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Rock solidarity

Stadium rockers DDT headlined a concert for political prisoners.

Published: September 12, 2012 (Issue # 1726)



  • Dmitry Shagin (l) of the Mitki art group recalled the imprisonment of his own father, artist Vladimir Shagin.
    Photo: SERGEY CHERNOV / SPT

  • A riot police truck parked outside the entrance to Glavclub on Sunday.
    Photo: SERGEY CHERNOV / SPT

Russia’s first large concert in support of Pussy Riot and other political prisoners went ahead in St. Petersburg on Sunday despite pressure from the authorities. Three people were detained for alleged jaywalking after the concert.

On the day of the show, Glavclub was surrounded by scores of OMON riot policemen. More than a dozen police vehicles were parked along the short Kremenchugskaya Ulitsa on which Glavclub is located, with more parked in the streets close to the location.

Called Free Pussy Riot Fest, the concert also aimed to raise awareness and funds for The Other Russia activist Taisia Osipova, who was sentenced to eight years for drug dealing in Smolensk on Aug. 28 in a case her supporters say was entirely fabricated, and for 17 people held under pre-trial arrest since the May 6 March of Millions protest rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in Moscow.

An appeal for the three jailed members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who were sentenced to two years in a prison colony on Aug. 17, will be heard in Moscow on Oct. 1.

The concert opened with speeches by the band’s lawyers, Violetta Volkova and Nikolai Polozov, who came to St. Petersburg for the concert from Moscow. A third lawyer, Mark Feigin, was summoned to an interrogation at the investigative committee concerning the case against the Bolotnaya Ploshchad protesters on Monday, and did not come. Throughout the concert — which drew about a thousand people — the public chanted “Freedom to political prisoners.”

Concert headliners DDT, who performed early in the show, started poignantly with “Church With No Crosses.” It was with this song that the band opened its legendary debut show at the Leningrad Rock Club in 1987.

“It was written and dedicated to the churches destroyed by the past authorities,” frontman Yury Shevchuk said.

“Now the churches seem to have been rebuilt, but there has not become more love and mercy. It’s sad, and this song is relevant once again.”

Organizers said they had received several telephone threats from the police and officials wanting to stop the show since the venue was first announced last month. The last one came from the prosecutor’s office on Sept. 4, when Glavclub was informed that a random fire inspection would be carried out at the venue the following day.

According to concert organizer Olga Kurnosova, the inspection was carried out, but only minor violations were found. She said the club only managed to remain open because of publicity in the national media.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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