While supporting Alex Navalny, the Russian politician allegedly poisoned by the Russian government, Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was arrested and charged with “violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules” after attending a huge protest last January 23rd.
Maria was supposedly held for 48 hours and now waits for results from a criminal case. According to Russian media, Meduza Maria is currently under house arrest.
Pussy Riot demands that political prisoners in Russia are released, including Navalny and Alyokhina, and furthermore, they ask for: “the police to stop beating the protesters and stand together with us, we ask Putin and his team to leave the Kremlin ASAP”.
While shooting the music video in St. Petersburg Russian police interrupted the production claiming that it contained gay propaganda and that it incited hatred. According to Pussy Riot’s YouTube page 13 individuals were arrested during the video shoot.
According to an article by Freemuse, Tunisian artist, Noamane Chaari, has received threats to his life, been fired from his job and suspended from his participation in the Tunisian Artists’ Union after publishing a music video where he collaborates with Israeli artist Ziv Yehezkel.
The music video, which can be seen below, offended Tunisian journalists, activists and others and some people called for him to be prosecuted. The music video has Arabic and English lyrics included and reading through the words it is clear that this song is nothing but peaceful.
The Indian government recently agreed to three new laws that give private entities more control and freedom in the country’s agricultural market.
Farmers across India have taken to the streets, the highways and the borders to protest these new laws for they believe it will cripple this part of the country’s economy. They don’t believe big business will have the interest of the people in mind, something that has proven to be true in other countries.
Musicians have stepped up and are using their talents and voices to support all their local farmers that provide them with food.
One of these songs is Pecha. According to a recent interviewHarf Cheema (one of the musicians behind the song) said the song is about “common people fighting against the government for their rights”.
“First, farmers will feel attracted towards these private players, who will offer a better price for the produce. The government mandis will pack up meanwhile and after a few years, these players will start exploiting the farmers. That’s what we fear,” Multan Singh Rana, a farmer in the northern state of Punjab, told BBC Punjabi.
Harbhajan Mann is another musician that wrote a song in support of the farmers. According to a Facebook post he wrote he grew up in a family of farmers and he believes he is in debt to farmers around his country. Recently Mann was recently selected for the Punjab government’s ‘Shiromani Punjabi Singer’ award. In addition to using his voice as an artist Mann decided to decline receiving the award in support and protest of the actions being taken against farmers in India.
“How can I accept this award when my mother earth is in danger.”
– Harbhajan Mann
As farmers and their families have literally set up camps around the country the protests will seemingly continue for an unforeseen time – or at least until the government listens and makes the changes that this valuable part of the Indian society is demanding. Until then musicians will step it up and continue filling the soundtrack of the protest.
Cover photo by Ravi Choudhary, a photojournalist with Press Trust of India (PTI).