|Photo by Stephanie Till|
Upon imprisonment, Paul, Burns and the rest of the women were beaten and chained, put through rigorous mental exams to prove their need to be transferred to an insane asylum, forcefully kept awake by the hour, and were force fed raw eggs and milk while going on a hunger strike.
Ultimately, in 1921, women gained the right to vote, thanks to a Tennessee man, I might add. While women everywhere celebrated this victory, many would never forget the torture women such as Paul and Burns went through in order to bring awareness to this issue.
When I heard about Russian Punk Rock band Pussy Riot's political imprisonment, I immediately thought of the women once imprisoned in America. While suffragists in the early 1900's were protesting women's lack of voting rights, these Russian punk rockers are protesting not only the lack of separation of church and state in Russia, but also the absence of freedom of speech.
In February of this year, upon a protest at an Eastern Orthodox church in Moscow, the three female punk rockers were arrested. As of late, these women, who have families and children, have been in prison for five months so far and face up to seven years in jail for charges such as 'Hooliganism.' Yes, you read that charge correctly.
While some may laugh at the thought of this charge, it's an example of the stranglehold the government has on its people in Russia. While American women were imprisoned in 1917 during protest, Russian women in 2012 are being imprisoned based on political acts that express their distrust of the Russian government.
The women's imprisonment has sparked a strong divide in Russia, and interest of the situation in America. Fellow punk rockers held a protest for Riot in Washington, D.C. this past Friday. It was eventually broken up by police officials.
All people involved in the Friday protest in Washington are walking around freely today. Three female musicians in Russia who simply want citizen's voices to be heard, remain imprisoned. Their fate is yet to be decided.
The Cable http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/30/washington_punk_rockers_rally_for_pussy_riot
Ellen Of The Tenth