I am pleased to see Pussy Riot getting some column inches. Yes, there are other political protests in Russia, but because of their youth and their colourful vitality, the voice they are adding to the anti-Putin movement is different because it articulates the feelings of young people who are engaged with popular culture and who might prefer to look the other way rather than involve themselves in any sort of politics.
They certainly got me off my back burner! The politics of punk meant a lot to me in the 1070s and endless TV documentaries about the lads and the music don't tell the exact story as I remember it; but then I am looking at it from a personal perspective, which is what I thought it was all about at the time. Instead, a subculture/music story is told and re-told until it becomes as turgid as any his-story of pop and rock.
What was heartening about the demonstration in support of Pussy Riot was the all-ages, all-genders-all-cultures nature of the people who went along. It's easy to forget, when looking at our own parliament (especially the cabinet) that there are people in Britain who are not billionaire white men in suits that have political opinions. When reading about what the legal system in Russia has done to the three women who were in court last week I wondered what would happen here as our rights are eroded away in front of our eyes. If you make a population desperately poor, you disempower them and their voices become ever weaker.
Let's not get distracted by Julian Assange, whose 'noble' expression masks a desire to escape the Swedish justice system. Can he have a fair trial after all this publicity? Perhaps not, and perhaps that was the general intention. I seriously doubt that Sweden will send him to the USA.