Blusher: Pussy Riot galore…
Pussy Riot exist to champion freedom of speech and women’s rights in Russia, but they are also LGBT allies in a country that is deliberately eroding LGBT rights. Gay Pride in Moscow has been banned for the next 100 years, and in the last few years there have been numerous cases of the police instigating homophobic attacks. Just under half of the population in Russia support the re-criminalisation of ‘homosexual acts’, and several cities, including St Petersburg, have banned any “public action aimed at propagandising sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism among minors”.
Bizarrely, while it’s ‘hooliganism’ against the state and religion which has got Pussy Riot in jail, it’s the ban against homosexual propaganda which has got Madonna in trouble. Madonna has been the most vocal and high-profile of the celebrity Pussy Riot supporters, a group which includes Sir Paul McCartney and Bjork. Madonna recently used a concert in Moscow to make a speech demanding for their release, and as a result is now being sued for $10million for defying Russia's ‘homosexual propaganda’ law.
Madonna will undoubtedly breeze through the lawsuit, but Pussy Riot’s fate is not so certain. Amnesty International have a petition for their release on their website, sign it at www.amnesty.org.uk and help raise a neon rainbow flag in Russia. MS