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Pussy Riot movement officials turn on punk stars

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Feb 06, 2014 | 3:35pm EST

The Pussy Riot backlash has begun - members of the punk group have turned on the two recently-freed stars, accusing them of forgetting about "the aspirations and ideals" of the movement. Hours before Maria Alyokhina and Nadia Tolokonnikova were introduced onstage at Amnesty International's Bringing Human Rights Home Concert in New York by Madonna on Wednesday night (05Feb14), an open letter from Pussy Riot officials, taking aim at the two rockers, was published online. The anonymous writer, who posted the missive on Pussy Riot's Livejournal, confirmed Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were no longer members of the organisation. The letter reads: "We are very pleased with Masha (Alyokhina)'s and Nadia's release. We are proud of their resistance against harsh trials that fell to their lot, and their determination by all means to continue the struggle that they had started during their stay in the colonies. "Unfortunately for us, they are being so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons, that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group - feminism, separatist resistance, fight against authoritarianism and personality cult, all of which, as a matter of fact, was the cause for their unjust punishment." The two rockers were convicted of hooliganism in 2012 following a protest against Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church. They were released from prison in December (13) as part of an amnesty deal. The open letter continues: "Instead of the names of Nadia and Masha, the poster of the (Amnesty International) event showed a man in a balaclava with electric guitar, under the name of Pussy Riot, while the organizers smartly called for people to buy expensive tickets. "All this is an extreme contradiction to the very principles of Pussy Riot collective: We are all-female separatist collective - no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality. We belong to leftist anti-capitalist ideology - we charge no fees for viewing our art-work, all our videos are distributed freely on the web, the spectators to our performances are always spontaneous passers by, and we never sell tickets to our 'shows'. "Our performances are always 'illegal', staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment. The distribution of our clips is always through free and unrestricted media channels. We are anonymous, because we act against any personality cult, against hierarchies implied by appearance, age and other visible social attributes. We cover our heads, because we oppose the very idea of using female face as a trademark for promoting any sort of goods or services. "The mixing of the rebel feminist punk image with the image of institutionalised defenders of prisoners' rights, is harmful for us as collective, as well as it is harmful for the new role that Nadia and Masha have taken on." Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have yet to comment on the letter's content.

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