Even as the verdict was being announced, the remaining members of the feminist punk collective were releasing the band's newest single, "Putin Lights Up The Fires," playing it from a balcony across from the courthouse. You can hear the song here, and the English lyrics are below.
PUSSY RIOT - "Putin Lights Up the Fires"
This state may be stronger than time in jail.
The more arrests, the happier it is.
Every arrest is carried out with love for the sexist
Who botoxed his cheeks and pumped his chest and abs.
But you can't nail us in the coffin.
Throw off the yoke of former KGB!
Putin is lighting the fires of revolution
He's bored and scared of sharing silence with the people
With every execution: the stench of rotten ash
With every long sentence: a wet dream
The country is going, the country is going into the streets boldly
The country is going, the country is going to bid farewell to the regime
The country is going, the country is going, like a feminist wedge
And Putin is going, Putin is going to say goodbye like a sheep
Arrest the whole city for May 6th
Seven years isn't enough, give us 18!
Forbid us to scream, walk and curse!
Go and marry Father Lukashenko!
Translation credit: @Russian_Market
Another anthem for the band has come from electropunk musician Peaches, who assembled about 400 activists in Berlin earlier this month to shoot the video for her blistering dance-heavy "Free Pussy Riot," a song whose name says it all. You can see the resulting video here, and download it for free here.
Now, it's definite that the harsh sentence will not spell the end for the actions of Pussy Riot, for either side. Even as Russian police had said that they were seeking the other members of the group who had thus far escaped arrest, it was announced on Twitter that two members of he group had fled Moscow to avoid prosecution and are "recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions," adding that at least a dozen members of Pussy Riot still remained in Russia.
This opens up questions as to the developing nature of Pussy Riot. Will they continue to remain a Russian-based collective, targeting the actions of the Russian government as it further seeks to suppress the rights of its people to voice their political opinions? Or will it expand to the level of a worldwide feminist collective, expanding upon the global support its already been getting from all areas of the entertainment world?
This remains to be seen, but it seems like a concrete fact that Pussy Riot has elevated itself far beyond the level of a simple publicity stunt. What began as a means to draw attention to the actions of a government that a group of women found disagreeable has become a story that the world has followed. Hopefully the world will continue to follow the action of these women, and that nobody will forget our three sisters who are currently behind bars for the simple act of stating their beliefs.
Punk has always sought to be revolutionary, but this may truly be the first time that punk has sparked a revolution. As the women in Pussy Riot continue to gain support and momentum in their country and worldwide, could they truly become the second coming of Riot Grrrl, this time effecting changes on a level that the original movement never achieved? We can hope so.
As Peaches sings, "We are all Pussy Riot," and as support mounts for both the imprisoned women, the political state in Russia, and the potentially worldwide feminist movement as the women reach out to activists everywhere, perhaps we're ready for balaclava-sporting activists everywhere of both genders to enact a positive change in the political and social realms, fueled by the early actions of a few Russian punks who wanted to speak their minds.