What’s Up With Pussy Riot?

So if you haven’t heard, two members of Pussy Riot that have been incarcerated for two years on “hooliganism” charges have been released a very few months ago. While they were in jail though, they brainstormed and made plans to create an organization that would fund raise and support prisoner’s rights in Russia. Upon being released they set their plan into motion and are continuing to work against Russia’s rough justice system.

Likewise, the two members of the riot band are directing their efforts to fighting Russia’s strangle-hold on the internet. Back in August Russia passed legislation that required people to present ID in order the access the internet in public locations, and requiring bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to register with the government (which, more often than not is the topic of their criticizing blogs). In my opinion at least, these actions of censorship are absolutely abominable and abhorred transgressions of every person’s right to free speech and access to information. Clearly in agreement with this notion, the two members of Pussy Riot recently released from jail used their new prisoner’s rights organization to start an independent online news service called Mediazona. Through this site, they intend to further advocate their support of human rights and push back against the heavy censorship of Russian authorities. As band member Tolokonnikova says, “there is no space for anything in the media that criticizes Putin’s policies and tracks human rights abuses by Russian courts and law enforcement.” From what I’ve observed, this appears to be true. As Moscow continues to tighten its grip on the media, the people of Russia are being pushed further and further away from the world, and into the dark. I find it to be an immense statement about women’s rights and independence though, that some of the forefront runners in the effort to open up Russia’s “airways” are members of the all-women band, Pussy Riot.

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