Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 3 members of Pussy Riot, the feminist punk band, will be held in prison until at least March 2013 whilst awaiting trial for performing an anti-Putin punk song in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Pussy Riot have been protesting for many months now against Putin’s crack down on freedom of expression in Russia – for example see my news blog item Pussy Riot Song Protest in Red Square. Their Cathedral protest performance has been condemned by the Orthodox Church, which is urging the government to take strong action against the women.
The Sex Pistols have been in the news recently in connection with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and the Olympic Games. Plans are underway to re-release the Pistols’ God Save the Queen, originally released in 1977 during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee events.
The song caused huge controversy, both for the defaced image of the Queen on the cover, and for its lyrics, which include “God Save the Queen / A fascist regime”; despite a ban by the BBC, the record managed to get to number two in the charts. This time round the song is likely to be up against a special Jubillee song of celebration written by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and pop singer Gary Barlow, do to be released at the end of May; perhaps this time the Pistols will get to number one!
The Sex Pistols are also in the news after they declined to take part in the Olympic ceremonies, along with various other acts. The Olympic authorities wanted to censor Pretty Vacant by not allowing Johnny Rotten to sing the word “vacant” with his usual slight variation on the final syllable!
Eight members of an anarchic punk band have been arrested in Moscow and charged with public order offences as a result an impromptu performance of an anti-Putin song, prefaced by a chant of “Riot in Russia”. The radical feminist group, Pussy Riot, usually performing in balaclavas, has gained both influence and notoriety following a number of performances over the past few months in a range of venues, including city squares, the Moscow metro and on a bus. One of the group’s members, Garadzha, stated
We are against Putin, against the regime. We wanted to show that this can happen in Russia, that there are girls who are active, who can do things like this.
Punk group X Ray Spex’s frontwoman Poly Styrene has died from breast cancer at the age of 53. Often attributed with helping create punk, Poly Styrene’s strong feminism was reflected on many of her songs. Released in 1977, X Ray Spex’s debut record Oh Bondage, Up Yours was hugely successful as an early punk-feminist anthem.