Why a Russian official called Madonna a moralizing slut

The eight-day trialagainst three members of the feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot, charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after they performed a punk prayer in an Orthodox church, asking  the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of President Vladimir Putin, wrapped up Wednesday. The prosecutors have asked for a three-year sentence and the verdict will be announced Friday August 17th.

The trial was a major miscalculation for the Russian Government. It has shed light on a struggle between  a repressive regime of censorship  on the one hand and martyrs for freedom, free speech and artistic expression, on the other. The defendants themselves linked their persecution to that of Soviet-era writers in their closing statements.  Standing in front of a slit in their glass and metal cage, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said, ”I, like [writer Aleksandr] Solzhenitsyn, believe that words will crush concrete… We sit in a cage, but we didn’t lose. And the dissidents didn’t lose. Disappearing in psychiatric wards and jails, they convicted the regime.”  She also stated, “this is a trial of the whole government system of Russia, which so likes to show its harshness toward the individual, its indifference to his honour and dignity….If this political system throws itself against three girls … it shows this political system is afraid of truth.”  Another member, Maria Alyokhina, said, ”I am not afraid of you. You can take away my ‘so-called’ freedom, but you can never take my inner freedom.”

Read more at Feministing

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