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Pussy Riot on 60 Minutes: ‘we’re advocating for a peaceful overthrow’

By Jeff Winkler
Sunday, March 24, 2013 20:58 EDT
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The Russian punk band Pussy Riot remains defiant against Vladimir Putin’s regime, telling  60 Minutes, “we want the government to leave power, because we consider it illegitimate. But we’re advocating for a peaceful overthrow,” during a segment that aired Sunday night.

Pussy Riot made international headlines in March of 2012, when five members of the band were arrested for hooliganism, after praying/singing to the Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, asking her to “please drive Putin away.” Of the five women, three were charged. One, Katya Samutsevich, was found guilty but was “released after seven months because she never actually danced on the altar,” according to 60 Minutes.

Speaking to 60 Minutes with their faces hidden behind their trademark balaclavas, three band members continued their verbal battle against Putin.

“Since the election, Putin has brought in a new level of repressive government measures in Russia,” said Samutsevich, the only member of Pussy Riot who isn’t hiding her identity. “The elections weren’t legitimate. There was vote rigging. There was false counting.

“It was clear that the president put himself in power,” she continued.

As for the “educated” band’s “crude, almost juvenile [punk] acts,” as 60 Minutes put it, the women are equally strident.

“This is the language we’ve chosen, the language of punk,” responded Samutsevichl. “It’s not highly intellectual. It’s intentionally lowered, dumbed-down. We’ve chosen this specific kind of language to attract attention.”

And that kind of attraction has worked. As 60 Minutes notes, notables from the South Park creators, Madonna, and chessmaster Garry Kasparov to Amnesty International have offered public support. Nadia Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, two members of Pussy Riot who were dancing at the alter a year ago, are halfway through their sentences in Russian penal colonies.

Watch the video, which first aired on CBS on March 24, 2012, below:

 
 
 
 
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