Not all riots are merciless


Members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist art collective based in Moscow, were attacked this week while eating at a McDonald’s in Russia.

Six men wearing political paraphernalia came after two of the group’s primary members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, with paint from syringes and threw garbage at them as they were eating breakfast.

This is neither the first nor the last time the dissident members of Pussy Riot will be in the headlines for being targeted by government officials and radicals.

However, with the power of social media and video documentation, Pussy Riot has been able to make a positive, yet controversial, mark in Russia and across the Western hemisphere. It has done so by promoting an equal rights agenda through provocative musical performances.

These performances and “riots” are videotaped and spread around the Internet until government officials demand for them to stop. Only issue is, they never stop.

After this week’s attack, the women took to YouTube immediately to affirm the obscene behavior they had unfortunately encountered from sexist and prejudiced individuals. Even in 2014, the art collective continues to strike a nerve in Russia.

“It hurts! Why are you doing this?” Tolokonnikova said in the video, with green stains on her face and hands. “You don’t have the right to hurt me. Please don’t do that to anyone anymore.”

After the band members posted the video of the attack online, the global response was proliferating — and in retrospect, all publicity is good publicity for such activists. This assault is another example of the corrupt mentality plaguing Russia.

Pussy Riot is distinguished in the West as a group of courageous activists who continue to fight for the most basic human right — the freedom of speech. However, as illustrated in this post, the group’s provocative and, at times, disruptive approaches to art activism are still unappealing to the ultra conservative, “Putinistic,” eye.