Pussy Riot Disrupts Putin Olympics With Their Protests

Pussy Riot at Olympics

Pussy Riot is at it again, disrupting the Sochi Winter Olympics with protests and a show of their own. Filming all around Sochi for the past week, Pussy Riot has challenged the Kremlin’s authority, calling for a boycott of the Olympics which they say President Putin has used to further silence dissidents. The group released a video Thursday criticizing the international community’s support of the Sochi Winter Games and the administration of Vladimir Putin.

The female punk-rock flash-mob performance-art group has taken on the voices of liberals in the country, who say that Putin’s administration has violated human rights, has partaken in corrupt business and political practices, and is steering the country into a totalitarian regime.

Pussy Riot has made no qualms about being arrested for their antics. The two front members of the group, Nedezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, spent almost two years in prison for their stunt at Moscow’s main catherdral back in 2012. A documentary which followed the story of Pussy Riot’s incarceration showed how the women stood up to the Kremlin, directly defying the authority of the court several times.

Pussy Riot’s video entitled “Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland” is up on YouTube, and is a compilation of footage from their political protests across Sochi.

Observers of the games say Putin’s clamp down on protests is quite rampant, with “protest zones” being set up almost 70km away from the actual games, way out of sight for anyone at the games to actually see. Not to mention protesters have to receive an official written letter of permission to protest the Sochi games.

Stephen Colbert’s latest segment about the Sochi Winter Olympics has shed light on the growing oppression by the Russian government, particularly against homosexuals. The segment involves an overtly homosexual male named Buddy Cole going around Sochi, seeking out the “gay propaganda” Putin has declared threatens Russia’s culture.

The latest addition in the segment showed Buddy Cole driving out to the designated protest zone, only to find nobody there. Upon arriving, he decides to chant how he wants more alcohol, only to have Russian authorities inform him that he is violating the law by protesting without a permit.

It’s issues like this that has led the members of Pussy Riot to risk their freedom and safety. They say that matters will only get worse if Russians don’t see Putin’s move towards totalitarianism.

Pussy Riot’s latest speech was interrupted several times by pro-Kremlin activists, who say that Pussy Riot is only looking to mold Russia into something it is not- a liberal minded country like the West.

Another incident, which involved Russian cossacks whipping Pussy Riot as they performed under the Olympics sign, stands as a testament to the backlash Pussy Riot is being greeted with by disgruntled Russian authorities.

The International Olympic Committee who saw the tape of Pussy Riot’s abuse condemned the attack, saying that they found the footage to be “very unsettling.”

Still not much has been done in Pussy Riot’s favor. An overwhelming majority of Russians support many of the stances President Putin has on particular social issues, ranging from homosexuality to religion.

Pussy Riot promises that their latest stunt at the Sochi Winter Olympics won’t be there last.

By John Amaruso

Sources:
Washington Post
LA Times
Reuters

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