|The band, Pussy Riot (http://upload.wikimedia.org)|
I'm not unfamiliar with Pussy Riot; I heard about them earlier this year from Sarah, who blogged about them in May, and we discuss Russian politics quite a bit as roommates last year. So naturally I was interested to show my support at the protest. Also, as a feminist, I wanted to show my support of women voicing their opinions against a government that is... shall we say, complicated. And being a writer, I wanted to stand up for free speech. Which is not always such an easy thing to do. In my everyday life, while I decry Archie Bland's editorial and wish fandoms were more careful about their words, I can't deny that they have every right to say what they say. Of course, while I wish people would not say certain things and be intelligent and empathetic enough to know the power of their words, they still have the right to say what they want. There is nothing worse to me than having your voiced silenced or being unable to speak up (and I've had too many instances of this in my life, as mundane as they are compared to the real suppression that occurs elsewhere) and I knew that if I let this opportunity to support such speech go past me, I'd regret it. So protest time it was.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many people knew about the issue (and yet was rather put out when one woman didn't even know who Putin was). We only received one negative comment in my time there (and that was from a woman who was very upset that we had the words "Pussy Riot" in a "family area," as if we had any control over the name of the band. And since when was the Stone Arch Bridge a "family area?" It's a public pedestrian bridge... whatever. Free speech, right? She can say whatever she thinks). We wore face masks like the band does, as you can see from the above pictures, which they wore to show they could be any woman in Russia. And while we stood there over the Mississippi river, it was really cool to think that elsewhere across the world, others were doing exactly the same thing as us.
|Protest in London (http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com)|