“Strong and brave young women.”
That’s what former U.S. Secretary of State and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the members of Pussy Riot, a Russian anarchist punk band whose members have been convicted in Russian courts of “hooliganism” and inciting religious hatred.
Clinton posed with two members of the band while in New York for the Women in the World Summit. On Friday, she posted the photo on Twitter, saying,
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina served nearly two years in prison after their unauthorized performance February 21, 2012, in Moscow’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The two were stopped by church security officials and arrested, but three other members of the group escaped. They were granted amnesty and released from prison on December 23, 2013.
The Pussy Riot protest was in response to Orthodox Church leaders’ support for Vladimir Putin during his election campaign. The group produced a music video of the performance, titled “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away.”
Pussy Riot was organized, in part, due to anger over what they perceived as government policies that discriminate against women, citing legislation that “placed restrictions on legal abortions”. Members of the musical performance group were also detained this year during the Sochi Winter Olympics.
If these are the “women of the world” whom Clinton respects and admires, there’s not much hope for a renewed sense of the sacred, a respect for religion, or an embrace of pro-life feminist values, should Clinton be elected to the presidency in the future.
There’s also not much hope for a renewed détente between the United States and Russia.
Here, by the way, is raw video footage of the original Moscow Cathedral performance and arrest.