Celebrity Pressure For Pussy Riot Release Grows

Sinead O' Connor and Yoko Ono campaign for band's release.

Celebrity Pressure For Pussy Riot Release Grows
120
The arrest of Russian punk band Pussy Riot has proved to be one of the most talked about news stories in recent weeks and has prompted widespread support for the band across the globe. Now, both Sinead O' Connor and Yoko Ono are calling for the band's release. As NME reports, Sinead O' Connor has written an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, which reads as follows: "I am someone who had direct experience, as you may have yourself, of what I choose to call The Holy Spirit. And I don't just believe but I KNOW that all people, from kings to presidents to singers to anyone, are intrinsically good in their souls. Except those who knowingly hurt children." She goes on to state that she wants the President to reduce the band's sentence to house arrest for the benefit of their children: "These children who have lost their mothers, Sir, they don't care about politics, or the band above mentioned, Sir, or hurting anyone," she writes. "They love their mummies. And you need them to grow up loving their country. And they are going to suffer intolerable agony for the rest of their lives if they can't have their mummies back as soon as possible." "No president has ever been brave enough to say the word "love" or "forgive." You never hear any politician say "love." Nor even the priests half the time. Please say it, Sir. Even just to yourself. Say "forgive." And let these children have their mums at home on house arrest immediately while the other legal issues are pending." Yoko Ono, meanwhile, has stated that the biennial LennonOno Grant For Peace will be awarded to five different activists and campaigners, including Pussy Riot. As NME notes, the grant awarded to Pussy Riot will be given - with the backing of Amnesty International - on September 21 in New York "in the hope that they will be released as soon as possible".

42 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Pan-Tallica
    Okay, without getting too involved in who is right and who is wrong in this situation, I'd just like to point out that O'Connor's letter is... well, it's a joke. It's horribly written, and it's very unconvincing BECAUSE it's horribly written. If someone told me an eight year-old wrote that letter, I'd totally believe them.
    iommi600
    Yoko? Well, not all hope is lost, hopefully he can turn the officers and lawmans into hippies too. And if not, she'll just scream until they can't take it, and let's face it, NO ONE can take her screams. In all seriousness, best of luck to these girls, I found the band's sounding to be not of my liking to be honest, but it's great that they stand up so bravely to what they believe.
    Paraffinity
    i'm one of those rare people that like yoko's screaming y'know. otherwise, kind of what I think too.
    Salvo416
    Am I the only one tired of hearing about this band.. I understand they are in jail and all but come on.
    dennis.1960
    While I support the ability of this band (or anyone for that matter) to express displeasure against their government, doing so in a Russian Orthodox church is just asking for trouble. They must have known they weren't going to get a slap on the wrist and a "now don't you do that anymore" speech. What would happen if an Alabama white supremacist skinhead band set up in a black Baptist church and sang white power themed songs...you gotta know you're asking for trouble, legal or otherwise.
    Jesus_Dean
    "These children who have lost their mothers, Sir, they don't care about politics, or the band above mentioned, Sir, or hurting anyone," she writes. "They love their mummies. And you need them to grow up loving their country. And they are going to suffer intolerable agony for the rest of their lives if they can't have their mummies back as soon as possible." Their "mummies" obviously weren't too concerned about their children's welfare when they put themselves in a position to be arrested and separated from their families.
    bulusvanua
    Two points, 1. Its quite possible they did not expect such a hefty sentence for singing in a church. 2. The point being made was that their sentence was grossly disproportionate to their crime. ie, for protesting in a church you do not deserve two years in prison. The use of the children here was merely emphasising that point.
    Jesus_Dean
    Valid points, but as far as not expecting such a heavy sentence...they KNEW they were dealing with a very hard govt, which is why they were protesting in the first place. You wrote: "their sentence was grossly disproportionate to their crime", I think we all agree on that point, but oddly enough, there are a lot of Russians where I work and they say the same thing about Americans being jailed for possession of marijuana. So basically, it's fcked up all around. Peace!
    vinnym86
    Freedom of speech and legalization of cannabis are INCREDIBLY different things, with the former being the most important quality of our democracy, and the latter being simply an issue. Whom ever told you that is either dumb or stupid, one of those.
    Ibeanez
    Crappy music aside, trespassing is not freedom of speech, and property rights are every bit as important in our democracy as freedom of speech.
    guitar7masta
    "Valid points, but as far as not expecting such a heavy sentence...they KNEW they were dealing with a very hard govt, which is why they were protesting in the first place." So I guess they should just lie down and take it? You know who didn't lie down and take it? 'Muricans! But seriously, it sounds like you're saying they shouldn't protest because their country hates protests. It's not hard to understand that they are willing to do anything they can to make their country a nicer place to live for their kids.
    guitarist41
    They deserved to be put away. The guitars in their recordings were really muddy, and a church is a terrible place to book for a gig. I applaud the president of Russia for Putin things right.
    RickyThomson
    The message behind their music is more important than the songs themselves. Storming a church to play a song called "punk prayer" is a good tactic to get a message across when nobody seems to be listening or dealing with the problems in this world. Small minded folk will become offended and claim it is blasphemy and all that rubbish... but at the end of the day they chose to play there because it would get attention and the relevance of "prayer" being done in a church. Just like the sex pistols sailed down the thames on the silver jubilee, in a boat named "queen elizabeth"... people became outraged and gathered more attention for the band by being mad at them. It works.
    Most_Triumphant
    Honestly, at a church? They know what's going to come at them. Yes they did it to protest. Yes they know what they are doing. No Russia won't be bullied by celebrities.
    Ibeanez
    No, small-minded people will try to justify them being on someone else's property, where they aren't wanted, and playing really crappy music.
    ToxXicSixString
    Ha!!!! 1. This is Russia so saying boo about anything will get you locked up. 2.) if there point was so valid they would not have to force it upon others. 3.)Let people have there own opinion. I am not a religious person. But no one NO ONE has the right to walk into a church, Cinagog, Temple OR whatever and force the opinions unless its what the church is for, and if people don't like what is said behind Church doors, then don't walk threw them. If it was a good tactic it would have worked.
    BradTheBluefish
    "These children who have lost their mothers, Sir, they don't care about politics, or the band above mentioned, Sir, or hurting anyone," she writes. "They love their mummies." Well their mummies should have thought about the consequences before speaking out.
    CMepTb
    I can't believe how stupid you guys are... They f*cking broke into a church (where at the moment was spiritual service) with f*cking masks and were trying to sing (because their music is f*cking crap). Do any of your american churches would tolerate that? I don't think so. Instead I believe that they would be called satanists and burned like witches.
    ne14t
    These people are idiots, its Russia for pete sake they don't let anyone off, lucky they didn't get in their van and have it blow up on them. As for the kids, yeah it sucks but their parents ****ed up no different then a drunk or druggie have child services take their kids away betcha those kids don't feel to great, but nobody cares about them especially not celebs. They screwed up by going to a public place (a church none the less) and attacking the person running the country, back in the day they called that treason and hung you for it. There is properly protesting and then their is being stupid, sadly these ladies fell in to the latter category.
    link no1
    I don't even know what all this crap is about, I came here looking for answers to who "pussy riot" are and why they are being constantly spammed in articles. Neither question has been answered and with the help of youtube...I can only agree with you.
    ToxXicSixString
    Hey people we are talking about Russia, They have always been ****ed up. Do some research Stalin killed more people then Hitler makes you think. Cold war for 40+ years with the Russians. How can these people not know that if you sneeze wrong you will end up in a Russian jail till your dead and then they will probably leave you there till you rot. So they knew what they where doing, and they had time to think of there kids.
    Andrew32459
    Yeah, that is our Russian f*ckin' justice: the ones who steals billions can do whatever, till they can afford the authority's silence, but the ones who tries to show they are disgussed with that are get thrown to the jail imediately, even if there is no really legal reason for that.
    vinnym86
    it's clearly not about the music. isn't it so easy to ignore the world that is less fortunate than yours, yet criticize the millionaire above you?
    RoadRunner939
    They KNEW what could happen. I do not agree with putting them in jail, but it could've been expected with such a government.
    The Spoon
    " And I don't just believe but I KNOW that all people, from kings to presidents to singers to anyone, are intrinsically good in their souls. Except those who knowingly hurt children." Yeah, this letter was horribly written. How are you going to appeal to a person's good side like that?! You can't say everyone is intrinsically good and then single out the person you're appealing to.
    silent caution
    if this was america this would not of happend...them getting a record deal, not the church part