An Open Letter to Pussy Riot

The organizing team of DIY Carnival warns Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina against Czech politics of human rights.

Dear Maria and Nadezhda,‭‬
as initiators of the protest against your imprisonment,‭ ‬we decided to write an open letter to you.‭ ‬Our protest‭ ‬took place in front of the Russian Embassy in Prague at our annual DIY‭ ‬Carnival‭ ‬last year.‭ ‬The event was attended by approximately‭ ‬three thousand people and‭ ‬has,‭ ‬therefore,‭ ‬become the largest solidarity event in the Czech Republic so far.‭ ‬Our action had no official support be it from Czech mainstream media,‭ ‬the state or non-government organizations.

We understand there are differences between the Russian and‭ ‬Czech‭ ‬situation.‭ ‬Maybe that is‭ ‬why some of your‭ ‬Czech supporters‭ ‬happen to represent precisely what you fight against in Putin’s Russia.‭

We wanted to support you and also draw attention to tendencies that‭ ‬were‭ ‬rightfully the target of your criticism‭ ‬-‭ ‬the connection of‭ ‬church and state.‭ ‬Even though the situation in‭ ‬the‭ ‬Czech Republic can hardly be compared to the one in Russia under Putin’s leadership,‭ ‬the‭ ‬involvement of‭ ‬our elites‭ ‬with the interests of Catholic church’s conservative‭ ‬representatives is obvious.

We understand there are differences between the Russian and‭ ‬Czech‭ ‬situation.‭ ‬Maybe that is‭ ‬why some of your‭ ‬Czech supporters‭ ‬happen to represent precisely what you fight against in Putin’s Russia.‭ ‬In the interview for‭ ‬the‭ ‬Czech‭ ‬Television you have mentioned Karel Schwarzenberg,‭ ‬our former minister of foreign affairs.‭ ‬As a representative of‭ ‬aristocracy and a member of our former government,‭ ‬he‭ (‬and not only he‭) ‬is personally responsible for‭ ‬very controversial‭ ‬restitution of‭ ‬property to Catholic Church and anti-social right-wing reforms to privatize public sector.‭ ‬These‭ ‬measures‭ ‬go against modern tendencies of‭ ‬our society‭ ‬and‭ ‬will‭ ‬bring more power and wealth to conservative circles‭ ‬in the future.‭ ‬Karel Schwarzenberg‭ ‬also represents‭ ‬a very‭ ‬selective‭ ‬understanding of‭ ‬human‭ ‬rights supporting only those oppressed groups and individuals that serve the interests of transatlantic coalition while overlooking others.‭ ‬We fully respect your right to choose your partners in your fight against‭ ‬Putin’s authoritarian regime and we understand that your position is not always simple.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬we feel‭ ‬we must‭ ‬explain the context‭ ‬of your remarks.

In the past,‭ ‬we have witnessed many former opponents of the Communist regime‭ ‬undermining their moral authority by‭ ‬purpose-built alliance with the Western power elites.‭ ‬This was the case of Václav Havel.‭ ‬We would‭ ‬not want the same to happen to you too.‭ ‬Like you,‭ ‬we come from‭ ‬anarchist‭ ‬circles and‭ ‬thus very‭ ‬well understand the risks‭ ‬of power and‭ ‬stardom.

Respectfully,‭
the DIY‭ ‬Carnival team‭

P.S.:‭ ‬Like Pussy Riot,‭ ‬we don’t give our names as we also prefer collective action‭ ‬of anonymous individuals.

 

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