Liverpool’s independent bookshop leads protests over jailing of Pussy Riot punk band in Russia.
News from Nowhere bookshop on Bold Street has joined the protests over the jailing of Russian band Pussy Riot.
The radical, feminist and community bookshop on Bold Street, held a reading of defence statements by punk band trio, in which they denied being motivated by hostility to religion, but said they wished to highlight links between the Russian Orthodox Church’s leadership and the Putin regime.
The sentencing in Moscow of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot – Maria Alyokhina, 24, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22 – to two years in a penal colony after being found guilty of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred‘ provoked protests around the world.
The sentencing followed an incident in which the band performed a protest prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in the Russian capital, calling on the Virgin Mary to ‘chase Putin out’. Russian President Vladimir Putin has come under widespread criticism after the sentencing.
The Guardian reported the story this morning saying, Sal, one of the staff of the bookshop, which is both a women’s collective and a workers’ co-op, said: ‘It was great to be part of a world-wide day of protest, action and solidarity with the three members of Pussy Riot who were being sentenced in court at the same time as we read out their testimonies at the bookshop.
‘The fact that the three women have been sentenced to two years in prison for singing a song not only highlights the levels of repression and censorship in Russia, it also shows that feminism is still a dirty word and a threat to the patriarchal hegemony.’
‘Women being silenced by the state is nothing new but the current clampdown on women’s rights, gay rights and human rights generally in Russia is seriously worrying. Pussy Riot have helped to shine a spotlight on the current state of Russian society under Putin, but sadly they have had to sacrifice their own freedom in doing so.‘
Meanwhile, the Justice Band – led by members of The Farm, The Clash‘s Mick Jones and Pete Wylie, also sent out a message of their own during the weekend’s Strummerville festival.