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Support for imprisoned punk trio Pussy Riot has gone beyond tokenistic internet clicktivism, and has hit the streets around the world.
Brighton was host to a particularly impressive flash mob on Thursday evening (16th). It had been organised by the Brighton Feminist Collective on the eve of the Pussy Riot trial verdict. Just after 7pm, over a hundred people turned up to show their pro-Pussy Riot solidarity. Chosing Brighton's Cathedral of Consumerism instead of a Russian Orthodox one, Brighton Feminists played the two minute song that got Pussy Riot arrested outside Churchill Square Mall – to a crowd of neon clothes and balaclavas.
As one of the Collective said “We just plugged in our amp, turned it up and went for it. Obviously we're totally against what's happening to the group. We know that we're a long way away from russia but every little helps. It was great, we even had messages of support from Russia as it happened.
“The event had been heavily promoted on Facebook, but we didnt think it'd be all that big. As it happened over 100 took part, and more were supportive but even though they didn’t dance. We only played the song for 2 minutes, but it was the song that Pussy Riot played when they were arrested in the cathedral. Lots of people felt strongly about what's been happening in Russia but didn’t feel like they had any way of expressing their feelings- at the flashmob people could be there and show support. People turned up dressed in neon and wearing neon balaclavas, everyone in Churchill square just stopped what they were doing to look at us – I'd never seen so many camera phones out in one place.”
There was a bare minimum of police at the event, just two coppers. The group didn't want it to be confrontational, they wanted to do something fun, something that could draw in people who don't normally demonstrate. As one of the participants put it, “It was tongue in cheek, just as like Pussy Riot are.”
The Brighton Feminist Collective have been pretty damn active this year. The fundamentalist (emphasis on the mentalist) Christians spurred them into action with their pro-life 'Forty Days for Life” campaign of harrassment against BPAC (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) staff and service users. The feminists countered that with “Forty Days of Treats” – showering staff with presents to remind them that the vast majority of people support and value the work that they do.
Even though the pro-lifers' demos have dropped off, Brighton Feminists have continued to give BPAC staff cupcakes, brownies, flowers and cards. Staff have found it emotionally difficult dealing with so much hostility from religious maniacs, and the feminists' gift-giving actions have been a welcome relief to hard-worked frontline health workers.
Brighton Feminist Collective are planning to organise a 'Reclaim the Night' march for November. Watch this space.
Photos of the Brighton flashmob : http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.396902660364848.110322.293555967366185&type=1
New Legal Aid proposals strip defendants of rights
Environmental activist is released after seven years imprisonment.
What is known about the death of a Ghanian man in Harmondsworth IRC on October 30th? And who are GEO Group, the private prison firm desperately trying to shift culpability?
Three US activists in jail as federal authrorities target anarchists
Four ISM international volunteers under house arrest in Israel after being arrested and beaten by the army.
Out of the squats and into the er... prisons. As, Alex Haigh, the first squatter to be sent down under S.144 recieves three months.
To the barricades! As fascists plan to attack an anarchist social centre at some point in the future (or possibly past).
“We are freer than those who are prosecuting us. We can say everything we want, and they have their mouths shut, and are puppets." - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Pussy Riot member