lightning Bolt who played DbA's final night.
So, who's on the list?
Pussy Riot, Henry Rollins & others at Riot Fest Chicago (more by James Richards IV)
Pussy Riot have had an eventful year, and after making an appearance in NYC at Barclays Center in February, members Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Petya Verzilov will return for a conversation at MoMA PS1 on Sunday (11/2). The conversation is part of the venue's ongoing Sunday Sessions series, and is happening in conjuction with MoMA PS1's Zero Tolerance exhibition. The Pussy Riot members will "join MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach in a discussion focused on the current culture of political oppression within some national and international governments and how it is being addressed by artists worldwide." The event goes from 4-6 PM. Tickets are on sale now.
Meanwhile, tonight (10/31) MoMA PS1 hosts Susanne Bartsch's Halloween Ball, HalloQueens!. Here's the details:
Hosted by: Francis Alÿs, Joey Arias, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Klaus Biesenbach, Justin Vivian Bond, Boychild, Telfar Clemens, Maria Cornejo, Peter Eleey, Karen Finley, Angela Goding, David Hallberg, Document Journal, Ragnar Kjartansson, Steven Klein, Padma Lakshmi, Eckhaus Latta, Amanda Lepore, Bjarne Melgaard, Glenn O'Brien, Marco Ovando, Kay Rizz, Chloë Sevigny, Casey Spooner, Michael Stipe, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Stewart Uoo, David Velasco, Francesco Vezzoli and ZaldyThat goes from 8 PM to midnight, and tickets are available. Afterwards, Susanne hosts a Haunted Warehouse After Party at 4-40 44th Drive in Long Island City which goes from midnight to 4 AM. Tickets for that are available too.
With: Ryan Burke, Domonique Echeverria, gage of the boone, Gazelle, Scooter LaForge, Muffinhead, One-Half Nelson, Brandon Olson andThorgy Thor
DJ Sets by: Amber Valentine and Måns Ericson (Rollerboys/NoShow)
We invite all guests to come dressed for a royal celebration of all things Queens:
Queens of Mean
Queens of Art
Queen of Hearts
Queen of the Night
With DJs, costume competition, dancing, pageantry and more.
photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack
Jane's Addiction / GWAR fans / Title Fight
Riot Fest Chicago is currently underway at Chicago's beautiful Humboldt Park. It kicked off on Friday (9/12) and that first day was plagued by light to heavy rains that pretty much continued from doors until the headliners. But the weather didn't seem to slow down the bands or the audience much at all, and it was an opening day with something for everyone. On the heavier end, there was American thrash kings Slayer performing Reign In Blood in its entirety, resilient interplanetary scumdogs Gwar, and Mastodon; classic punks Stiff Little Fingers and ALL; alternative rock flag bearers Jane's Addiction; anthemic and melodic punks The Offspring (performing Smash), Gogol Bordello, The Hotelier, Pity Sex, and Title Fight; the excellent Pussy Riot -- Discussion Panel; and much more packed in there.
We began day 1 of Riot Fest Chicago by catching Boston-based melodic punks Somos at the Revolt Stage -- one of the festival's two smaller setups. The four-piece drew a decent crowd with their punchy output, including the especially catchy "Dead Wrong" and "Lives of Others" from their 2014 debut Temple of Plenty. Title Fight were up next, over at the larger Roots Stage. The Pennsylvania-based road dogs impressed with tunes from their debut LP, huge-sounding 2012 album Floral Green, and their many EPs. They got the crowd moving with the Hot Water Music-like "Secret Society," and kept the momentum up throughout their set, which closed with the thrashy "27." After the combination attack opening of "Numb, But I Still Feel It," "Shed," and "Like a Ritual," the band brought things down a bit with the great Floral Green shoegaze number "Head in the Ceiling Fan."
GWAR have a hell of a lot to be proud of, and not just the troves of blood-caked fans who were easy to spot throughout the park for the remainder of the day. The Oderus-less (RIP) outfit are indeed back in fine form, with a thrilling new stage show in Dave Brockie's honor. The interplanetary warriors delivered seven-songs (or acts) throughout their set, each coming from a different album. Bloody Pit of Horror's "Hail, Genocide!" was the absolute highlight, with blood baths both by way of a rotating circular saw and vocalist Blothar (aka Michael Bishop, formerly Beefcake the Mighty)'s chest. Yummy.
Taking things down a notch from GWAR were Worcester, MA's The Hotelier, who we caught next on the Revolt Stage. Christian Holden and his band gave 110% while delivering nearly all of their anthemic second album Home, Like Noplace Is There. The packed crowd braced along with Holden and co. for the multiple cathartic full-band crashes, as well as the din of the album's more subdued and vocal-only moments. After a few tunes, Holden seemed as if he couldn't help but to share that this was the largest crowd that had ever paid attention to the band at once. He also had his bass turned waaaay up, which cranked up the intensity for punchy numbers like "The Scope of All of This Rebuilding" and "In Framing."
We then headed over to the one-day Riot Fest Speaks stage to watch a bit of the Pussy Riot Discussion Panel go down. The Henry Rollins-moderated panel consisted of Pussy Riot/Zona Prava members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, with guests Greg Graffin (Bad Religion), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), Marcelle Karp (writer/activist), and Michael A. Petryshyn (Riot Fest Founder - aka Riot Mike). As we approached, Rollins and Karp were in the middle of a back-and-forth about feminist journalism in relation to the now six-month-old Zona Prava. Karp spoke of writing provocative messages on her and friends' bare chests, and Rollins brought up the old flyers he made while in Black Flag (ie "cop with a boner handing a child a lollipop with Black Flag scrawled across the top of the page"). It was an insightful discussion. Hopefully they bring the Riot Fest Speaks stage back in years to come.
Mastodon was the next mark we hit, over at the Rebel Stage. Touring on this year's classic rock-ish Once More 'Round the Sun, the band delivered a few tunes from that album -- including the fun single "High Road" -- some from The Hunter, as well as a bunch of their older meatier tunes. We got "Aqua Dementia" and "Hearts Alive" off Leviathan, "Bladecatcher" and "Crystal Skull" from Blood Mountain, and Crack the Skye favorites "Divinations" and "Oblivion." They were as tight as ever.
We capped off the night by catching alternative rock giants Jane's Addiction, who were performing their 1988 debut studio effort Nothing's Shocking in its entirety. Pit against American thrash gods Slayer playing Reign In Blood at the other side of the park, Perry Farrell and co. went for a much flashier approach while delivering the attitude-packed hits like "Jane Says," "Mountain Song," and "Ocean Size." It was nice to finish off the night with a feel-good set of songs.
Day 2 pics and review are HERE. Day 3 HERE. Pictures of all the day 1 bands mentioned above, plus a few others like Clutch, NOFX (they performed Punk In Drublic) and Radkey, are in this post. They continue below...
Pussy Riot's Nadya and Maria in NYC in January (more by Gretchen Robinette)
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are suing the Russian government in the European Court of Human Rights over their 2012 arrest and imprisonment:
Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were given an amnesty in December after serving 21 months in prison and pre-trial confinement, are demanding €120,000 (£71,000) each in compensation, plus €10,000 in court fees. They argue that the investigation and prosecution violated their rights and amounted to torture.Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were released in December as part of a Russian amnesty.
"They didn't get fair trial here in Russia so they want to get it finally in the European court of human rights," said Pavel Chikov, the head of the human rights legal group Agora, which is representing the two women.
"Plus they want this case to set a precedent that Russians can speak publicly on sensitive political issues, even if this speech is not supported by majority. This is a case about freedom of expression and fair trial first of all." - [The Guardian]
Pussy Riot's Nadya and Masha (via @Masha Alekhina)
Here we go again...
The Olympics may be over, but it's still Russia. In what has now become a dispiritingly common image, Pussy Riot's Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova and Maria "Masha" Alyokhina were once again violently detained at a demonstration on Monday. [2/24] This time, they were part of a large group protesting outside a Moscow court where a group of protesters from a 2012 demonstration were being sentenced. And the cycle continues. - [Vulture]This comes after being pepper-sprayed and whipped by Cosacks while making a video, and arrested/detained during the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Pussy Riot's Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikov returned to Russia to "carry out a Pussy Riot action" in Sochi (where the Olympics are currently happening), and after arriving in Sochi they were arrested, then released, then members of Pussy Riot were sprayed and whipped by Cossacks while trying to film a video. That video was for the song they've been talking about in interviews since arriving in Sochi, "Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland." The video's been completed and is out now.
You can watch it below...
Pussy Riot may be free, but the masked members of the Russian feminist punks have had a tough time of it while protesting during the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Earlier this week, former (current?) members Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikov (who were in NYC not long ago) were arrested and detained, and now comes disturbing footage of Pussy Riot being pepper sprayed and whipped by Cossacks while trying to film a video:
An Associated Press video showed the Cossacks advancing on the five women and one man with whips, knocking them down and striking them. The performers had just been shown gathering quickly at an outdoor plaza in Sochi, about 20 miles from the Olympic Park, taking off coats, putting on their ski masks and preparing to perform when the Cossacks attacked.If unfamiliar with The Cossacks, the Washington Post story describes them:
The Cossacks roughly pulled off the masks and flicked their whips at the group. When the group escaped they tweeted what had happened, providing details and photos. They had been preparing to make a video of a new protest song, "Putin will teach you how to love your Motherland," when the Cossacks appeared and set upon them. - [Washington Post]
The Cossacks, descended from czarist-era horsemen who patrolled the borders of the Russian empire, are remembered historically for leading pogroms against Jews. Today they are socially conservative and ardent supporters of the Russian Orthodox Church. Recently, they have been revived as a sort of volunteer citizen patrol, and about 800 of them have supplemented the police providing security for the Winter Games here. On patrol, they often wear military-style jackets and high lambskin hats.That video, not pleasant to watch, is below...
Nadya and Masha at The Spotted Pig (more by Gretchen Robinette)
Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikov, who maybe aren't but maybe are still in Pussy Riot, recently returned to Russia (specifically, Sochi, where the Olympics are currently happening) after visiting NYC, and The Guardian reports that they've since been arrested by Russian police:
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina said they had come to the Winter Olympics to hold a Pussy Riot performance, but were simply walking down the street when they were detained.This is less than two months since they were initially freed.
"We were just walking around Sochi when they grabbed us," said Tolokonnikova by telephone from a police station not far from the Olympic Park. "They told us we are suspected of theft. Of course there has been no theft."
...As of early afternoon, she had not yet been questioned, and said "nobody is telling us anything" about what will happen next.
"We are in Sochi in order to carry out a Pussy Riot action," wrote Tolokonnikova on Twitter shortly after the detention. "The song is called, 'Putin will teach you how to love the motherland'".
UPDATE: BBC News has since reported that they've been released: "The two band members and three other women emerged from the police station in Sochi wearing their trademark ski masks after their brief detention."
Nadya and Masha at The Spotted Pig last week (more by Gretchen Robinette)
Following an open letter from still-anonymous Pussy Riot members stating that Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova (who just visited NYC) were no longer in the group, Masha and Nadya have finally given their response. From a new New York Times article:
The letter "doesn't follow the ideology of Pussy Riot," Ms. Tolokonnikova said in an interview on Sunday, in Russian. She also took issue with its claims that she and Ms. Alyokhina no longer speak to other members of the group. "The people we performed with in Moscow, we're still in contact with," she said, adding that she didn't know who wrote the letter. It was signed by six anonymous individuals, some of whom used the same pseudonyms that she and Ms. Alyokhina once did.The article also mentions that Questlove, who was at the fundraiser at The Spotted Pig that Masha and Nadya appeared at, "didn't even want to meet them -- he didn't want to ruin the mystique." Read more at the NY Times.
Ms. Tolokonnikova and Ms. Alyokhina also disputed the idea that Pussy Riot was, as the letter states, a seemingly closed-off "all-female separatist collective."
"Pussy Riot can be anyone, and no one can excluded from Pussy Riot," Ms. Tolokonnikova said. "Pussy Riot can only grow."
A video of Pussy Riot speaking at the Amnesty concert below...
photos by Gretchen Robinette
Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, former (?) members of Pussy Riot, have been in NYC this week to (bravely) appear on The Colbert Report, speak at the Amnesty International concert at Barclays Center, and then last night (2/6) they appeared again at a reception/fundraiser for the Voice Project at The Spotted Pig. An English speaker gave a brief history on Pussy Riot, but not much came from the "hosts" that were listed (we did spot Kim Gordon at the event though) (update: we're told Marina Abramovic, James Murphy, Questlove, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jemima Kirke, and Sean Lennon were all floating around somewhere at the event).
Pictures of Masha and Nadya are in this post. They continue below...
Before last night's (2/5) Amnesty International Human Rights Concert at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, where Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot appeared (introduced by Madonna), still-anonymous members of Pussy Riot sent out an open letter stating that neither Nadya nor Masha are still members of Pussy Riot anymore. The letter in English (via Pitchfork) reads:
We are very pleased with Masha's and Nadya's release. We are proud of their resistance against harsh trials that fell to their lot, and their determination by all means to continue the struggle that they had started during their stay in the colonies.The New York Times notes that backstage at Barclays Center last night, Nadya and Masha had no comment on the letter, but they have said things like "We are no longer Pussy Riot" in other interviews, deciding to focus their efforts on Russian prison reform. That said, you'd never know they thought that based on their (brave) Colbert Report appearance, and their statement in the press conference before the Amnesty show that "anybody can be a member of Pussy Riot". "Pussy Riot" or not, we continue to applaud what they are doing.
Unfortunately for us, they are being so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons, that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group--feminism, separatist resistance, fight against authoritarianism and personality cult, all of which, as a matter of fact, was the cause for their unjust punishment.
Moreover, instead of the names of Nadya and Masha, the poster of the [Amnesty International] event showed a man in a balaclava with electric guitar, under the name of Pussy Riot, while the organizers smartly called for people to buy expensive tickets. All this is an extreme contradiction to the very principles of Pussy Riot collective: We are all-female separatist collective--no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality. We belong to leftist anti-capitalist ideology--we charge no fees for viewing our art-work, all our videos are distributed freely on the web, the spectators to our performances are always spontaneous passers by, and we never sell tickets to our 'shows'.
Our performances are always 'illegal', staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. The distribution of our clips is always through free and unrestricted media channels. We are anonymous, because we act against any personality cult, against hierarchies implied by appearance, age and other visible social attributes. We cover our heads, because we oppose the very idea of using female face as a trademark for promoting any sort of goods or services.
The mixing of the rebel feminist punk image with the image of institutionalised defenders of prisoners' rights, is harmful for us as collective, as well as it is harmful for the new role that Nadya and Masha have taken on.
Nadya and Masha are still in NYC and will be at tonight's Voice Project reception/fundraiser at The Spotted Pig, which Kim Gordon, Sean Ono Lennon, Questlove and others are hosting.
What a (long) night! The Amnesty International show at Barclays Center wrapped up around 1am Wednesday night with a concert-ending performance by The Flaming Lips and Yoko Ono. Many more, including Lauryn Hill, Colbie Caillat (I think that's her crotch), Tegan & Sara, Cake, Bob Geldof, Madonna, Susan Sarandon, Blondie and of course Pussy Riot (who were on Colbert one night earlier) also took the stage at the home of the Brooklyn Nets. Those sitting too far away to see could watch what was going on on the big screens, though sometimes that content was a bit questionable. Did you go? What did you think? We'll have more on the whole shebang with pics later.
Meanwhile check out some video below...
Masha and Nadya of Pussy Riot on 'Colbert'
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are currently in New York and will be at tonight's Amnesty International benefit (2/5) at Barclays Center. While here, they appeared on last night's episode of The Colbert Report for an interview. Masha and Nadya, in good spirits and in front of an audience fully on their side, talked via a translator about Vladimir Putin's "bright future" for Russia, kissing female cops, their release from Russian prison, and why they gave themselves an English name. "We wanted to let English people enjoy themselves," said Nadya. When Colbert asked if there was a Russian word for it, Masha replied, "There are lots of words in Russia." You can watch the whole interview below.
Tickets are still available to tonight's Amnesty International benefit with Flaming Lips, Madonna, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara, Cold War Kids, Cake, and others. Pussy Riot will also be at the Voice Project Reception Thursday afternoon (2/6) at The Spotted Pig and tickets (price includes cocktails and hors d' oeuvres) are still available for that too.
Colbert video below...
Members of Pussy Riot will appear in Brooklyn for the Amnesty International Human Rights Concert at Barclays Center on Wednesday (2/5) (introduced by Madonna). That won't be NYC's only chance to see the ladies coming from Russia though. They'll stay in NYC to appear at West Village gastropub The Spotted Pig (2/6) (314 West 11th St) the next day for a Voice Project reception and fundraiser. The Voice Project "were instrumental to Pussy Riot while they were in prison and it is a Foundation Anna Gabriel (Peter's daughter) & Hunter Heaney set up to support Artists in oppressive areas-this is the group that was vital to their survival while imprisoned, not to take away anything from the other agencies, sending food, clothing, and fundraising for them."
The event will be hosted by Kim Gordon, Sean Ono Lennon, Ken Friedman, Questlove, Maggie Gyllanhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. Tickets (including VIP options) are on sale now.
Madonna at MSG in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As discussed, members of Pussy Riot will be appearing in Brooklyn for the upcoming Amnesty International Human Rights Concert happening on February 5 at Barclays Center, which also features The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara, Cold War Kids, Cake, and others.
Since we last spoke, it's been announced that Madonna, who just performed at the Grammys, will introduce the members at the concert. She said in a statement:
I am honored to introduce my fellow freedom fighters Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot. I have admired their courage and have long supported their commitment and the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom of expression and human rights.Tickets are still available.
We already mentioned the Amnesty International Human Rights Concert would be going down in Brooklyn on February 5 at Barclays Center with The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara, and others, and there's just been a very interesting addition:
Members of the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, who were recently freed from prison after 21 months, will participate in Amnesty International's landmark Bringing Human Rights Home concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on February 5, Amnesty International announced Tuesday.Tickets are still available.
"We are happy to support Amnesty International's work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners," said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, whose imprisonment was the subject of hundreds of thousands of online actions by Amnesty activists after they were jailed for publicly criticizing Putin in a church. "We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty's work is in connecting activists to prisoners."
"A month ago we were freed from Russian prison camps. We will never forget what it's like to be in prison after a political conviction. We have vowed to continue helping those who remain behind bars and we hope to see you all at the Amnesty International concert on February 5th in Brooklyn!"
Pussy Riot's Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova and Maria "Masha" Alekhina, who are now working to improve conditions for prisoners in the Russian penal colony system, will address attendees at the concert to raise awareness about prisoners of conscience--people who have chosen a non-violent path yet are jailed for their beliefs, color of skin, gender, or sexual orientation, and whose rights Amnesty has championed throughout its 50-year history. The star-studded lineup includes The Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat, Cake and more yet to be announced.
"Today, as we work to improve human rights conditions in the United States, we can't abandon the fight for the rights of imperiled individuals around the world," said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins. "When we come together on February 5 in Brooklyn, our voices will be amplified by the presence of Pussy Riot, who continue to demonstrate the power we share when we take a stand against injustice. Join us next month and become a part of the next wave of the human rights movement."
Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on release (via @tamagna71)
Thanks to that Russian amnesty that just passed, Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will be home for Christmas. The two were just released from prison where they were supposed to serve sentence till March:
"Two months out of the almost two years that the girls have served is not much," Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, told CNN. "So the effect of this amnesty for Maria and Nadezhda is not really felt."No matter the reasons, great news they are finally out.
The Russian government said the amnesty marked the anniversary of the adoption of Russia's post-Communist constitution in 1993.
But Tolokonnikova, released from a Siberian facility on Monday, told CNN she felt that the amnesty was a publicity stunt to bolster the government's image before it hosts the Winter Olympics in February. Verzilov said much the same.
"President Putin obviously used this amnesty option to (brighten) up his image before the Olympic games," Verzilov said.
Russia's record on human rights is in the spotlight as the country prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Pussy Riot's 2012 performance of a "punk prayer" that criticized Putin, who was prime minister at the time, was held at a Russian Orthodox cathedral. The musicians were found guilty of hooliganism.
Tolokonnikova went on a hunger strike during her prison term to protest what she said were poor conditions at a Mordovian prison. In October, she was transferred to a Siberian facility for medical treatment, and she remained there until her release Monday.
She said Monday that she is eager to help Russian prisoners by calling attention to conditions they face. But first, she said, she is looking forward to reuniting with family, including her 5-year-old daughter in Moscow. - [CNN]
As mentioned, a Russian amnesty bill was on the table this week that could potentially mean an early release for imprisoned Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who would otherwise finish their two-year sentence in March. That amnesty passed yesterday (12/18) and Reuters reports that they will indeed get early release, though an exact date has not been set:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday two jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot would be freed under an amnesty but described their protest against him in a church as disgraceful.Hooray for Pussy Riot! (and about time)
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alyokhina, 25, are serving a two-year jail sentence for performing a crude "punk prayer" against Putin and his ties to the Russian Orthodox church in Moscow's main cathedral.
The two women had been due for release in March but are now expected to be freed sooner under the amnesty, in part because both are mothers of small children.
The amnesty will also enable 30 people arrested in a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling to avoid trial - removing two irritants in ties with the West before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics in February.
Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will spend the rest of her two-year prison term at a hospital in the Krasnoyarsk region, a news report said Monday.In other, more hopeful Pussy Riot news, CBS reports that the Russian Supreme Court has ordered a review of the case against Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, saying that the lower courts didin't provide full evidence of their guilt and "overlooked mitigating factors." Factors like their youth and that they both have young children -- the latter being an item in the proposed Amnesty which is expected to be passed this Wednesday (12/18). Both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina's sentences will be up in March, 2014.
Tolokonnikova made the request herself after she had been examined at the hospital, which is run by the prison, and the authorities will now decide what job to give her while she is there, Itar-Tass reported.
Tolokonnikova's lawyer said her client was feeling well and has joined the hospital's band.
Her sentence is set to run until March 2014, but her lawyer thinks that she could be released earlier under an amnesty planned for this month in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.
A draft of the amnesty is currently under consideration by the State Duma and is expected to be passed on Wednesday. It could come into effect by the weekend. - [The Moscow Times]
Imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who had been missing for over three weeks, has been found, reports Rolling Stone. She had not been transferred to a Siberian prison, as feared, but has been in Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1 in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk being treated for conditions related to her hunger strike. Her husband spoke with RS:
"She was in good condition. She said her conditions were OK," Verzilov said by phone. "She's not sick right now, she's just having procedures and tests related to the hunger strike." Verzilov added that conditions at the hospital were satisfactory. Although the facility does treat tuberculosis, it functions as an ordinary hospital.Rolling Stone says it's unclear where Tolokonnikova will serve out the rest of her two-year sentence which is due to be up in March 2014.
The activist had been missing for 24 days, after she was abruptly moved from a camp in Mordovia, where she had been serving her sentence. She told Verzilov that during the time of her disappearance, she had been kept from having conatct with the outside world throughout her three-week transfer across Russia.
"She said conditions and treatment were OK, but that the one thing was she was in very strict isolation," he said.
Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is being relocated thousands of miles to a prison colony deep in Siberia, according to her husband Peter Verzilov. Tolokonnikova has been missing for 17 days, since she vanished into the Russian prison system to be transferred to an unknown camp. Verzilov says she is now en route to the city of Krasnoyarsk, 2,600 miles east of Moscow, in the heart of Siberia...Tolokonnikova has not been seen since October 20 when she disappeared from Colony 14 in Mordovio, where she is serving a two-year sentence. She's due for release in March 2014.
...The exact prison colony where Tolokonnikova will be held is still uncertain, but Verzilov believes it will be Colony 50, near the town of Nizhny Ingash -- 190 miles from the city of Krasnoyarsk. This camp is considerably more remote than Tolokonnikova's previous colony in Mordovia, which had been roughly a six-hour drive from Moscow.
Her supporters suggest the authorities have chosen a prison so far from Moscow as a punishment for the nine-day hunger strike that Tolokonnikova began in September to protest conditions in her previous camp. The action, which brought unusual attention onto Russia's harsh prison system, eventually forced officials to agree to transfer her after Tolokonnikova became dangerously weak. - [Rolling Stone]
As discussed, the CBGB Music & Film Festival is returning to NYC from October 9 to 13 across various venues, and a number of films (including the premiere of the CBGB movie) are screening at the festival. Festival badges are still available, and since we last spoke, tickets for individual movies went on sale.
The CBGB movie premieres at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on October 8 and tickets for that are on sale now.
Other screenings include Bad Brains: A Band in DC, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust, Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All, Geek USA, Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin', Led Zeppelin Played Here, Montreal Underground, Pleased to Meet Me, Pussy Riot: Putin Pissed Himself, Searching for Sugarman, The Blank Generation and more. Tickets for most of those are available at Brown Paper Tickets and the film's schedule is at CBGB's site (though it requires a lot of clicking around to see it all).
Additionally, we'll be giving away tickets to all the screenings happening at Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, which include Searching For Sugarman, Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams, The ESG Story, Pussy Riot: Putin Pissed Himself, The Johnny Thunders Story, Geek USA, Filmage: The Story of the Descendents/All and more. The full schedule of Wythe Hotel screenings and contest details are below.