Pussy Riot Members Attacked

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot members attacked in Russian McDonald’s with paint, trash, and shouted curses. Maria Alyokhina and Nadia Tolokonnikova were eating breakfast with crew members in the Russian town of Nizhny Novgorod when they were ambushed by a group of six young men that screamed obscenities and hurled caustic paint, doused them with pepper spray, and lacerated them with pieces of scrap metal. As a result of the attack Alyokhina has suffered from head injuries and a concussion and her band mate Tolokonnikova was afflicted with chemical burns on her face and hands, as well as her eyes.

The men who attacked were all caught on film recorded by several cameras. They wore symbols of Russian patriots and called the band members obscene names and told them; get out of town and go to America, during the attack. The activists were in the restaurant before going on to visit a nearby penal colony. The plan was to begin a tour of prison installations in an attempt to raise awareness of prisoners’ rights.

After Pussy Riot members attacked the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin by staging a punk rock shock concert in Moscow’s largest cathedral in 2012, they have become synonymous with rebelling against the policies and actions of Vladimir Putin. After serving almost two years in prison for charges of hooliganism they have been in the news regularly for their anti-government demonstrations and participation in protests. Most recently the pair were detained at the Sochi Olympics on suspicions of theft and attacked by whip wielding Cossak militia men. They were also arrested for their involvement in the hundred man protest outside of a Moscow court-house that was staged as an act of support for the May 6 Prisoners who were incarcerated in 2012.

The pair shook off the charges of disturbing the peace and have not relented in their protest activities, repeatedly stating their stance against what they feel are repressive laws. Although there are reports that authorities are investigating the McDonald’s attack Tolokonnikova told the press that she feels they are the behind the attack. The feminist band members have released videos and photos of them covered in green stains and bleeding wounds, Alyokhina reportedly needed stitches to close a head wound caused by a thrown piece of shrapnel. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have said the men were very organized, and the attack was obviously caused by a strong disagreement with the political views of Pussy Riot.

Despite the bevy of photo and video evidence the men responsible for the Pussy Riot members attacked so viciously have still not been found, lending credence to the idea that the attack may have been set up as a way to discredit or frighten off the famous protestors. Although it may have been successful in preventing the duo from going to the penal colony they had intended to visit, chances are they will carry on once their wounds have healed. Clearly they have struck a nerve if such a vile attack seems like the only way to effectively scare them off.

By Daniel O’Brien

Sources

Hindustan Times
American Live Wire
NME

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