Making Change at Walmart
The Pussy Riot trial began in Moscow on Monday. Three young women charged with “hooliganism” now face up to seven years’ imprisonment. Why? Because their punk rock band gave a politically charged and impromptu performance poking fun at President Putin at a cathedral.
But don’t judge these women too harshly. At least that’s what Putin said himself in a stunning statement Thursday: “There is nothing good in what they did [but] I don’t think they should be judged too severely.”
However, Putin’s words have not yet translated into action. Seven years incarceration is still a very real possibility. Our sources inside Russia tell us that the trial may wrap up as early as next Wednesday, August 15, and some signs are pointing in the direction of sending the women off to a labor camp.
Say what you will about Pussy Riot: this may not be your kind of music. Some people find their shows offensive.
But it doesn’t change the facts: Since March, these young women have been in jail and kept from their families, including small children, and they are being threatened with seven years imprisonment - all because of a peaceful protest song that lasted less than a minute.
Amnesty International considers these women to be prisoners of conscience, and we are not going to give up on them. Sadly, members of Pussy Riot aren’t the only ones getting caught up in the backlash against dissidents in Russia lately. One of Putin’s fiercest critics, blogger Alexei Navalny, was charged this week with embezzlement, a crime that could carry up to a 10-year prison sentence.
The crackdown doesn’t stop there. In recent weeks, President Putin and his cronies have moved swiftly to limit street protests by enforcing hefty fines and re-criminalizing some forms of defamation.
Oppression thrives in silence. That is why we must loudly demand that Russian authorities free Pussy Riot now!
It is not hard to spot Pussy Riot supporters - bright tights, colorful dresses and faces covered by balaclavas. At our protests outside the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, we’re using multi-colored ski masks - check out our pictures!
Some high-profile musicians are also taking action in solidarity. During recent concerts in Russia, rockers Sting, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand all called on the Russian authorities to free Pussy Riot and respect freedom of expression. Madonna, Peter Gabriel and Pete Townshend of The Who have voiced their support, too, while Björk has invited other members of Pussy Riot to join her on tour.
Now that even President Putin has flinched at the punishment Pussy Riot is facing, it won’t be long now before the court in Moscow faces the music that world leaders, celebrities and activists alike are already chanting with passion and pride:
Take action: http://bit.ly/NTwnN6
Pharr, TX – Occupy McAllen, as part of a global day of action, will rally outside the Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase banks located near the intersection of Jackson Road and Jackson Avenue in Pharr, on Friday, November 11th, at 5:00 pm. The largest banks in the US earned $34 billion in profit in the first half of this year, nearly matching what they earned in the same period in 2007 before the financial crisis happened. Wall Street firms paid about $20.8 billion in bonuses in 2010, while the average American still suffers from Wall Street’s greed, facing unemployment, foreclosures, and increasing impoverishment.
Occupy McAllen is participating in this global day to protest against an unjust economic system rigged against working people. But the protest is also in defense of the First Amendment right to assembly which has been violently challenged by mayors and the police in several cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Oakland. In Oakland, the police department violently dismantled Occupy Oakland’s encampment, and aggressively attacked peaceful protestors with tear gas, billy clubs, and flash grenades. Scott Olsen, an Iraq War veteran participating in Occupy Oakland, was struck on October 25 with a police projectile and has sustained brain damage.
Occupy McAllen is marching in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world, especially where they are under violent attack, as in Oakland, and to demand the US government respect and enforce the US Bill of Rights protecting our right to assemble.
What: Rally Outside of Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase Banks
When: Friday, November 11 • 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Location: Meet at Jackson Avenue and Jackson Road
Facebook Page for Occupy Mcallen https://www.facebook.com/occupymcallen?sk=info