Tobi Vail has released a song called Free Pussy Riot in solidarity with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, the three jailed members of Pussy Riot who are currently serving two years in prison for performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow church. Pussy Riot is an anonymous feminist punk collective who play unsanctioned concerts as a means of political protest. Pussy Riot started in Moscow but chapters are forming internationally in solidarity with group members'unjust imprisonment and continued state harassment.
Inspired by Free John Sinclair by John and Yoko, Free Pussy Riot was written for Tobi's recent performance at Primera Persona at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Tobi continues to play Free Pussy Riot in her solo set, recently performing it live backed by The Pussy Riot Olympia Solidarity Band at Kitzel's Deli in Olympia, WA as part of an event held to rally international awareness and support for the Russian group. Pussy Riot Olympia videos can be viewed via Tobi's youtube channel
Upon the arrest of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, members of Bikini Kill made statements in solidarity with the group. Tobi's statement is an MP3 edited together with paintings of the group made by Billy Karren and posted on youtube. Tobi also wrote an article about Pussy Riot for eMusic and continues to speak out about their unjust imprisonment via social media. Kathleen Hanna video-taped a statement of support for her blog and has spoken to the music press about the group.
On October 10 Pussy Riot's appeal will be heard by a Russian court. To quote from Tobi's solidarity statement she reads at the end of her song:
Pussy Riot is organizing in Moscow but the struggle for self-determination of women, LGBTQ rights, gender justice and political transparency is an international one. 'Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest' Free Pussy Riot!
Lyrics available upon request. Please share the FREE MP3.
Free Pussy Riot was written by Tobi Vail in collaboration with Pussy Riot Olympia agitator Henri Riot & New York based artist Amy Yao. Tobi Vail plays lead guitar & sings, Henri Riot plays bass & sings, Wild Man James (Spider and the Webs) plays guitar, Kanako Pooknyw (Broken Water) plays drums & sings and Bongo Randy (Spider and the Webs, The Family Stoned) plays percussion. The song was recorded by Dave Harvey.