Pussy Riot Member Speaks Out as Verdict Looms
She slams repression in Putin's Russia
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2012 11:46 PM CDT
Activists demonstrate in support of Pussy Riot outside the Russian embassy in Berlin.   (AP Photo/dapd/Oliver Lang)
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(Newser) – As the members of punk band Pussy Riot await a verdict that could send them to a labor camp for three years, one of them warns that their trial is a sign of repression in Vladimir Putin's Russia, reports the Guardian. "Our being in jail is a clear and distinct sign that freedom is being taken away from the whole country," Nadezhda Tolokonnikova writes in a letter to supporters. "And this threat of destruction of the liberating, emancipatory forces of Russia is what makes me angry." The band, who were arresting for performing an anti-Putin "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral, have been in jail since March.

"Something unbelievable is happening for modern Russian politics: the demanding, stubborn, authoritative and consistent impact of society on the authorities," writes Tolokonnikova, whose trial comes amid a wider Russian clampdown on opposition. "Whatever the verdict for Pussy Riot, we and you have already won. Because we have learned to be angry and speak politically," she writes. The verdict is due at 7am ET, and rallies to support the band will be held in cities around the world. Stars including Bjork, Madonna, and Paul McCartney have spoken out in Pussy Riot's support.