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Pussy Riot at The New York Times
Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina, 25, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, visited The New York Times editorial board Wednesday morning. They were on The Colbert Report Tuesday night and will appear at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn tonight. This is why they’re getting so much attention.
They’re not afraid of prison…
Jailed in 2012 after staging an anti-Putin protest in a Moscow church and released at the end of last year, the two, known for performing riotous punk ballads in balaclavas, will go back to prison if they have to.
It’s “silly” to talk of going to prison a second time as “something that would instill fear in us,” Ms. Alyokhina told The New York Times through an interpreter.
…Even though this was their prison experience.
The musician-activists detailed their time in separate penal colonies, where they were subject to harsh conditions that harkened back to the Soviet era. “When we first arrived at the colony we were struck by how silent everyone was,” Ms. Alyokhina said. “It was as if people were perfectly satisfied to live in inhumane conditions. But then we understood what was going on. It was the old Soviet method of trying to make everyone in a uniform mass. If you step outside of the swarm you immediately receive punishment.”
Ms. Tolokonnikova said that the prison system tried to make “obedient slaves out of prisoners,” forcing them to work 16 to 20 hour days. Punishment included being locked out in the rain and being forbidden from using the bathroom.
They know firsthand that President Vladimir Putin cares what the West thinks.
Ms. Alyokhina and Ms. Tolokonnikova credit their release from prison last year to Western pressure. They urge a boycott of the Sochi Olympics, saying that support of the event indicated support of Mr. Putin’s regime of oppression.
They say that a run for office is “up to the people.”
They’ve been urged to run for office, Ms. Alyokhina said, but it’s not up to them, it’s up to the people. Right now, “our task is to unite the people who don’t want to be silent.”
They were spied on by the Russian government.
“We were constantly watched. All day long. In Russia, the more they watch you, the harder your life becomes,” Ms. Tolokonnikova said about her experience in prison.
They’re political activists first, artists second.
“We always insisted from very beginning that Pussy Riot is a political group that is using art as a means to express its opinion,” Ms. Tolokonnikova said. She added that they attempted to communicate with the government via official channels, but were denied, and so they turned to art in protest.
“We think that it is necessary to get people’s attention in a loud and scandalous way,” Ms. Alyokhina said.
Their future is uncertain, and they’re okay with that.
Ms. Alyokhina and Ms. Tolokonnikova are dedicating themselves to human rights and political activism. But they say that they can’t plan too far ahead. “We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Ms. Alyokhina said. “The state might have other plans for us.”
-The next idiot who tells me punk failed gets these amazing women shoved in their face.
stories that never happened :] by me