NEWS: Pussy Riot

The 2014 Winter Olympics have officially begun! And this year the world’s most talented athletes will compete in Sochi, Russia. A country that is well-known for its own political battles between its government and its people. Rebellion against the Russian government has been heard and seen in many different forms including its music. Pussy Riot, an 11 piece feminist and activist punk rock group from Moscow, that openly speaks out against Russian president Vladimir Putin and the country’s government; had two of its band members arrested back in 2012 after performing their song “Punk Prayer” in the Orthodox Cathedral. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were charged with ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’ and were sentenced to two years in prison. Media presence at the time of the arrest gave Pussy Riot a larger worldwide platform which included a “Free Pussy Riot” campaign and big name celebrity support from musicians such as Sting and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were released early in December 2013 under Putin’s amnesty act, two months earlier than their original prison release date of March 2014. The anonymous┬ámembers of Pussy Riot declared this week that Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were released from the band because the two no longer upheld the aspirations and ideals of the group. The group applauded the two women’s efforts in maintaining their activism, yet they believed the two became more involved in activism against the treatment of Russian prisoners. The women are now advocates for Russian prisoners’ rights and no longer take part in radical activities.

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