Punk band protests launched

Punk band protests launched

Organisers of protests in more than three dozen cities around the world are hoping thousands will turn out in raucous support of Pussy Riot, the Russian punk band convicted of hooliganism in Moscow.

The three women in the band, face a maximum seven years in prison when they are sentenced later today.

Protesters in Paris, at Igor Stravinsky square near the Centre Pompidou modern art museum, echoed those outside the Moscow courthouse, chanting “Svoboda! Svoboda!” or “Freedom! Freedom!”

In Ukraine, four feminist activists, one of them topless, used a chainsaw to hack down a wooden cross in Kiev’s central square in a show of support.

“A cross is a symbol of the repressive religious prejudice that supports dictatorship. Now people who worship the cross want to jail the innocent,” said Anna Gutsol, leader of the group that chopped down the nearly six-metre (18 ft) tall cross put into place during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, supporters of Pussy Riot dressed statues on a Soviet-era monument in colourful balaclavas similar to those worn by demonstrators in Moscow.

Celebrities including Paul McCartney, Madonna and Bjork have called for the band to be freed.

Germany’s top human rights official, Markus Loening, joined them today, saying their detention had already been “fully disproportionate”.

Protests are planned outside Russian embassies in Washington and capitals around Europe.

About 150 people demonstrated outside the Russian Embassy in Berlin. One sign showed a photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel embracing Mr Putin with the message: “He hasn’t earned it”.

The crowd cheered and blew whistles as a woman on stage, wearing a pink balaclava, shouted her message to Moscow through a megaphone: “The world is watching you and we don’t like what we see – we are all Pussy Riot.”

In Serbia, while anti-Putin activists plan protests in Belgrade, a Serbian far-right group has taken Mr Putin’s side. The group Nasi has launched an online game targeting the Pussy Riot members, and says on its website that the women should be sent to the hospital for psychiatric treatment.

More in this Section

Nappy DNA test claim aired amid Assange anonymity battleNappy DNA test claim aired amid Assange anonymity battle

Paris bans outdoor sports activities between 10am-7pmParis bans outdoor sports activities between 10am-7pm

British man jailed over coronavirus cough assault on officersBritish man jailed over coronavirus cough assault on officers

Blood plasma from Covid-19 survivors ‘improved symptoms of severely ill patients’Blood plasma from Covid-19 survivors ‘improved symptoms of severely ill patients’


Indulging in a little comfort eating lately? Worry not – with Easter just around the corner Maresa Fagan looks at how chocolate can be good for your heart, head, and healthFive genuine health reasons to enjoy chocolate this Easter weekend

Currently digging your garden up? You’ve got the ‘grow your own’ bug.11 things you’ll know if you’ve suddenly become obsessed with growing your own

IN TIMES like these, when we are stuck in our houses, going out just for exercise and groceries, it can feel harder to find inspiration and motivation to make the most of the food we have already in our cupboards, fridges and pantries.Currabinny Cooks: Making the most of store cupboard ‘essentials’

More From The Irish Examiner