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Pussy Riot video shoot shut down by Russian Police

Over the weekend, the Russian police shut down a Pussy Riot video shoot for their latest single БЕСИТ / RAGE.

The punk musicians were accused of “gay propaganda” and “extremism.” 150 activists, mostly female or queer, took part in the shoot.

Pussy Riot

In glaring irony, the punk-activist band Pussy Riot have been ambushed by police for the very cause they are fighting against.

Last Sunday, the Russian Police ordered the studio to shut off the power and banned Pussy Riot from bringing a generator to finish the shoot. The band lost $15k in production, documenting the arrest on Youtube. 13 of those involved were detained in a police station in St. Petersburg, including the band’s co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikovaa.

Pussy Riot started in 2011 in Moscow as a fake punk band, comprised of mostly anonymous members. They spent two years in prison after a controversial performance in 2012, accused of “hooliganism” by the Russian government.

Tolokonnikovaa described the scene in a statement on Instagram:

“Russian political police commanded the studio where we were shooting, Lenfilm, to cut off electricity in the whole building. Later we were kicked out of the building – with no legal explanations.”

She continues, “The single “БЕСИТ / RAGE” is dedicated to a pain that we – feminists and the queer people – feel being the enemies of the state.”

Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law is an instance of homophobia within politics.  It bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” withholding any LGBTQ-related information from children. The law has been used to shut down websites, services and support groups under the guise of protecting Russia’s “family values.”

The lyrics of Pussy Riot’s latest track include, “A police baton on my ribs, I’m singing with blood today.” Horribly befitting.